Unwatchable #31: Snowboard AcademyPosted: July 3, 2009
Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.
When I wrote about Meatballs 4 a few months ago, I offered the following advice free of charge: “Note to aspiring filmmakers: if the success of your movie is dependent on the audience perceiving a character played by Corey Feldman as ‘the cool guy,’ you have already failed.” It should go without saying that the same rule of thumb applies to Corey Haim, but if the makers of Snowboard Academy know this, they learned it too late.
In many ways, Snowboard Academy is like a remake of Meatballs 4 on ice. (This is the sort of knowledge you can only get from someone watching the 100 worst movies of all time or from a member of the Two Coreys Fan Club, and I’m only confessing to one of those crimes.) Joe Flaherty is the beleaguered owner of a ski resort in financial crisis, Haim is his rebellious son stoked to bring snowboarding to the resort, Brigitte Nielsen is his estranged, scheming wife, and the late Jim Varney is the resort’s new entertainer/safety engineer Rudy James.
Lest you confuse the bumbling, pratfall-prone Rudy with Varney’s signature character Ernest P. Worrell, the actor has chosen to wear an earring and a selection of wigs from the Anton Chigurh collection. (At least, I hope they were wigs – it did dawn on me toward the end that this follicular folly might actually be Varney’s idea of a cool haircut.) Rest assured, however, there’s bumbling aplenty!
Anyway, Corey and his kewl pals convince Flaherty to allow snowboarding on the trails, a move that turns the resort’s financial fortunes around despite the protests of Flaherty’s other son, Paul. Having recently been appointed manager of the resort, the straight-laced Paul wants the snowboarders gone, so he challenges them to a competition – boarders vs. skiers, and if the skiers win, the boarders gotta go. Of course, this makes no sense. At least in Meatballs 4, the competition took place between rival camps; here it’s already been established that the snowboarders have saved the resort from financial ruination, yet Flaherty agrees to a pointless competition that could put him out of business. It’s sort of hard to root for him at this point, because really, doesn’t he deserve to fail? You might hope this plot development would at least result in some awesome snowboard shreddage, but the action is decidedly non-gnarly.
Director John Shepphird (Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde) and writers Rudy Rupak and James Salisko (She’s Too Tall) are apparently unfamiliar with the unwritten rules of comedy, so allow me to offer a little free advice. When you have a character make a bad joke, and then everyone else makes a face indicating that the joke was really bad, and this happens over and over again, scene after scene, this means you are actually writing nothing but bad jokes. Acknowledging this fact does not make the jokes funny, it just makes you look like talentless dipshits.