The teenage sex comedy and all of the pubescent hijinks within ran rampant across the 1980s, but few in the genre reached the feel-bad heights of Boaz Davidson’s The Last American Virgin. This 1982 comedy about a trio of boys trying to get laid presents a raunchy, formulaic narrative on the surface, yet just underneath is pared-down frankness and reality tinged with the harsh realities of life. MVD Entertainment Group and their MVD Rewind Collection present the film here with a good HD transfer, a nice collection of previously produced supplements, plus a fold-out poster! This release comes Recommended!
The genesis of The Last American Virgin came from filmmaker Boaz Davidson’s 1978 work, Lemon Popsicle, a film that similarly follows a trio of boys trying to get laid, although it was set in the 1950s-era Israel rather than 1980s-era Los Angeles in the remake. Similarly to the remake, the original film had a very honest depiction of young men learning about the pitfalls of life within puberty. The normal sex hijinks, like the trio hiring a local prostitute to treat them all to a good night, may look and feel familiar, but Davidson has the wherewithal to find the comfortable middle ground between sexy, salacious parody and sad, realistic drama.
Okay, so you’re probably thinking, why would I need to watch yet another movie about sinewy teenage men who really want to get laid? Because Davidson smartly puts emotional honesty at the forefront, literally in the lead of the film, Gary (Lawrence Monoson). Gary isn’t so much looking for a good time, standing in contrast to his chubby, sex-crazed friend David (Joe Rubbo) and the hunk of the group, Rick (Steve Antin). The trio continually try to get laid in increasingly funny ways, with the first instance following them try to pick up girls with the promise of cocaine (they actually use Sweet’n Low). Naturally, it results in a parodic disaster, but it’s one that’s laced with acid, like the hunk not being able to achieve an erection and the main character being forced to woo the ugly duckling of the girl’s group. Hell, the subdued dark humor of it all just gets funnier when you realize that actor Steve Antin would soon become an accomplished gay actor in his own right and the future director behind the 2010 film Burlesque.
To add even more weight to the proceedings, The Last American Virgin has a soundtrack packed with 80s hits from U2, The Police, Devo, Oingo Boingo and The Cars. U2’s “I Will Follow” plays over an abortion sequence and makes it hit even harder because Bono originally wrote the song in tribute to his mother, who died when he was 14. Moments like these are littered throughout the film and prevent the audience from getting too carried away by all the naked flesh.
The Last American Virgin actually plays in stark contrast to another teen sex comedy that was released just a year after in 1983, Curtis Hanson’s Losin’ It. Where Hanson’s Losin’ It actually has some very similar sex hijinks that are also meant to gross you out, the story doesn’t have the flexibility of Davidson’s film and comes off as a rote comedy that’s barely able to function. This is all to say that you should watch The Last American Virgin, as it’s like a rare gem among a bunch of phonies.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-rays
You must be 18 to rent The Last American Virgin, presented here on Blu-ray with a single-disc (BD50) release that comes housed in a clear Viva case with a limited-edition slipcover over it. A fold-out poster is also included inside the case, which is a nice touch. The Blu-ray boots up to a standard menu screen with options to play the film, select chapters, set up audio and video and explore special features.
The Last American Virgin has received a couple Blu-ray releases in the past, with Arrow tackling it in 2013 in the UK and Olive doing the same in 2015 and in the US. From what I can tell, this is the same transfer used on both of those releases, though a fresh, new MPEG-4 AVC encode seems to give this release a minor bump over Arrow and Olive’s. Reviewing some screenshots reveal shadow limitations in darker scenes in previous releases, and here they’re a touch more defined and look altogether pleasing in motion. Grain can look clumpy in darker scenes and some nicks, scratches and bumps do show up in this transfer, but overall this is a pleasing presentation.
With such a stacked soundtrack, it’s a pleasure to report that the attached 2.0 DTS-HD MA track does sound very good. There are still some balance issues between dialogue and music, but from what I’ve read that may be something baked into the source. Dialogue is clear and crisp. Some tininess does show up in the higher range, though not too much to distract from the presentation.
MVD Entertainment Group and their MVD Rewind Collection carry over previously produced supplements from the Arrow release in 2013. The 2015 US Blu-ray release from Olive didn’t offer any supplements, so it’s very nice to see that error corrected here. The interview with Boaz Davidson is revealing, as the man is very clear-eyed about his intentions to demystify the developing sexual lives of teenagers.
MVD adds a photo gallery and TV spot, which the Arrow UK release did not have.
For a real-good, feel-bad time in the sex comedy world, look no further than The Last American Virgin. Now available on Blu-ray from MVD Entertainment Group and their MVD Rewind Collection, this release comes with a pleasing 1080p presentation and some supplements to enjoy. Recommended!