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  Bachelor Party Drop The Dead Donkey
Year: 1984
Director: Neal Israel
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed, George Grizzard, Barbara Stuart, Robert Prescott, William Tepper, Wendie Jo Sperber, Barry Diamond, Gary Grossman, Michael Dudikoff, Bradford Bancroft, Martina Finch, Deborah Harmon, Tracy Smith, Monique Gabrielle
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rick Gassko (Tom Hanks) has an important announcement to make to his friends, but first he has to assemble them, and even then after he has driven the kids home from school - he's a bus driver when he's not trying to be an artist. After winding up the nuns who work at the school, he gathers his pals at the bar one of them works at, and collected around the table he speaks his mind: you know his girlfriend Debbie (Tawny Kitaen)? Well, he has an announcement to make, which is that he is getting married to her in about a week's time...

And that can only mean one thing, or it can according to those mates (who included T.J. Hooker star Adrian Zmed), which is that Rick has lined himself up for a lifetime of misery, or at least until he divorces her some time down the line. But he won't hear a word against her, and given that she's face of the eighties Tawny you can well believe he'd be smitten with the kitten. Kitaen. Anyway, to show him what he's going to be missing for the next few decades, a bachelor party is organised, and this is what concerns us for the rest of the movie, an effort that marked part of a very good year for the filmmaking team of Neal Israel and Pat Proft, for this was the same time that their Police Academy became a hit as well.

If anything, thanks to those sequels Police Academy easily eclipsed this little item in the popular consciousness, but for those who were looking for fun times at the cinema (or more likely on video) in 1984 then you could do a lot worse than this, hence the nostalgic glow around every frame of this raunchy but oddly goodnatured daftness. Adding to that reminiscence was the fact Tom Hanks, that's double Oscar winner Tom Hanks, would never dream of starring in a work of this dubious calibre these days, and more's the pity because he emerged as one of the best aspects, keeping it light when his Rick character was actually threatened with losing the girl of his dreams.

Not that this is his fault, but his friends have trouble swallowing his insistence he is now monogamous, and are hellbent on having him enjoy one last fling with some other woman, a prostitute basically, at the party. To make matters worse, Rick has a rival for the affections of Debbie, and he's rich bastard Cole (Robert Prescott), who is more of a social level that her parents would prefer and as our hero is not of the upper crust we have that old class cliché entering into the fray. Cole contrives a way to ruin the party by sending the whores over to Debbie's ever so polite hen night, leaving the boys sitting in a hotel room watching a Shirley Temple movie until he can get there with his proposition.

Which is to give up the hand in marriage of Debbie and let Cole have her, and the way things are going she might not need much persuading. The party does eventually kick off when more guests are assembled, and all the craziness that this became known for unfolds, yet for all the nudity and drug taking (well, the donkey takes most of the drugs to be fair) there was something absurdly wholesome about the debauchery, as if with Hanks as the centre of attention there was no way anything truly disgusting was going to happen. Sure, Bachelor Party got near the knuckle in places, but there was still a sense that this was one step away from the guests munching ice cream and jelly, donning party hats, blowing party favours and playing pass the parcel. That was in spite of Monique Gabrielle in a memorable scene where her naked body is superimposed with the cast's heads, or the bit where Gary (Gary Grossman) amusingly finds out the truth about his date - the 3D finale was pretty clever too. All that and Adrian Zmed crooning his latest single - what's not to like? Music by Robert Folk.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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