Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Weekend Pass

Weekend Pass - poster final fix 2

Cinema Monolith: 2/10 This film is part of the Cinema Monolith collection!
IMDb: 3.6/10
Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide: BOMB

Released on February 3, 1984
Rated R
88 minutes

Directed by Lawrence Bassoff

Written by Lawrence Bassoff

Cast: Patrick Houser, D. W. Brown, Chip McAllister, Peter Ellenstein, Pamela G. Kay, Daureen Collodel, Graem McGavin, Annette Sinclair, Hilary Shepard, Phil Hartman, Grand L. Bush, Cheryl Song, Theodore Wilson, Valerie McIntosh, Ashley St. Jon

Well, they got the ‘pass’ part right, which is what a person should do if they were looking for something along the lines of a Risky Business or a Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Sadly, what we have here is a no-brain, goofball, and at times oddly endearing mess of a film from the fine folks at Crown International Pictures, who normally provide some sort of entertainment value when they release these low-end comedies. This time, however, they really missed the mark, and what we were left with was a misguided attempt by the filmmakers to fashion some sort of teen sex comedy out of a 72-hour weekend pass, without the benefit of teenagers, sex, or comedic intervention.

Actually, a lot could’ve been done with the ‘sailors travel to big city for shore leave’ storyline, but writer and director Lawrence Bassoff somehow found a way to escape that obvious trap.  He chose to direct his script simply and without pizzazz, and his scenes suffered from a lack of energy, too many awkward moments, and some fairly tedious plot developments, punctuated by one of the most embarrassing dance sequences this side of Mac and Me. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to see the characters had learned a few lessons along the way, especially after each sailor had to deal with troublesome personal situations that were putting a damper on their weekend.

For you uninitiated, four happy-go-lucky sailors—Webster, Fricker, Bunker, and Lester—graduate from basic training in San Diego, pile into a rented Jeep, and amidst a montage of famous landmarks head north to Los Angeles for a weekend of debauchery, rude behavior, destruction of property, and an endless parade of sexual hijinks…or so you’d think. Interestingly enough, instead of acting like boorish jerks, out causing trouble and leaving a swath of destruction in their wake, these gentlemanly nerds took part in probably the tamest liberty in US Naval history, either stateside or overseas.

Seriously, these guys were utterly harmless, and wanted nothing more from their three days of freedom than to stroll Venice Beach, exercise at a fitness center, check out a stand-up comedy show, and cruise the streets of a neon-lit LA. Granted, their intentions were strictly hormonal—each wanted to hook up with a girl before Monday—and they did begin their weekend at a strip club, but these actions were carried out, for the most part, honorably. Even the hiring of an Asian masseuse, to handle the below-the-belt needs of the foursome’s resident geek, resulted in nothing more than a comedic back rub! C’mon, I’ve seen more raucous behavior in a mausoleum!

As you’ve probably guessed, everything wrapped up on a positive note, with the guys going their separate ways to begin their military careers, and promising their sweet new girlfriends that they’d never forget them, and would be back to see them soon (and collect a receipt for that rental Jeep the girls presumably returned). And though it was fun to see the sights of a bygone LA, and I appreciated that these four couples weren’t mean-spirited clods, that didn’t change the fact that the film was an unfortunate misfire, and if you want my opinion, the 1984 of Weekend Pass will make some viewers yearn for the Orwellian vision instead.  (2/10)

  Weekend Pass - photo 1 crop


14 comments on “Weekend Pass

  1. Stu

    A fun read as always but I think I will give this one a miss, despite the … er … stellar cast list. I’m pleased to see it actually appears in the Monolith though!

    Maybe you should start thinking about hanging around at a different mausoleum, Todd, but I guess that’s none of my business really.


    • Todd Benefiel

      Stellar cast list, indeed…I’m surprised you’re not jumping all over this film, you being such a fan of D.W. Brown and all! And yeah, I do have some crazy films that reside in the Monolith; I think it’s cool that you notice my little “I own this DVD’ icon, but I wonder sometimes what you must think when you see, time after time, that the icon seems to only appear on reviews of crappy films!

      A different mausoleum? You mean, there’s more than one? Good lord, I lead a sheltered life.


  2. Pingback: 1984-a-thon Day 3 | Forgotten Films

  3. Pingback: 1984-a-thon Day 3 | Retro Bunny

  4. thesquonk

    This is an elusive film. It was on Hulu for a time but I did not get a chance to watch it before it vanished. I know it’s on some of those cheap DVD sets of 80’s flicks. Not that I have high hopes for it (especially after your review), but since I’m all about “forgotten” films I’m sure I’ll check it out sometime.

    Thanks for being part of the blogathon!


    • Todd Benefiel

      Thanks, Todd, for including me in the fun! Yes, I think you need to check out this one out eventually, because it most certainly is forgotten, and forgettable (but, in a masochistic kind of way, watchable). I discovered it after I’d purchased a Mill Creek 12-pack of widescreen teen comedies called ‘Too Cool for School’, all for the affordable low price of $5. Keep your eyes peeled…I’ve seen that set for sale on Amazon, at Walmart, at bookstores, and even in supermarkets!


  5. Lindsey

    With your mention of a dance sequence and the fact that this film is about sailors on leave, I’m heartbroken to discover that it isn’t an ’80s remake of On the Town.


    • Todd Benefiel

      It’s too bad it wasn’t…it wouldn’t been a WAY better film. Or maybe it was a remake, and they just screwed it up really, really bad! Of course, when anyone mentions ‘dance sequence’, the first movie I think of is The Creeping Terror…which I see you haven’t reviewed yet. Hmmmm…


      • Lindsey

        Is it time for another two-person blogathon?


      • Todd Benefiel

        I want so badly to say YES, but unfortunately, I’ve already reviewed The Creeping Terror! Drat! But I do believe we have The Screaming Skull on our horizon, don’t we? And don’t worry, if you watch and review The Creeping Terror on your own, I promise I’ll make PLENTY of comments!


      • Lindsey

        Bummer! Is The Creeping Terror in the public domain? If so, I might give it a watch this weekend. We do have The Screaming Skull to watch, I’ve still got it saved on my laptop!


      • Todd Benefiel

        The Creeping Terror is available on YouTube, in both the regular and MST3K versions…but I don’t know if it’s actually public domain. I would assume yes, but I don’t know for sure. And I see that The Screaming Skull is available on-line for me to watch, so I’ll do that soon, and let you know when I have. Do you want to set a date for Skull, or should we just wait ’til we’ve both watched and reviewed it, and set up a post time then?

        And having done all these blogathons recently, I began to think: do we need to create our own little two-person cheeseheimer blogathon banner?


      • Lindsey

        We should create a banner! And I vote for picking a date once we’ve both watched it. I started a new semester yesterday so I’m not sure exactly when I’ll get to it.


      • Todd Benefiel

        Good idea on both counts! We’ll keep each other posted on the ‘SS’ post date…and we should start brainstorming on what our banner should look like!


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