• Spring Break Double Feature: Private Resort/Hardbodies

    Released by Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: March 15, 2016
    Directed by: George Bowers/Mark Griffiths
    Cast: Rob Morrow, Johnny Depp, Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts
    Year: 1985/1984
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    The Movie:

    The 1980s saw the release of countless teen sex comedies. Mill Creek’s Spring Break Double Feature brings together two such films on Blu-Ray, 1985’s Private Restort and 1984 Hardbodies. I have nostalgic memories of each film as I remember watching these films as a child. Viewing Private Resort and Hardbodies for the first time in years was exciting. Would my memories of the films hold true?

    Ben (Rob Morrow) and Jack (Johnny Depp) go for the ultimate vacation when they visit an exclusive tropical resort. The duo only have one thing on their mind, scoring with women. However, things do not go as planned when the hapless heroes have a run-in with the nefarious jewel thief The Maestro (Hector Elizondo). Will Ben and Jack be able to foil the Maestro and still have enough time to score with ladies?

    Director George Bower’s Private Resort is a difficult film to critique. It is a ramshackle, picaresque movie with little plot and even less character development. Events happen and characters do things with little logic. Watching the film I could not help but wonder who were Ben and Jack and how were they able to afford the trip to the resort. There is a scene early in the film with a husky little boy using a fishing pole to remove a sleeping beauty’s bikini top. The boy is caught by Ben and Jack and their conversation seem familiar, as if the duo knows the child. The child mentions an unseen mom, not his mom, but rather just mom as if he shares parents with either one or both of Ben and Jack. This riddle was never solved, the boy was never seen again. In a normal movie this lack of basic development is an issue, however I am not sure it matters in Private Resort. This film exists purely as a way for teenage boys to catch glimpses of nude attractive women. So, while Private Resort is subjectively a failure when judged on a typical film criticism rubric it does succeed in showcasing nubile flesh.

    However, even using nudity as the prime barometer of success/failure Private Resort still has problematic issues. While the film does showcase an array of nude women, the film fails to show the two leading ladies (Emily Longstreth and Karyn O’Bryan) in the buff. I found this to be extremely odd as I would have thought appearing nude would have been in the casting call-sheet. It also gave the film an anti-climactic feel. I believe male viewers of films like Private Resort will begin to live vicariously through characters like Ben and Jack and their conquests become ours as well. Since their love interests are never seen nude it made me as a viewer feel like something was left incomplete. In addition, the nudity seen in the film was in such a tame, jokey manner that Private Resort was never erotic or sexy, it was titillating on an extremely juvenile level.

    Private Resort did not live up to my memories. It was not funny or sexy. Johnny Depp is pretty charismatic as the sleazy best friend but he’s totally underutilized in the film. Rob Morrow is beyond awful. His character comes across as creepy, stalkerish simpleton, mouth agape and grinning while starring at the various women in bikinis. His most uncomfortable moment came when he was overcame by lust and assaulted a nude women.

    Scotty (Grant Cramer) may be the coolest, hunkiest guy on the beach but he’s also the most broke. He’s been kicked out of his dump apartment for not paying rent and has been reduced to sleeping on the beach. However, he goes from the outhouse to the beach house in no time when he runs into three middle aged businessmen (Gary Wood, Sorrells Pickard, Michael Rapport). The trio hires Scotty to teach them how to “dialogue” girls by offering them the “BBD” (Bigger, Better Deal). Things run south when Scotty’s girlfriend Kristi (Teal Roberts) is tricked by Hunter, leader of the middle aged brigade. Now, Scotty has to prove he’s more than just blonde hair and suntan to win back the love of his life.

    Co-Writer/director Mark Griffiths’ Hardbodies is a major improvement over Private Resort. Most noticeably about Hardbodies is the understandable plot. Characters, for the most part, have motivation which makes their actions logical enough for a film like this to work. Griffiths even lays down clues as to how characters will behave. In an early party scene Pickards’ Ashby hooks up with a girl through conversation while Hunter and Rounder uses tricks and lies for their conquests. Later in the film, after Hunter and Rounder have been exposed their villainous ways, Ashby remains friends with and helps Scotty. This type of character development was missing in Private Resort.

    As said earlier, nudity is the prime reason films like Hardbodies exist and this film certainly delivers. All of the primary female characters are seen nude at least once and, while the nudity is pretty tame it is not played for laughs. For me this creates a world of difference in the level of eroticism. Sure, Hardbodies does not reach the erotic level of something like The Lickerish Quartet but the women, especially Teal Roberts, are sexy in presentation.

    None of this is to say Hardbodies does not have problems. The primary issue I found with this film, and Private Resort, was the dated sexual politics. Women are treated as objects and there is a rapey undercurrent to both films that was awkward. One scene in Hardbodies which epitomized this issue was when Scotty foiled an attempted rape by Hunter. While Scotty said some rather progressive anti-rape comments, they were undercut by then sifting some blame to the girl for talking sexy. Truly an uncomfortable moment in a pretty breezy film.


    Mill Creek Entertainment has blessed Private Resort and Hardbodies with a Blu-ray presentation. Private Resort is presented in a 1.85:1 image, while Hardbodies is framed at 1.78:1. Both films look pretty good but have some compression issues. Hardbodies featured more compression artifacts than Private Resort but it was not too distracting. All-in-all this is probably the best either film has looked in nearly 30 years.

    The audio for each film is 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and overall they sound nice. Dialogue is easily heard, which is nice as the disc lacks subtitles, and the music on Hardbodies sounds good. I am curious about the music in Private Resort, though. I really hope it is some sort of alternate music score for home video release as it is some of the worst, most generic sounding music I have heard. It is really bad and does not fit the rhythm of the visuals.

    The disc had no extras.

    The Final Word:

    Neither film is a masterpiece but the Spring Break Double Feature is still a good time. Private Resort is bad but sort of fun in a what were they thinking sort of way and Hardbodies is actually kind of decent. If you are a fan of this genre then you will love this release. You cannot really go wrong with two entertaining films in under three hours.

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

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Some good points here...I have fond memories of a lot of these teen sex comedies, but there's definitely a rapey vibe to a lot of them that doesn't translate well to the older me.
    1. Andrew S's Avatar
      Andrew S -
      The thing that made the rapey vibe even worse was that it typically was played for laughs. The scene I mentioned in the review where Rob Morrow sexually assaults Hilary Shapiro was supposed to be funny.

      I have to reiterate, Morrow's character in Private Resort was a total creep.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      My Wife and I have watched both films in the past year and greatly enjoyed them. We've been watching 80's teen comedies since back in the day so we know what we're in for. Seeing the way things have changed is part of the fun.

      I loved the POLICE ACADEMY films back when they were released. I would have chewed my arm off to see Leslie Easterbrook naked back then but wasn't aware of her showing the goods in PRIVATE RESORT until recently. She is a fine lookin' lady.

      HARDBODIES just might be my favorite of all the 80's teen sex comedies. It's one of the first that I got my hands on so that might have something to do with it. Revisiting it, I was surprised Kathleen Kinmont doesn't pop her top. I have a bit of a thing for her and she gets naked in just about all her films.