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RUNNING TIME: 87 Minutes
• A general disregard for cinematic form or emotional well-being of audience
“Ever wonder what it’s like to be sodomized by giant dick-shaped knives?”
Corey “Mark Paul Gosselaar lookalike winner three years in a row” Sevier, Laura Bell “After you see me act you’ll wish for a visit from Ted” Bundy, Sis-“This is where I’ve been for the past seven fucking years?”-qo, and Harland Williams as “RIP” (aka what this film will do to the tissue of your colon)
Director Joel Silverman outs himself as a reader of the CHUD.com message boards.
Some barely sketched out caricatures go to Costa Rica for their senior trip which happens to also coincide with the world’s high school surf competition (it’s the world championships because a chart near the beach has words like “Germany” and “France” on it) where the jocks have reigned supreme in the past. So the ragtag group of no screen presence whatsoever band together and enlist the help of a burn-out surfing guru (Harland Williams, a discovery*) and some unfunny hippie commune manager characters in order to win the day. And swallow your fucking soul.
This movie is more dick than can humanly be articulated, but I’ll give it a try. Films more than often nowadays feature some level of incompetence, if not in its story and scripting, then in the acting or execution on the part of the director/editor. But there’s always those lucky few, those perfect shitstorms that strike fear into the heart of theatergoers, where there’s absolutely nothing working for the film, and it becomes a task akin to shaving foreskin to sit through the agonizing running time** of the picture. Surf School is this dickshave experience.
When Axe body spray goes terribly wrong.
I guess a large portion of the blame can go to the acting; as none of the ‘teens’ in the picture actually seem capable of professional acting (special shout out to Laura Bell Bundy and Corey Sevier here for igniting the screen with their non-passion and anti-chemistry). Harland Williams runs wild over this picture like a bull in a china shop. Or to use a more appropriate simile, like a shitty comedic talent in an abomination of a motion picture. His scenes seem to be comprised solely of ad-libs (mostly consisting of him saying ‘Mahi Mahi’ and making weird noises) that the director found to be brilliant, which is understandable: when the rest of the cast is making as much of an impression as a Terri Schiavo one-man show any signs of life are going to be utilized to give the impression of effort being put forth.
Despite being a pretty good friend, Francis Bacon Painting tended to put a damper on most get-togethers.
Normally I’d go easier on a movie for just being unfunny; hell, the majority of comedies being released by studios for a while had been nothing but a steady stream of dreck. However, it’s not just that the film has nothing going for it in the comedic arena; it’s that it’s completely incompetent in terms of its direction and editing. Your garden variety Shankmans and Levys might not bring anything in the way of visual ingenuity to the pictures they shoot but you can generally be confident that their work adheres to the rules of cinema that make for a coherent picture. There’s no such luck, here. The editing seems to suggest they felt the best way to break up sequences is to pepper in ad-libs by Harland Williams as opposed to actually creating pacing or some sense of drama for the concluding ‘surf-off’.
And beyond being unfunny and poorly crafted, it’s a giant piece of shit in terms of its writing. Just a few observations: the lead actress, who plays the atypical ‘Goth’ girl throughout the film, inexplicably removes her hair revealing it was a wig, showing that she was a blond girl who sings poorly. Somehow hanging out with caricatures let her feel free enough to stop pretending to be a Goth girl (and just so you all know, you can spot a Goth girl because she’s busy reading books) and let out her inner worthlessness. Also completely hatred-enabling is the arc of the nerdy virgin character who (Spoiler Alert!) wins the big surf-off for the group of cunts at the end of the picture. However, the way he does is by getting into the head of the rival jock who has teased him, telling him the greatest success in his life (a good grade in a high school class) is due to the nerd’s completion of the jock’s homework. However fucking retarded this plot point is in the first place, it’s completely incorrect: earlier in the film it’s made clear that the jocks won the surfing championship the year before, which to me would be a larger accomplishment than a good grade in a history class. These may seem like nitpicks, but if you’re ever forced to watch this cinematic holocaust at any point in your life, you’ll be constantly trying to find ways to keep yourself interested in the picture beyond having to actually invest brain power or emotion into the viewing of it. Fuck Guantanamo, just show our enemies this and they’ll tell you everything you’d want to know. And I haven’t even mentioned the bizarre baby boomer worship or the shitty Brian Wilson-knockoff soundtrack that sounds like it was b-sides from the Mr. Show ‘mouth full of sores’ sketch. Fuck you, Surf School.
Andy Warhol’s 24.
The only redeeming quality this festering pile of Sisqo*** has to offer is this: if anyone out there is an aspiring filmmaker, this is the most empowering fucking thing you could ever watch. There’s no way you’d leave this picture without feeling like you could make something much better than this. You’ll also leave the picture feeling like you’ve just gotten Shinkuu Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku’d in the cock. Recommended only if you’re attempting to achieve a still birth or you’re a Cory Sevier completist; in the case of the latter, thanks for reading Chud Mrs. Sevier.
The rest of the gang didn’t have the heart to tell Cory that this wasn’t a big budget remake of Surf Ninjas.
The cover is exactly what you’d expect from a shitty low-grade comedy such as this (one would expect a little more crass exploitation of the female form to grace the cover in an attempt to make some cash, however), although I much prefer my proposed alternate cover art. The picture quality isn’t so bad and the audio allows for you to commit ear-seppuku cleanly. Luckily, all there is in terms of extras is a series of trailers for comedies of a similar ilk (many of which are – GASP! – National Lampoon’s ______ titles) although I can now comfortably say I know what it was like to traverse the Trail of Tears.
0.0 out of 10
*In the way that finding out you have AIDS is a discovery.
**At the eight or nine minute mark I checked to see how much there was left to endure. Needless to say soon thereafter I resembled The Scream.
***Speaking of which, how awesome is it that he went from having the most popular song in the country years ago to not even getting billing on the DVD cover of Surf School in 2007?