Endless Bummer: Screwballs 2 (aka Loose Screws) (1985)

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I know we movie reviewers like to throw around hyperbole, but this could be the most morally reprehensible of all the 80s teen raunch movies. There is a 0% chance of anything like this getting close to a cinema release today – I’m sure some sub-Asylum company is still churning out stuff like this now, but there’ll be the faint whiff of post-modernism about it, or the boys will learn a valuable lesson by the end, or something to justify 90 minutes of T&A.

“Loose Screws”, on the other hand, has none of that. Four guys are expelled from BEAVER HIGH for their elaborate schemes to have sex with girls, or just to see them naked. They’re sent to COXWELL ACADEMY, one step up from reform school, although everyone else there seems pretty okay, under the supervision of PRINCIPAL ARSENAULT, gym teacher HILDA VON BLOW and French teacher MONA LOTT. Our boys interact with such delightful fellow students as NIKKI NYSTROKE and TRACEY GRATEHEAD during the movie.

But who are our heroes, I hear you ask? Apart from minor 90s action star Bryan Genesse in a very early role, their careers have sadly not taken them to the heights they deserved (in some cases, this was their only credit of any note). New to the franchise are Genesse as “Brad Lovett” and Lawrence Van Der Kolk as “Steve Hardman”, names which are dull enough to not bother putting in bold. Returning from part 1 are Jason Warren and Alan Deveau, but they aren’t playing the same characters (for those of you with long memories, their former names were “Melvin Jerkovski” and  “Howie Bates”, almost quaint in their simplicity). For “Loose Screws”, they’re retooled as MARVIN EATMORE and HUGH G RECTION. Now, Mr and Mrs Rection, what on earth were you thinking?

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I know what you’re thinking, though. “Mark”, so your internal monologue goes, “I really liked the scene where one of them tricked a bunch of girls into taking their clothes off so he could inspect their boobs. Is there anything like that in this one?” Not only is there a scene like it, it’s almost exactly the same! For those of you who enjoyed the monomaniacal pursuit of untouchable Purity Busch in part 1, helpfully the movie provides us with MONA LOTT, and you’ll no doubt have a great time watching our fearsome foursome pretend to be interested in private lessons, send the fattest of the four to sneak through the air ducts to spy on the girls’ locker room from above (see if you can guess how the scene ends!), pay a masseur so they can feel her naked body, and video-taping her getting undressed. Such japes!

Luckily, we’re not confined to them trying to sleep with their adult teacher. “Loose Screws” has a broader palette than that, with a “plot” centring round a competition with a scoring system relating to number of women slept with, seen naked, and so on. HUGH G RECTION invents a chemical which, when put in the swimming pool, dissolves the bathing suits of the nubile teens while leaving their skin unharmed. Lovett pretends to be a woman to sleep in the girls’ dormitory, and taking advantage of the extreme short-sightedness of the lovely Candy Barr, tries to get her to touch his penis. They take a trip to a strip club and not only witness a rather long wet t-shirt contest, but are called up on stage to spray four lucky ladies with whipped cream. Last but not least, Hardman sort of has sex with the Principal’s wife a few times. And there’s something for the female viewers too! We get one scene where the boys are sat around in their (rather small) underwear, just shooting the breeze.

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Their behaviour is so appalling they’re even expelled from COXWELL, but decide to get their “revenge” at the unveiling of a new statue of the school’s founder. They perform this feat by swapping a video of the school’s history for one of the Principal and Miss Lott having sex, then rig the statue so it emits aphrodisiac gas, causing two women to sexually assault the Principal, and Miss Lott to perform a striptease in front of the packed auditorium. They are, of course, both fired on the spot. As we’ll all agree, trying to do your job fairly, and not acceding to the demands of four sex-crazed juvenile delinquents, is a perfectly valid reason to have your life completely and utterly destroyed. That they appeared to have a few minutes of film left to use, so turned our heroes into a band at the end, with a music video recorded on that same stage, is just the cherry on top of this sundae of cinematic perfection.

I’ve not even mentioned the soundtrack yet, with songs like “Do The Screw” and “I Have A Rubber In My Wallet”! I hope you enjoyed this review, anyway. The movie itself is so thoroughly rotten but so single-minded in its pursuit of boobs and sex that it passes through some sort of event horizon to become good again. But is it good enough to watch? I think a healthy amount of laughing at, rather than with, the movie will be necessary…but they really pack stuff in there. The weird golf course sex scene! The synchronised dancing! The bench gag!

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Canada, for a few years in the 1980s, had a tax law which made it financially worthwhile to make movies there, and for some reason a lot of them were Porky’s-inspired sex comedies, often with “balls” in the title (probably relating to Canadian-filmed “Meatballs”). This started with the first “Screwballs” in 1983 and had just ended by the time of semi-sequel “Screwball Hotel” in 1988, so we ought to admire just how much terrible filmmaking they managed to fit into that time.

Rating: thumbs up

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5 thoughts on “Endless Bummer: Screwballs 2 (aka Loose Screws) (1985)

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