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The Dumb Formula

January 20, 1985|PETER H. BROWN

How do you make a dumb movie?

The formula can vary--but not much.

Sean Cunningham, director of the archetypal "Spring Break," described his plan thus: "Kids get drunk. Kids get laid. Kids go home."

A critic for the London Times reduced the formula succinctly:

"Rule 1: Kids must get even or actually destroy an authority figure.

"Rule 2: There must be one outstandingly dirty comic scene on a par with 'Porky's' peephole vignette.

"Rule 3: No shades on the shower, please ."

But, after viewing 30 such absurdities, it became obvious to the reporter that there was a far more detailed formula that, with minor variations, goes something like this:

Take a fairly mangy circle of nerds, losers and misfits.

Pit them against a dastardly villain.

Send the losers pell-mell on a crusade to get laid.

Throw in a healthy dose of jiggling, giggling heroines.

Leer at this harvest of T&A through a peep hole, video camera system or open shower door.

Toss in at least a hint of fellatio and a pinch of transsexualism.

Try for a food fight as simple as the John Belushi mashed-potato spew in "Animal House" or as elaborate as the punch-bowl, sheet-cake apocalypse of "Valley Girl."

Add a cacophony of body sounds in Dolby stereo.

Patch all this together with a jarring rock 'n' roll sound track and launch it on the marketplace.

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