• Hardbodies (Mill Creek Entertainment) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Mill Creek Entertainment
    Released on: January 15th, 2019.
    Director: Mark Griffiths
    Cast: Grant Cramer, Teal Roberts, Gary Wood, Michael Rapport, Roberta Collins, Courtney Gains, Kristi Somers
    Year: 1984
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    Hardbodies – Movie Review:

    Movie review by Andrew Swope:

    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 an entertaining comedy. 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 (which it was ‘double featured’ with for this release), 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.

    Hardbodies – Blu-ray Review:

    Blu-ray review by Ian Jane

    Hardbodies is presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 1.78.1 widescreen. The transfer here is passable, certainly better than what DVD could provide, but not perfect. Some mild print damage does show up here and there as do some visible compression artifacts and occasional macroblocking. The colors look very good, however, and black levels are decent. Texture isn’t bad and detail is acceptable, if never reference quality. Likely taken from an older master, the picture quality here won’t leave your jaw on the floor but it’s more than watchable.

    The English language DTS-HD 2.0 track is pretty decent. Dialogue is clean, clear and easy to hear and the track is properly balanced. There’s a fair bit of depth to the score and the track is free of any noticeable hiss or distortion. There are no alternate language options of subtitles of any kind provided here.

    There are no extras on the disc at all, just menus and chapter selection, but Mill Creek gets full marks for coming up with some very creative ‘VHS’ style packaging for this product. The slipcover is made to look like an old tape cover, with the tape sliding out from the side. It’s gimmicky, sure, but it’s pretty cool.

    Hardbodies – The Final Word:

    Hardbodies is an amusing product of its time. Politically correct it is not, but the film offers up some laughs even if it is frequently more than a little misguided. Fans of 80’s sex comedies, of course, have come to expect this from the genre, however, and they should appreciate this release even if the disc is barebones and the transfer less than perfect.

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

    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      It is a strange experience seeing these films now. No doubt that back when I saw them, my younger brain didn't register anything other than "naked women". Not sure if the caveman politics registered on my radar back then, but they sure do now; still manage to enjoy a fair chunk of these films, though.
    1. Matt H.'s Avatar
      Matt H. -
      Bad movie heaven.
    1. Toyboy's Avatar
      Toyboy -
      When this movie came out one of the actors did an interview on our local rock station. He was really proud of the movie and his character. I recall him being really chipper/high on coke
    1. Paul L's Avatar
      Paul L -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mark Tolch View Post
      It is a strange experience seeing these films now. No doubt that back when I saw them, my younger brain didn't register anything other than "naked women". Not sure if the caveman politics registered on my radar back then, but they sure do now; still manage to enjoy a fair chunk of these films, though.
      I haven't seen HARDBODIES since the days of VHS, but for my money it's pipped to the creepy post by Stanley Donen's more 'respectable' BLAME IT ON RIO. released in the same year. I revisited that film about five or six years ago as I was asked to review its Blu-ray release, and it was so unintentionally creepy (ie, blissfully unaware of how unsettling its depiction of Matthew's relationship with his friend's young daughter) that it made my toes curl. I didn't see BLAME IT ON RIO in '84 but caught it later in the decade on VHS and recall that it still felt as unsettling when I first watched the film - which suggests that it's not simply a case of looking back on these pictures with fresh eyes but simply that some of these filmmakers were either being deliberately provocative or simply didn't have a clue as to how out of touch some of their sexual politics had already become by the mid-1980s.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Hardbodies is one of my favorites of the genre. It's the most memorable of the films of its type that I was able to get my hands on back in those early teen years and it delivers everything I'm looking for in this type of film. All these years later, the creepy vibe of some the scenes help make it all the more interesting as a product of a different time.

      I have the multipack but I'm tempted to pick this up just for the packaging.
    1. moviegeek86's Avatar
      moviegeek86 -
      Hardbodies is one of my fave 80's sex comedies.