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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

The Last American Virgin


Starring: Lawrence Monoson, Joe Rubbo, Diane Franklin and Louisa Moritz
Distributor: Arrow Films
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 23 September 2013

In fifties Los Angeles, Gary, Rick and David are three teenagers who spend their time moving from party to party in their quest for sex. Along the way they stumble across both nymphomaniac housewives and true love...

The Last American Virgin (1982 - 1 hr, 33 min, 06 sec) is a teenage coming of age comedy written and directed by Boaz Davidson, being an almost complete remake of his Israeli film Eskimo Limon (1978).

Boaz’s original version of the film met with a great deal of success, so it was only a matter of time before he remade the film for an American audience, who are not particularly enamoured with subtitles, leading a lot of modern Japanese films being remade, usually to their detriment. Boaz, with his original success, had a good chance of doing the same with his own remake. However, the film suffers, for a modern audience, comparatively with some of the really great teenage movies of the eighties, especially the films of the late John Hughes, The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).

The film presents an odd combination of comedy and drama, the comedy mostly comes from the boys attempts to get laid, whether it’s with housewives, hookers or the girls in their school. This is married to a story of a love triangle involving Rick, Gary and Karen, a new girl at his school who Rick sleeps with. When she gets pregnant we then move into uncomfortable territory with Gary helping her pay for an abortion, only for her to go and break his heart. There is nothing wrong with either of these two concepts as the basis for a film, but mashed together they make uneasy bedfellows.

Coming out in the same year, if you wanted a raucous teenage sex comedy, Porky’s (1982) was both more salacious and funnier, it also found itself competing with Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), there is little wonder that the film disappeared into relative obscurity.

The young cast do what they can with the script, but for the most part, as we follow the boys from one party to another; this is more a collection of scenes, than one overarching narrative.

Some films really look good in the higher Blu-ray format and some only look as good as they can. Here there is evident grain which would have been on the original film stock, but I’m thinking that the pin-prick sized white pixels have nothing to do with the original. It’s difficult to say that this comes from a print which has not been restored or a less than perfect encoding. It’s not like the usual print damage which is noticeable, sometimes spoiling your enjoyment of the film, but once you do notice the little white flecks they can become distracting.

For a film of this type, Arrow has provided a pretty decent set of extras. The First American Remake (36 min, 06 sec - 1.78:1; 1080p/24) is a documentary wherein Boaz discusses his life and the importance of the film. The documentary is more interesting than most docs of this type. Boaz talks about both his work and the original movie, which met with both a good critical response and economic success.

Memories of a Pizza Boy (26 min, 07 sec - 1.78:1; 1080p/24) is an interview with Lawrence Monoson (Gary), who discusses how he got the part and how he feels about the film now. Babe of the Eighties (20 min, 59 sec - 1.78:1; 1080p/24) and this time Diane Franklin (Karen) steps up to the mic to talk about the film and promote her new autobiography.

In Praise of Smaller Movies (21 min, 10 sec - 1.78:1; 1080p/24) has an interview with the film cinematographer, Adam Greenberg. The last extra is the original theatrical trailer (1 min, 15 sec - 1.78:1; 1080p/24).

The film is a child of its time, from the hair, clothes and soundtrack taken from contemporary bands. It’s not a bad film and only suffers in comparison, it’s certainly worth picking up if you like eighties films.


Charles Packer

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