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Meatballs III

1987, Starring Sally Kellerman, Patrick Dempsey, Al Waxman, Isabelle Mejias, Shannon Tweed. Directed by George Mendeluk.

If any movie deserves to be labeled Canuxploitation, then it's this 90-minute adolescent beer commercial fantasy. This movie which bears little relation to the first (or second) Meatballs film doesn't even feature a summer camp. But it does feature a maple-syrup bucket full of Canadian talent. I'm talking Shannon Tweed, Al Waxman, and Ronnie Hawkins! Even Loverboy does the soundtrack!

Our story centres around nerdy 14-year-old Rudy, who can't wait to lose his virginity. On the first day of summer vacation, he sits around a restaurant, reading a book called " How to Pick Up Tons of Horny Girls." After striking out, he goes for his summer job at Tripper's marina. Of course Tripper isn't there, but via a voice-over and a letter informs our young hero that he has sold the marina to Mean Gene in order to follow his dream of managing a female wrestling team. Mean Gene is played by Canada's own version of Tex Cobb, George Buza. You may remember George from his most visible role, in the TV series Maniac Mansion, playing the giant little boy. Gene is married to Shannon Tweed, who stars as "The Love Goddess." Anytime anyone even looks at her, Mean Gene goes crazy and throws the guy through the wall. Comedic possibilities abound! Rudy begins his job gassing boats when he sees his friend Wendy. Wendy is in love with Rudy, but Rudy thinks she isn't attractive enough. Of course, under her tomboy clothes the audience can tell she actually is good looking. Finally, she convinces Rudy to come over to her house, and while there, they watch a porno called E.A.T. M.E.: The Sextra-terestrial starring Roxanne Du Jour (Sally "Hot Lips" Kellerman). Wendy tries to get a little action of her own, but Rudy is saved when her parents come home. She quickly turns off the movie, just in time for a newscast saying Roxanne Du Jour has died.

Apparently, Heaven is a big movie studio, and Al Waxman is St Peter. Makes sense to me. Al informs the naked Roxanne that she can't get in unless she does a good deed-- like helping Rudy lose his virginity. She agrees, and helps Rudy get his act together by giving him a new "rad" wardrobe circa 1983 (white pants, no socks, and sweater knotted around the neck), and even buys him condoms.

Meanwhile, some of the secondary jock characters set up a scam where they take bets on many seconds it takes for Mean Gene to throw a guy who goes after his wife through the wall. Rudy goes to Mean Gene's bar (where Ronnie Hawkins is playing every night) and tries to pick up girls on Roxanne's politically incorrect "no means yes" advice. That night he ends up walking outside with a tough girl from the local gang "The River Rats." Roxanne keeps freezing time to give him more instruction, but Rudy eventually blows it. He continues to blow it night after night with a virgin, the slutty bar waitress and the winner of the bar's wet t-shirt contest. At this point he is convinced that Roxanne is hurting his chances more than helping, so he tells her to get lost so he can go for the ultimate score. It seems that Mean Gene is leaving for a few days, and he wants to get back his reputation by losing his virginity to the Love Goddess.

The jocks have also learned that Gene is leaving and set up another contest, getting a "stud named Adonis" to go after the Love Goddess. Since everyone else thinks Gene is still in the house and will throw him out, they plan on swindling everyone out of their money. However, it turns out that Adonis is actually a bull, so one of the jocks goes up instead and is surprised to find Rudy already there. He is even more surprised when Rudy (with Roxanne's help) knocks him through the wall. Shannon is so grateful that Rudy is not part of the contest, she opens up to him explaining that she is not Gene's wife, but his sister. She stays in her room all the time not because she is guarded by Gene, but because she is studying for her PHD. While wearing black lingerie? Right, Shannon... Anyways, she helps Rudy get back his "rep" by pretending they have sex throwing clothing out the window and making lots of noise.

Wendy has also heard about the contest, and finds Gene to tell him. He speeds back to the bar, and starts to attack Rudy. Once again, Roxanne helps him get out unscathed, and Gene eventually apologizes. Finally, and predictably, Rudy and Wendy kiss, and Roxanne gets into Heaven. Yay.

Whoever thought up this "porn star's ghost helps naive young boy learn to love" plot should be dragged in the street and publicly flogged. For sheer ridiculousness, this film is up there among the best. Sally Kellerman should be particularly embarrassed for trying to play her porn star role as Marilyn Monroe. Do yourself a favour and pass this one up.

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