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With: Bryan Genesse, Lance Van Der Kolk, Alan Deveau, Jason Warren, Annie McAuley, Karen Wood, Liz Green, Mike MacDonald, Cynthia Belliveau, Deborah Lobban, Carolyn Tweedle, Stephanie Sulik, Terrea Smith, Wayne Fleming
Written by: Michael Cory
Directed by: Rafal Zielinski
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 77
Date: 03/18/2013

Loose Screws (1985)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Screw' Jiving

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Also known as Screwballs II, this teen movie is absolutely terrible in many ways, but it's also an interesting experiment. Let's face it: the only two reasons anyone would rent this is that a) you're a teenage boy, and, b) that you want to see some naked girls. And in that, Loose Screws is actually fairly ingenious.

Here's the story: four screw-ups -- each with "comical" names -- are sent to summer school at Coxwell (get it?) Academy. For some reason, they appear to be the only males in a school populated by single, sexy females. The boys -- who, of course, make up four different personality types (a fat kid, a nerd, a rebel, and a jock) -- start a contest to see who can get the most "action" over the course of the summer. The biggest points go to the guy who can bag the sexy French teacher, Mona Lott (the undeniably cute Cynthia Belliveau).

Despite their confidence, and their easy odds, these guys can't manage to get any action at all. (One brilliant plan involves dressing up as a girl and moving into the girls' dorm... good luck with that.) Fortunately, the movie is kind enough to display a treasure trove of naked female flesh (39 nekkid breasts, according to Joe Bob Briggs). And so, Loose Screws plays right into the hands of any shy, insecure boy who may be watching this at home: he can't get any either. At the same time, the movie also proves beyond a doubt that just looking is a poor substitute for actually connecting with another human being; it's almost a criticism of itself.

Another thing I liked about Loose Screws is that these guys, despite their cultural and physical differences, genuinely seem to like one another; it's believable that they would hang out together and respect one another, which is a rare combination in these kinds of movies. Unfortunately, whenever the fairer sex is not onscreen, the movie is generally devoted to the lowest, stupidest kind of humor, yielding not one genuine laugh. Most of this lands in the lap of actor Mike MacDonald as Principal Arsenault, who also wants to seduce Miss Lott, and is otherwise perpetually, sputteringly angry.

I'm not recommending this movie by any stretch, but neither am I suggesting that it shouldn't be easily dismissed as a piece of junk. It's a movie that understands teenage boys far better than most of today's output.

Severin Films released Loose Screws on DVD and Blu-Ray for 2010, with a plethora of extras. Director Rafal Zielinski provides a commentary track. There are interviews with producer Maurice Smith and production manager Ken Gord , plus an entire, alternate cut of the film, 11 minutes longer, shown in "authentic VHS-vision."

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