Friday, November 25, 2016

Phil Gets Tromatized: SQUEEZE PLAY (1979) from Troma Entertainment - November 20, 2016

Starring Jim Harris, Jennifer Hetrick, Rick Gitlin, Helen Campitrlli, Diana Valentien, Al Corley, Rick Khan, Melissa Michaels, Sonya, Jennings, Kaye Bramblett, Michael P. Moran, Brenda Kaplan
Written by Charles Kaufman, Haim Pekelis
Cinematography by Lloyd Kaufman
Edited by George T. Norris
Produced by Michael Herz, Lloyd Kaufman
Directed by Lloyd Kaufman (as Samuel Weil)
Released by Troma Entertainment

Greetings from Tromaville! So who's ready to go back in time to the 1970's to visit a true Troma classic? Well, congratulations kids because our destination is the year 1979 and today's review I'll be talking about one of their all-time greats. Kicking off their hilariously raunchy comedy series, today's installment proved to be very popular among Troma fans. SQUEEZE PLAY was the film that gave the new company its first big boxoffice hit and continues to attract new fans!

The film's official synopsis: It's a wild battle of the sexes as the "World Series of Laughs" heats up on and off the softball field. In the small town of Springborn the local all-male baseball team, The Beavers, celebrates each victory by bedding their wives, sweethearts and casual dates. Tired of this chauvinistic treatment, rebellious Samantha (Jenni Hetrick) organizes an all-girl team, the Beaverettes. She forces a battle of the sexes on the baseball diamond, pitting her buxom teammates against the dirty-playing Beavers.

The film broke all the rules and is part of all those sexy comedies that would follow for years to come, such as MEATBALLS, PORKY'S and ANIMAL HOUSE. And like with a lot of their other titles, there's a lot of social commentary to be found around the nudity, racy jokes, wet T-shirt competition, softballs flying into a man's bum, topless women, vulgar language, sexual situations, cartoon sound effects and killer soundtrack. Yup, I totally miss the 70's!!

Original Theatrical Poster (1979)
There's so much comedy going in the movie you'd have to watch it three times to catch them all, but it still holds up after all these years. The sexual innuendos, slapstick, sight gags plus the plethora of cock shots you can shack a stick at!! The film contains classic lines like, "Honey, I love you. What about all the children and silverware we're gonna have, huh?" Plus, I could I forget the greatest comedic line in all of cinematic history, "I don't care how big it is, I won't put it in my mouth!" By the way, all of this is courtesy of screenwriters Charles Kaufman (Lloyd's brother) and Haim Pekelis. Man, they don't write movies like this anymore!

The cast is hysterical while showing off their ability of keeping a straight face. Lead actress Jennifer Hetrick is hilarious as female protagonist. This was her feature film debut and had a very long career in television, appearing as Veronica Barrett in the soap opera classic General Hopital, Vash on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Corrinne Hammond on L.A. Law. Her co-star Jim Harris, who portrayed her boyfriend Wes in the film, appeared in another Troma feature WAITRESS! and was in AMERICAN NINJA 4: THE ANNIHILATION. Rick Gitlin only acted in a couple more films like CHEERLEADERS BEACH PARTY, A MARRIAGE and HOTSHOT before leaving the business. Same with Helen Campitelli, who played Sam's best friend Jaimie. This was her only film she did and then disappeared until 2011 when sh started acting in a couple of short films before appearing in an episode of The Underground Kings in 2014.

Originally, Troma had difficulty in getting the film into theaters. Then one fateful night Kaufman received a phone call from a theater owner in Norfolk, Virginia asking if he could have the movie. His second feature backed out and he was desperate. Kaufman sent the film out there where it played as a double feature with THE IN-LAWS. He thought nothing of it. The following Monday the owner called back and told him that it was the funniest film he ever saw and the audience laughed their butts off. After that, the movie went out to several theaters and became Troma's first big hit. With the profits, Kaufman and Herz purchased the original Troma Building in Hell's Kitchen in New York, where they stayed until they moved into their new location in 2012.

SQUEEZE PLAY remains one of the most important films in the history of Troma and it's one of my all-time favorite raunchy comedies from the 70's!! It's interesting to see where the studio got their start and to see how much the company has grown since. Troma still remains as the only AND truly independent movie studio in America today! So go revisit this comedy classic today! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

SQUEEZE PLAY is currently available on DVD at your local retailer and on the Troma website. To purchase this film as well as books, posters and Blu-Rays and DVDs, visit The film is on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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