80s comedies are like a fine wine as they seem to get better with age. You just don’t get this kind of comedy anymore and it’s a real shame!
The movie we are featuring today stars one of the most famous actors of our time – Tom Hanks. Nowadays when people think of Hanks they remember all the oscar-winning pictures he’s made such as Philadelphia, Castaway, The Green Mile, and Apollo 13 and the younger generation will more likely think of him as Woody from Toy Story. I will always remember him for those classic 80s comedies such as Big, The Money Pit, The ‘burbs, and Splash. He also made the movie you may not have heard about that is our feature – 1984s Bachelor Party. In the snowflake age of the 2020s, this kind of raucous ‘sex comedy’ would never and could never be made today!
It’s a funny kind of movie as it stars one of our generations finest actors and yes he started off and starred in many of the 1980s best comedies but this film is not the kind of film I would expect Hanks to star in at all especially when he starred in Splash in the same year. Let’s just take a look at the movie poster and this gives you an idea of what to expect!
So what’s it all about?
Directed by Neal Israel, written by Israel and Pat Proft, and starring obviously Tom Hanks, Adrian Zmed, William Tepper, and the late Tawny Kitaen. The film revolves around a bachelor party that a group of men throw for their friend Rick Gassko (Hanks) on the eve of his wedding and whether he can remain faithful to his fiancée Debbie (Kitaen).
Basically, Rick’s friends try to give him the best send-off before he gets hitched which involves lots of booze, drugs, hookers, and er… A donkey!
Meanwhile Rick’s fiancee Debbie is paranoid that he will be unfaithful to her, so she and her friends decide to sneak in and keep an eye on him. We also have the problem of Debbie’s ex who will stop at nothing to get her back and also Debbie’s Dad who doesn’t want her daughter to marry a total jerk like Rick!
The main character Rick (Tom Hank) is an immature asshole!
Rick is a bit of a slacker. He seems to be the real-life Otto from the Simpsons. He drives a school bus not only for work but for personal use and doesn’t have much ambition in life.
Everything he does or participates in is a joke and he never takes anything seriously. All he wants to do is have some ‘fun’. In one scene he’s playing tennis with his future in-laws and every time he hits the ball he whacks it too hard and pretends he’s playing baseball. More to the annoyance of everyone and especially the neighbours who have hundreds of tennis balls scattered around their garden. He is a total immature jerk.
Guys in the 80s just wanted to see some tits and have casual sex!
In the spirit of movies like Porky’s and Animal House, you can expect a lot of sexual shenanigans, especially in a movie titled Bachelor Party.
It still feels weird that a Tom Hanks film has so many tits bobbing about throughout. Rick’s friends think nothing of getting down and dirty with prostitutes even though they are married. Take for example his brother Stanley (William Tepper) who says marriage is only good for four months and then you get bored so it’s good to screw around and he does. Another friend Rudy (Barry Diamond) who goes to a party still wearing his mechanic work clothes) gets so excited by a belly dancer he smashes a liquor bottle over his head like the wolf from those old animated cartoons. Even though there are dozens of call girls dancing around him with their tits out.
What I wasn’t expecting was a scene where Rick and his friend Jay (Adrian Zmed) who’s a children’s photographer are getting their photos taken with a big-breasted mom who’s only brought her kid to get his photo taken. But it happens… Prepare yourself for the next image as you may never see Tom Hanks in the same light again!
The depressed dude
Brad, one of the friends is going through a relationship breakup and is seriously depressed. But in the 80s mental health is to be joked about as this means you’re ‘nuts’. Throughout the movie, he attempts suicide several times but fails. But this is all considered a big joke.
Tom’s future Father in Law is right!
Debbie’s dad Ed Thompson is totally right to not want his daughter to marry deadbeat Rick. He thinks he’s an immature and annoying douchebag. When he gets wind that Rick is having his party in the same hotel where he’s a keynote speaker, he storms in and witnesses the donkey incident which we will come on to later. To stop him blabbing to Debbies he’s trapped and tied up in the bedroom in bondage gear. But later on, Debbie unwittingly walks in and sees her dad gagged and tied to the bed in a leather leotard surrounded by hookers, so she now thinks he’s a goddamn pervert for the rest of her life.
The transvestite jokes
Another thing that you could get away with in the 80s is that LGBTQ people are to be laughed at.
In one scene Gary (Gary Grossman) has a sexual encounter with ‘She-Tim ‘and he thinks he’s in love until he witnesses her standing up to go to the toilet. I’m not sure how far he went with She-Tim if he didn’t realise they were a dude in the first place!
The racial stereotypes
You can take your pick from the Black pimp, dirty sex-crazed Japanese businessmen or the Indian pimp who is referred to as Gandhi.
Yes, in an article about Tom Hanks, the last word you would expect to hear is ‘bestiality’ but this movie goes full-on crazy and actually has this covered!
In one scene there is a dancing belly dancer who is going to take on a donkey until Debbie’s dad Ed interrupts the party.
They straight up kill a donkey
The donkey starts chomping on the narcotics that have been left lying around. In one shot he is actually snorting lines of coke (yes, really) and eventually overdoses and drops dead. The guys take this in their stride and just dump the poor animal’s body in the lift for the hotel’s concierge to find.
They’re okay with Debbie’s ex trying to kill them
We know Cole is big asshole but he starts firing a crossbow at the guys from his hotel window across from the other side of the hotel. What do Rick and his friends do? They use Tracey as bait to distract him while they ambush him and tie him up in bedsheets then hang him from the window. He then drops onto an unsuspecting courting couple who literally end up kissing his ass cheeks when he crashes through the sunroof of their car!
They totally trash the hotel suite and just fuck off
Eventually, the hotel Manager has enough and calls the police. The party scarpers and leave a completely trashed hotel suite with no consequences for any of them. In the chaos, Cole kidnaps Debbie and takes her to a 36 screen movie theater. Who the fuck does that?
I’m not sure why Cole takes a kidnapped Debbie to the theatre but Rick and Cole end up scrapping in front of the screen where the audience thinks it’s an amazing 3D effect.
Brad once again feeling suicidal decides to drive Rick’s school bus direct into the theatre wall and smashes through the screen where the audience thinks this is the climax to the movie! <Shakes head> Ahhhh, the 80s!
We cut to Rick and Debbie finally getting married and once the wedding vows are over Rick chases Debbie with a food whisk in front of her family pretending it’s a sex game they play!
The sign on the back of the school bus
At the end of the movie, Rick and Debbie jump into Ricks’s school bus only to find a depressed maniacal Brad at the wheel. They drive off with a giant sheet tied to the back with “Just having sex” written on it. Yes, that was on a school bus!
Anyway, I’m not dissing this film at all. I really enjoyed this film. A movie that was made at a different time… and in my opinion a better time. All hail Tom Hanks and all hail the 80s (sex) comedy!