It’s Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast!, where our own movie nerds Ethan Brehm and Nate Evans take you on an unscripted journey yakking and chatting about some of their favorite movie moments and cinematic scenes, from past and present, presented without snark and snobbery for your listening pleasure.
On deck for this episode is perhaps the most disjointed, unconnected, and irrelevantly numbered movie “franchise” of all-time: Meatballs, the only summer camp sex comedy you can watch with the kids and not feel ashamed. Don’t worry; it’s totally safe for work!
Easily the most beloved of the set is the original 1979’s Ivan Reitman directed Meatballs. Starring Bill Murray (making his debut as a lead), it might be the most realistic depiction of what summer camp is actually like, right down to the short-shorts and singalongs. For a sex comedy it’s also surprisingly light on the sex, and our hosts explore why the best comedies know when to balance the silly and the stimulating.
It would go on to influence everything from Porky’s (1981) to American Pie (1999) – and even 1984’s Ghostbusters. Our hosts detail how, without Meatballs, we’d never have Egon, Ray, Peter, and Zeddemore.
From there are brief looks at 1984’s Meatballs: Part II (alien child and all), 1986’s Meatballs III: Summer Job (angelic porn star and all), and 1992’s surprisingly decent Meatballs 4 (Cory Feldman and all). Humans and chimps share more DNA than these films, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a trashy good time with them.
Also discussed is how the sex comedy genre, rather than disappear entirely, may have evolved into other genres like horror (Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp), late-night sexploitation (Moving Violations, Hamburger: The Motion Picture), wholesome family fun (The Sandlot, Heavyweights) to hipster hits like Wet Hot American Summer and Moonrise Kingdom. Just because summer has to end doesn’t mean a good summer camp sex comedy has to – even if they are light on the sex.