You gotta love the 80s. Numerous inventions in the decade contributed inestimably to our softcore genre—pastel clothing, spandex, the Lady Schick. Mostly important was the discovery that young men like to see young ladies naked. This particular one brought us an entire genre of movies, starting with Porky’s and continuing through to the American Pie series of today.
Here with Loose Screws we have a carbon copy of Porky’s. It’s a carbon copy of the previous movie, Screwballs, as well. The usual four guys—the hunk, the schemer, the nerd and the fatty—have done so badly in their “fourth senior year” of high school that they’ve been sent by the principal to Coxwell Academy, a summer prep school, as punishment. Only, it’s not so punishing once the busload of hot coeds shows up. What follows is entirely what you expect: the guys scheme to get in the pants and/or locker rooms of all the girls. The scheming guy infiltrates the girls dorm dressed as a girl until the matronly house marm Miss Von Blow ferrets him out and sends him packing. The nerd develops a chemical compound that dissolves bathing suits in water then sets up a video cam by the pool to record the results. The fatty attends an aerobics class and finds himself enmeshed in a world of spandex and pastels. And the hunk sets his sights on Mona Lott, the hot French teacher.
It’s silly fun. As for the nudity, it’s mostly just T&A, in fact, basically just T. But the girls are young and cute and even when they’ve got their clothes on they’re still sexy. There are some oddities in the plot that make me scratch my head—for one, the inciting incident of a bet to see who can rack up the most points in a game of seduction is completely forgotten about. And Mona Lott, who isn’t particularly great or even French looking, appears nude early on in the movie so what’s the big deal about trying to seduce her? We’ve already seen the goods. However, the goods are good, and as long as you’re not looking for anything deep (and why would you?), Loose Screws will entertain you in a nostalgic way.
The DVD contains interviews with the director and the producer. It also the international version of the movie, featuring 11 extra minutes. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’ve taken the unbelievable step of presenting it only in “VHS Vision” whereby the quality is reduced to miserable 1980s videotape level and the aspect ratio is dropped to 4:3. Whose brilliant idea was that?