STDVD: Bachelor Party Vegas

June 27, 2009

This is the first in an occasional series I’ll be bringing you. I have this stack of bizarre movies, DVDs given to me a few months back. You may have heard me go through some of these on Weather Station 3, but that was more of a review of their stupid covers and stuff. Now I’m really watching them.

Most of them are STDVDs. You know, bad movies that get passed from person to person, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes on purpose, with a deliberate hint of malice. It might also stand for straight-to-DVD, I guess.

There are a few definite signs of an STDVD. Remember these, as I will refer to them often:

  1. You’ve never heard of it. This becomes a bigger problem if it features well-known actors, but you still haven’t heard of it.
  2. It looks like a recent theatrical release, but something’s off. “Wasn’t it called Snakes on a Plane?”
  3. It stars siblings of famous actors. “Wow, this movie has Don Swayze in it!” Worse: He’s promoted on the cover by his last name only.
  4. It has a wrestler in it, not counting The Rock. He cracks me up.
  5. It has Jean-Claude Van Damme in it. I have about a half-dozen Jean-Claudes, and they’re at the bottom of the pile.

Our first STDVD is Bachelor Party Vegas. Now, I’ve had this since November, but I didn’t watch it until yesterday. And that was because I saw The Hangover, and I wanted to see a different approach to the concept. You know, for research. Bachelor Party Vegas, as it turns out, is nothing like The Hangover, although it does have a lot more boobs.

BPV, as I like to call it, stars Kal Penn, Donald Faison and three other guys you don’t know. One of them is the groom. Kal is the best pal, who organizes the Vegas bachelor party to end all Vegas bachelor parties. This leads to robberies, car chases, paintball, strippers, gambling, pornography, twins, MMA fighters, murder, gangsters and naked ladies, but all in a good way.

It was actually funnier than I expected. Penn plays a cocky, savvy character, far more with-it than his classic Kumar role. Faison, who is great on Scrubs, plays … basically the same character. The other three guys hold their own, too. But it’s the cameos that make this movie. Jaime Pressley plays herself, and does all right. Kathy Griffin rocks the casbah as the world’s only spaghetti-wrestling female Elvis impersonator. My favourite, though, was Lin Shaye, who you will recognize, as a stripper whose best years are long behind her. (Shaye played Woody’s horny, disgusting landlady in Kingpin).

There are many, many flaws. Some of the acting is … not really acting. The twist in the story is obvious right from the start. And while there are a few original concepts, they play out in pretty cliched ways. When it’s an STDVD called BPV, though, I know enough to expect that going in.

So I wasn’t disappointed. I usually am, as you will find out next time, when I talk about a Steven Seagal movie. BPV? I won’t remember it a few months down the road, but it was a fun 90 minutes. If you see BPV in a discount bin for a buck or two, and if you like lowbrow comedies, pick it up. I wouldn’t recommend paying any more than that.

Bachelor Party Vegas on IMDB.


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