Before the sand gets encrusted in your respective vaginas (see the Wicker Man comments) because I’ve decided to review another meaningless straight-to-video offering — which provides absolutely nothing worthwhile to the discussion of film, the attainment of bliss, or even existential pointlessness — allow me to explain the reason behind critiquing National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 2. First of all, as what not the case when I decided to review other straight-to-video films (Road House 2, Bring it On: All or Nothing), I did have other choices this time. I watched Edmond, which was written by the normally brilliant David Mamet, and featured a cast of his regulars, in addition to Julia Stiles, Mena Suvari, George Wendt, and Bai Ling, who I’d never seen before outside the pages of Go Fug Yourself. But Edmond was also kind of pointless, though there was a certain amount of excessive dreariness to it that I found both off-putting and difficult to write about. There was also 10th and Wolf, featuring James Marsden and a greasy-haired Giovanni Ribisi, but I turned it off around the time that Tommy Lee made an appearance; I can only watch a wretched mob movie for so long before I’m begging someone to take a hit out on me.
So, I was left with Dorm Daze 2, which has been haunting me for a few weeks now. And I suppose that — given the heaviness that has pervaded the site the last few days — it seemed appropriate. But more than anything, I was just hoping that it might trigger fond memories of those formative movies from my adolescence, which usually featured some B-level starlet like Phoebe Cates and offered very brief glimpses of flesh that made the use of the pause button on a VCR with a wired remote so magical. Indeed, I wonder how many other 10-year-old boys in 1984 wore out their freeze-frame buttons watching Kelly LeBrock in The Woman in Red simply because it offered our very first hint of the female nether regions.
Unfortunately, Dorm Daze 2 is not so much a movie that necessitates the use of the pause button; in fact, it’s more of the fast-forward variety. Oh yeah, and I probably don’t have to tell you this, but it sucks. But hey! So far as I can tell, Pajiba will be only the second outlet (after Stanford’s college newspaper) to review it, which is a bit like bragging that we were the second participants in a game of two-chamber Russian Roulette. And honestly, I never knew there was an original National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze, and I’m still not entirely certain why there was a need for a second — and I’m not industrious enough to watch the original for research purposes; suffice to say, it was about a prostitute, some mistaken identity, and someone’s loss of virginity.
From what I understand, the first film had a bit of cult following, though I probably wouldn’t want to shake hands with anyone belonging to that cult. In fact, if you’ve been to any of the major gossip blogs recently (Defamer, specifically, [I think]) or even Rotten Tomatoes, you’ve no doubt noticed the banner advertisements for Dorm Daze 2 pervading the Internets. I suppose Lionsgate is under the strange belief that 18-to-34-year-old blog readers are chomping at the bit for this sequel and, given the dumbfounding success of Bring It On: All or Nothing, I suppose there must be an audience (and if you want to see the degeneration of our younger generation in action, look no further than the last 50 or so comments on that review, most of which arrived via a Google search for some guy named Gus Carr).
Anyway, Dorm Daze 2 picks up during sophomore year at Billingsley University (suggesting that the original took place during freshman year?). The second year for the “Dorm Daze Gang” takes place, for some reason, on a cruise ship, where they are engaging in their semester at sea (and yes, you can expect at least one “Love Boat” cameo). The Billingsley students are ostensibly gathered on the high seas to put on a series of plays for school credit. Among the featured cast members, Dorm Daze 2 includes: that Dude from American Pie (Chris Owen), who has just broken up with his girlfriend, only to discover that he’s still in love with her; Topanga (Danielle Fisher), from “Boy Meets World,” who is dealing with some latent lesbian issues; a virgin (Oren Skoog), who nearly resorts to “fucking a porthole”; Charles Shaughnessy (Fran Drescher’s husband on “Fran”) as a professor; and as the captain’s wife, Jasmin St. Claire — star of such classics as Fuckumentary 4 and Cocksmokers 2, so you know we’re talking about a quality flick here.
So, let me see if I can get the plot strands in order. The virgin joins a group on the ship called C.L.A.P. (College Ladies Against Penises), which consists of “born-again virgins,” in the hopes that he might pop his cherry with a relapsing member. He never succeeds, but he does discover that the captain’s wife is a former porn star (oh, it’s so so meta) when he puts in his copy of Slut of the Seven Seas (“Spank me, you dirty pirate. Sink your ship in my treasure chest”), and he attempts to use that as leverage to get laid. Elsewhere, Topanga is battling urges to sleep with Lynn (Jennifer Lyons), which is their running plotline throughout. Meanwhile, Professor Cavendish (Shaughnessy) steals the cursed Pharaoh’s Diamond, which is rumored to kill anyone who has it in his possession — and Cavendish does eventually fall overboard in a wheelchair (don’t ask).
Also, there are a series of plays, such as “Death by Blackout,” which are intermittently put on for a competition, judged by Ted Lange (the token “Love Boat” cameo) and Kato Kaelin. One play in particular is labeled as “po-mo” (and man, do I hate that abbreviation — just fucking say postmodern, already), which involves three women who, for reasons I can’t properly explain, unzip their tops, expose their breasts, and chant “Bounce. Bounce. Bounce,” while doing the same, eliciting the expected approval of Kato Kaelin. There’s also a monkey that some students consider killing and smoking, but decide instead to teach it to play X-Box. The monkey, however, escapes and eventually makes off with the Pharaoh’s diamond.
Anyway, sometime after the 27th time a female exposed her breast for no apparent reason, I lost track of the plot strands and took a few minutes to catch up on today’s hate mail. When I turned back, Dorm Daze 2 had suddenly evolved into some weird, R-rated knock-off of Clue, after some kid died during the performance of one of the plays (and don’t worry, the production continued — they just worked around the dead body). Then, for reasons that elude me, the captain also keeled over on stage, and the movie mercifully ended with (*spoiler alert*) men taking numbers and lining up to bang the porn star.
Based on my description, I have no doubt that some of our more prurient-minded readers are lining up at Blockbuster, hoping for some pornographic version of Dude, Where’s My Car? But it’s not worth it, and I’d feel guilty as hell if my plot sketch led you to believe otherwise. You could smoke all the pot in the world, then down half a gallon of malt liquor, and there’d still be nothing worth seeing here. Honestly, if I hadn’t gone to the effort to write the review, I probably wouldn’t even post it, for fear that someone might actually run out and rent it. Please don’t. It will chew and gnaw and melt away your intelligence, and if you’re going to lose brain cells, at least make it worth your while — get a running start and pound your skull against a brick wall, for instance. Or spend the next 14 straight hours listening to Hank Williams Jr.’s “Monday Night Football” opening theme on repeat. Or tilt your head and drip battery acid in your ear. I don’t care. Just whatever you do, don’t watch National Lampoon’s Dorm Daze 2.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives in a blue house with his wife in a hippie colony/college town in upstate New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.About as Much Fun as a Herpes-Infected Split Lip!
Film | August 7, 2006 | Comments ()