February 20, 2023

THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN: Some Relics Should Stay Buried

1982 / 93 min
Review by Tiger the Terrible😾

A lot of people nostalgically look back at the ‘80s as a great decade for movies. And sure, the decade gave us some awesome films that transcended their genres to become true classics. 

But the ‘80s was also the biggest decade for teen sex comedies. Like slasher flicks, they were cheap to produce and had a ready-made audience of teenage boys lacking access to porn. Largely inspired by the success of Porky’s (which I suppose is the genre’s Citizen Kane), most of ‘em were leering, sophomoric exercises in misogyny, where the quest to get laid was the comedy.

The Last American Virgin was the worst of them. Not because it’s ineptly made or anything, but writer-director Boaz Davidson bombards us with stupid dialogue, shallow leads and gobs of voyeuristic female nudity before having the audacity to shoehorn clumsy attempts at serious themes. Watching the movie back then, its contempt for the intelligence of its intended audience was obvious and the main thing I felt was second-hand embarrassment for the female cast. 

"Mom? When's dinner?"
Inexplicably, The Last American Virgin has had its defenders over the years, but I wonder how many of them have watched it lately. I can’t imagine anyone still thinking shit like this is funny or thought provoking. The film has aged badly, not just aesthetically, but the lame effort to sugar-coat soft-core sleaze and a cavalier attitude toward women with manufactured poignancy. The movie may end on a somber note - one that some viewers might have connected with back then - but it remains an archaic slab of teensploitation. 

On the other hand, The Last American Virgin has a great soundtrack featuring some of the biggest artists from the decade (too bad that wasn’t resurrected instead). And despite my misgivings, it's considered a cult classic in some circles (maybe for a few of the reasons I hated it). Those folks will certainly enjoy the retro-packaging and bonus material, not to mention a mini poster. For others, the film is a strong argument that some relics from the ‘80s should remain buried.


INTERVIEWS - Various individual interviews with actor Lawrence Monoson, actor Diana Franklin, director Boaz Davidson and cinematographer Adam Greenberg.




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