Back in the 60’s, Frankie and Annette would head down to the beach for some good clean all-American fun. Things changed in the 80’s. Oh, the beach was still there, but that “good clean” part…that floated out to sea on a piece of driftwood never to be seen again. The main concern now was getting pretty girls to go bikini-optional and there was no worse offender than 1984’s Hardbodies.
Our story, if you can call it that, concerns top man on the beach, Scotty Palmer (Grant Cramer). Scotty’s got everything a beach bum should have: a run-down pad right on the beach, hot girlfriend Kristi (Teal Roberts), a weird buddy called Rag (Courtney Gains)…what more could a guy want? Problem is he’s late on the rent and gets kicked out of his place. Lucky for him, though, he spots an opportunity. Three wealthy businessmen have rented the fanciest place on the beach intent on scoring with the chicks. There’s smooth talking Italian Hunter (Gary Wood), overweight Rounder (Michael Rapport) and big belt buckle wearing Texan Ashby (Sorrells Pickard).
These three guys are hopeless with the ladies, but in exchange for a bit of moolah and lodging, Scotty promises to turn these old dudes into chick-magnets. They start with a trip to the mall to update their fashion sense montage style. Scotty also works on their social skills in preparation for, what else, a big party at the house! From here on you can guess what most of the rest of the film consists of: lots of tasteless jokes, lots of girls sans bikini tops, repeat and rinse. Along the way Scotty starts to realize he’s falling in love with Kristi, but when she suspects he’s getting cozy with one her friends, Hunter swoops in to try his new skills on her. This leads to a final battle between teacher and student.
By my estimate, 97% of the actresses in this movie end up topless at some point…and that’s pretty much all the makers of this movie hoped to achieve. Hardbodies is one of the lowest of the low when it comes to mindless 80’s sex comedies. What’s worse, is that there is an extremely creepy vibe coming off the whole thing. The main premise of the film is not horny young college kids trying to hook up…it’s crusty old guys trying to score with hot young chicks. I’m sorry, but seeing someone like Kristi Somers (of Tomboy fame) jumping into the sack with a guy literally old enough to be her grandpa moves us well beyond goofy fun into the territory of being almost too creepy to take.
Lest you think that it’s just the old dudes that creep out the poor audience, the young actors don’t fare any better. Grant Cramer’s Scotty is as slimy and repellant as they come. What any self-respecting female could possibly see in him is beyond me. Creepiest of all is red-haired freckle-faced Courtney Gains (who also appeared in 84’s Children of the Corn) as Rag. Given his preoccupation with rude gestures and waggling his tongue, clips of his performance could be used to instruct teenage girls in what to avoid when seeking a date…as if the name “Rag” weren’t a big enough red flag. The one bright spot in the cast is Teal Roberts – definitely a cut above everything that surrounds her.
Viewers looking for a film featuring many very beautiful ladies not afraid to take off their clothes will not be disappointed by Hardbodies. For everyone else, the movie is soulless 80’s dreck of the worst kind.