is the Maxim brand these days? I
know there was a time a couple of years ago when it was neat to check out the young
actresses and pop tart music starlets of today in seriously over-Photoshopped cheesecake layouts. But now that they’ve
run through every conceivable Jessica and her contemporaries 2-3 times over,
what’s the point? Hell, even if they hadn’t, they’re facing the same peril that
any primarily visual-oriented mainstream mag faces these days – The Internet. It’s
bad enough that regular monthly mags get scooped by their online counterparts in
terms of content, but the Maxim and Playboy-type mags
regularly have any notable layouts uploaded, linked, and plastered all over
gossip sites and message boards well in advance of the actual issue coming out.
Couple that with a newsstand in decline, and the future looks kinda grim.

Hence, Maxim
intends to exploit their brand for everything it’s worth while the lights are
still on. And thanks to that, we have…Maxim-branded movies. They’ve signed up with Sony/Screen Gems for a
three-picture deal for a series of low-budget, youth-oriented sex comedies –
the first being Maxim’s Virginity Rocks. If you’re scratching your head trying
to figure out in what way is this different from where the National Lampoon brand
went, well, welcome to the party. I understand that the National Lampoon movies –
however rancid – are profitable enough to sustain a life of pay cable rotation,
and occasionally they get lucky enough to land a theatrical release or two like
the Van
franchise. But I just don’t see the demand being so great as to
sustain another player in this lane.

Sure, it’s
not like young men are gonna get less horny. But the college sex comedy genre
already had a brief resurgence a few years back, and I don’t think that wave’s
gonna crest again any time soon. I would envision them to be direct-to-DVD
efforts, save for the sheer amount of Blockbuster-caliber junk like Skinwalkers
or Who’s
Your Caddy?
that manages to wash up in theaters during a weak theatrical
month or weekend these days. But why not skip the drama and send ‘em straight
to a willing cable partner like Spike TV or something? They gotta run out of old
series and episodes of The Ultimate Fighter at some point,