I consider myself to be pretty well versed when it comes to movies, so I’m always a little thrilled when I run into a film I’ve never heard of before. I guess that’s part of why I started a site called Forgotten Films. I mean, if I’ve never heard of it before, there’s a good chance it qualifies as “forgotten.” Sometimes that turns up some hidden gems and sometimes that turns up the likes of..well, this film – 1984’s The Party Animal.
The film is presented in a pseudo documentary style. Actually, the whole documentary thing is there at times and abandoned when it’s not convenient. The story concerns a 26-year-old college student named Pondo Sinatra (Matthew Causey). Yes, Pondo Sinatra. Normally I’d say that name was created by one of those silly “What’s Your Porn Name” apps, except they didn’t have those in 84. Pondo’s goal in life is very simple: he wants to actually make it with a girl. Pondo only has one friend at school, a guy named Studly (Timothy Carhat), who tries to help him with his quest.
So, the film is mostly Pondo’s various attempts to score with the ladies. At one point, he tries a Cyrano-style plot where Studly gives him romantic things to say over a pair of headphones. Other schemes include getting Pondo a new wardrobe, however he accidentally ends up in a punk shop. He also tries impressing the chicks by consuming ridiculously large quantities of drugs and goes for help at a local sex novelty store. For some reason unknown to me, the sex shop scene is filmed in black and white. Going artsy I guess. This also features a disgusting but somewhat funny moment where the employees discuss the nuclear arms race using various phalluses as visual aids. Eventually, Pondo tries chemistry and from the discarded chemicals he accidentally comes up with a formula that drives the ladies crazy. However, now over-sexed, he finds he wants to the girls to just leave him alone.
The Party Animal may be one of 1984’s worst movies. I must assume that it was written by a committee of 13-year-old boys who just sprouted their first few underarm hairs…because the script is as juvenile and imbecilic as is humanly possible. Of course, one of the major goals of the film is to show women minus their clothes. It does succeed in that department, resorting to such a high level of creativity that they simply pan the camera across a row of bare breasts in one sequence.
One of the strangest aspects of the film is that Pondo repeatedly screams about how he would sell his soul for some a**. So I figure they’re going to go the whole contract with the devil route. Then this hot chick starts showing up, watching everything from the sidelines with this look in her eyes. So ok, they’re going the sexy devil route. Uh…no! Pondo and this devil girl never cross paths, there’s no contract, she serves absolutely no purpose!
I suppose The Party Animal is a perfect example of why there is somewhat of a danger in reviewing “forgotten” films. Turns out some of them are forgotten for a darn good reason. Just be glad that I watch these films so you don’t have to.