• Bachelor Party

    Released by: Fox
    Released on: May 6th, 2014.
    Director: Neal Israel
    Cast: Tom Hanks, George Grizzard, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed
    Year: 1984
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    The Movie:

    One of Tom Hanks’ earliest starring film roles and made hot on the heels of his success in Splash (made the same year), 1984’s Bachelor Party, directed by Neal Israel, stars the future Oscar winner as a goofball bus driver named Rick Gassko. He’s a common man, he drinks beer and hangs out with his pals – Jay (Adrian Zmed), Rudy (Barry Diamond), Ryko (the American Ninja himself, Michael Dudikoff), - as well as his brother, a married proctologist named Stan (William Tepper) who runs a practice with his wife, Tina (Wendi Jo Sperber who played Amy a few years earlier opposite Hanks in Bosom Buddies). When he announces that he’s marrying his girlfriend, the well to do Debbie Thompson (Tawny Kitaen), his pals decide to send him off in grand style with an evening of debauchery by hosting a bachelor party for him.

    Debbie’s parents (George Grizzard and Barbara Stuart) aren’t exactly fans of Rick’s, in fact they vastly prefer her upper crust ex-boyfriend Cole (Robert Prescott), who still carries a serious torch for her, but she’s not having any of it. She loves Rick and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, so long as he stays away from hookers at the party. He promises her that he will and off her and his pals go to the fancy hotel for drinks, drugs and women of loose morals. When Cole gets wind of this, however, he sends the female entertainment the guys had hired for their party to the wedding shower, at which point the ladies realize what the guys are up to. From here on out, it’s a series of hijinks and shenanigans involving male strippers and hot dog buns, an East Indian pimp and his behemoth of an enforcer, a donkey, some Japanese businessmen and even Debbie’s stuffy old man. Will Rick be able to keep his word and live happily ever after with his dream girl or will she bust him when he’s up to no good?

    Proof positive that Tom Hanks used to be genuinely funny, Bachelor Party holds up well if you’re in the right mood for it. You have to go into the film knowing it’s stupid. The picture never tries to hide this, as made obvious by scenes like the aforementioned ‘wiener in a hot dog bun’ gag and made even more obvious when the aforementioned donkey gets his nose into the party drugs laid out in the hotel room, but there’s nothing wrong with mindless comedy and the movie delivers that in spades. While it doesn’t bother with things like logic or sensibility and instead opts for the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ mentality prevalent in sexy comedies of the era, Hanks is quite likeable here. He carries the picture and he gets some good laughs. There’s enough ‘something’ between he and Kitaen in the few tender moments they share that you know enough about how he feels for her to justify his trepidations in the later part of the movie – he does quite well in the role.

    The rest of the supporting cast does okay. Zmed is charismatic and a bit of a ringleader for the partiers, Kitaen is sweet and pretty and likeable. Dudikoff doesn’t really get to do much except take his shirt off to give the ladies something to look at and act dumb, while Tepper and Sperber make for some amusing future in-law’s for Debbie. Bradford Bancroft, who plays the guys’ old friend Brad reunited with them just for this occasion, tends to steal a few scenes. His character is trapped in a terrible marriage and he’s more interested in drowning himself or slitting his wrists than in partying – but he’s too inept or stoned to pull it off. But nobody is out to win an Oscar here. This isn’t deep, this isn’t meant to be taken in the least bit seriously and it’s a film that wears its R rating as a badge of honor (there boobs aplenty). Not every joke is a sure fire hit but the film hits more than it misses. This is really fun completely superficial escapism and a fairly amusing time capsule of mid-eighties excess.


    Bachelor Party arrives on Blu-ray from Fox in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed in its original 1.85.1 widescreen aspect ratio and it looks quite good. Colors are reproduced beautifully and detail is quite strong through the movie. There are no issues with noise reduction or edge enhancement and compression artifacts never really figure into things either. There’s some film grain noticeable throughout but very little in the way of actual print damage to note. All in all this is clean, colorful and quite film like despite some softness inherent in the source material.

    Audio options are provided in English language DTS-HD 1.0 Master Audio and with optional dubbed tracks in Dolby Digital Mono in French and Spanish. Subtitles are provided in English, French and Spanish as well. The track sounds clean and clear and there are no issues with any hiss or distortion. The 80s score has decent depth to it as well. A surround mix might have opened up the party and club scenes a bit but the original mono as reproduced here sounds just fine.

    The extras on the disc are identical to those found on the DVD, meaning we get three featurettes and a collection of vintage Tom Hanks interviews culled from various sources. Hanks comes across as a likeable enough guy here as he talks about the differences between working in film versus working in television and offers up some input on Bachelor Party itself. The first featurette, simply titled Behind the Scenes, is just what you’d think it is, a collection of shots from the set cut against some interviews. An American Tradition and While the Men Play are a little more generic in that they’re basically a look back at the movie through cast and crew input but it’s all fairly fluffy and none of this material is particularly in depth. Outside of that we get a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. It would have been nice to get a retrospective look back at this one with most cast and crew involvement but that didn’t happen.

    The Final Word:

    Bachelor Party gets a nice high definition facelift in this Blu-ray from Fox. There’s nothing new in the supplemental department but the audio and video both improve over the previous DVD release and the movie itself remains an entertaining exercise in eighties sex comedy goofiness.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Adrian Zmed....that guy used to be the MAN.
    1. Nabonga's Avatar
      Nabonga -
      This movie is truly great. A definite buy.
    1. Nolando's Avatar
      Nolando -
      Don't forget a great soundtrack contribution from Oingo Boingo, too!