Review: Hardbodies (1984) Blu Ray Release from Mill Creek (2016)


Hardbodies is the movie from my youth that was completely taboo. It was the type of movie that my dad you rent while I was still looking around the store for my selection. I remember this movie seeping in controversy for its boundary-pushing softcore-porn MPAA R-rating. It’s a Skinamax, I mean, Cinemax, late-night entertainment staple and I’m more than trilled to see if it is everything I expect it to be. Strap yourself in, down, or whatever yanks your crank because Hardbodies is spinning something hard and in your face!

I am going to dissect this movie and comment on it as I watch it. Spoilers are aplenty but, really, what is there to spoil? You have been cautioned.

Hardbodies Movie 1984

The movie really wastes no time in delivering exactly that the title suggests. That’s expected and all good but then the theme song begins to express some really on-the-nose play-by-play almost like an R. Kelly “Trapped In The Closet” delivery or akin to a Trey & Matt “Mutha’fuckin’ Montage” type awareness. So, therefore, this is kinda kickass… it’s a good start. The song is literally telling us what is happening, “they’re on the sand”, “they got the tan lines on the skin”, “watch them rub it in, rub it in”, “hardbodies”. It goes further but why ruin it all? As the opening credits end we have public nudity and I’m probably guessing it won’t be the last time.

Post credits goes right into our introduction to Scotty climaxing with his girlfriend. We learn quickly that he is also 3 months behind on rent and is up for eviction. It wastes to time in letting the viewer know there are a bunch of colorful individuals that visit the California beach. At least there is exposition as to the nature of the main players and their place within the territory they occupy as surf bums.

It then takes the time to introduce the dolts, foils, and wildcards, most are clueless while laying on the stereotypes nice and thick (rich men over 30 are total creeps and constantly complaining about being old). The three guys remind me of, respectively, Tony Horton, Mearl Haggard, and Albert Brooks. Well, they prove how creepy they are by laughing about BAGGING 15 year-olds?! Oh man, this movie is taking a turn for the worst, quick. Really? Ugh, gross.

Scotty, our surf bum, took advantage of the creepy rich guys by offering to wash their expensive cars while telling the “hardbodies” aka foxes at the beach he’s the rich boy. The rich guys catch Scotty in the act and offer him an offer to act as, essentially, a pimp for them. In return Scotty gets a run of the beach house, the cars, and a salary if he helps show the creepy rich dudes how to woo hardbodies. It continues to play out like a pilot episode of Entourage… with a lot more desperation… like the Entourage movie.

It’s an almost wall to wall soundtrack of nowhere close to being radio hits but it’s bouncy and keeps the movie moving forward in an Oingo Boingo sort of way. It also helps propel what is a gratuitous scene of a girl in a dressing room. Why is this relevant? Did someone in the editing booth have a timer as to when bare boobs are essential or was this feedback from a test screening audience? At least in Mallrats there was kind of a comical payoff but in Hardbodies this seems completely inane. Well, most of this movie is turning out to be inane.


Oh wait, not really, it’s still pretty shallow. More shallow, in fact, and more depraved. It goes beyond expressed intension to preying upon enthusiastic and naïve youth. Again, this movie is losing its initial charm. At least there’s a band and they’re somewhat refreshing to distract from the ugliness until you find out the all-female band name is “Diaper Rash”.


The only person to bring up how disgusting all of this is Scotty’s girlfriend, Kristie. Scotty doesn’t see the big deal because nobody is getting hurt. I feel like such an old fogey wondering where the safe-sex message is? I suppose 1984 was one of the last years before responsible sex awareness. If I were to find some positive aspects I would say that Scotty is confident, driven, a people person, and a natural leader; for a surfer dude he has his priorities in order. All the characters in the movie deserve each other, after awhile it just feels like it’s one big honkin’ foreplay/tease. To give it credit, there is a scene where they address what “no means no” is and how to identify and address it.


The scenery is beautiful. I’m not familiar enough with California so I don’t know where the actual location shoot was but it’s gorgeous and a perfect backdrop. Another good thing is the band, Diaper Rash, was changed to “Hardbodies” and they make more appearances (aka known in the real world as the 80’s female supergroup “Vixen”).


There are no original or memorable lines in the movie, the situations are play-by-play screenwriting 101 but it’s still kinda fun. It’s very much rated “R” and not something you’ll see on antenna television, not without a liberal use of pan & scan, censor-blur, and audio drop-outs. If you like boobs, buns, and beaches then this is the movie for you! It just doesn’t have enough appeal for multiple viewings. As a time capsule 80’s naughty-beach movie it’s marginally competent but completely forgettable. At least everyone gets what he or she deserves.