National Lampoon's Pledge This! (Naughty Version) Review
I had a dream about Paris Hilton recently. No...no...not really that kind of dream, not the kind where I would have to make my way furtively to the washing machine in the morning, more a dream in which, for no particular reason Paris Hilton featured. Anyway, so Paris, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and I left our usual homes for Ryde on the Isle of Wight, Hugh taking up a place in a convent supplying prime (and not so prime) cuts of meat to the nuns living there while Paris and I moved in next door. What with Paris being a socialite and me having as much social life in Ryde as I do normally, we didn't see one another very much but she did demand that I adjust her breasts before going out each night. Like I said, not really that kind of dream. But I was happy.
Paris Hilton stars in Pledge This! as campus queen Victoria English. National Lampoon bear some responsibility for this although it's hard to make the connection between the National Lampoon that produced this to the one behind Animal House or Christmas Vacation. I can only assume that their office was flooded with Woodstock-grade LSD to the day this arrived and in between waving their hands in front of their faces, they agreed to put their name on the cover. To say this is bad is like saying a plate of faeces is unappetising or that juggling with chainsaws might leave a scratch or two. It's not even fair to vehicular carnage to describe it as a car crash as you'd need every car in the Midlands to be piled up on the M6 in a mess of blood and metal to even get close to how awful this film is.
Paris isn't as good here as she was in One Night In Paris, somehow not finding any inspiration in the story of being a sorority queen having to find a way to get her house onto the cover of FHM in their Hottest Sorority In The Country contest. Inclusivity is in, apparantly, which means that she has to find some geeks to live amongst her house of beauties but she's not going to make it easy for them, sending them out in a series of pledges to collect used condoms, clean the feet of the computer nerds, stand at a busy junction wearing nappies and eat yesterday's sushi. They comes through each task but have enough when Paris marks up their bodies for plastic surgery. But Paris still needs those girls to win the FHM contest and will stop at nothing to do so.
Like every really shit film, you could have built your every own Paris Hilton out of spare body parts, a blonde wig and the plastic vaginas advertised in the back pages of Razzle in the time this film has taken to come out. Made in 2004, the producers of Pledge This! held it back to make it an R-rated movie, which meant them going back to shoot some softcore scenes in which girls spill out of their clothes, never nude but always topless, surgical scars an' all. In spite of her very own celebrity sex tape, Paris Hilton described herself as disgusted at this turn of events and snubbed the premiere. The last time she did that it was on the night when footage of her giving a blowjob to Rick Salomon first sneaked onto the Internet.
Speaking of which, Paris doesn't act so well as she allows some of Rick's special sauce to dribble down onto her chest and were it not for Paula Garcés and Simon Rex, this wouldn't have as many laughs as it does. Actually, make that just the one laugh but, even then, I'm hard pushed to remember exactly what it was. It wasn't the scene in which a dog licked cream off Simon Rex's cock, nor that in which the same dog humped Garcés' arm and certainly not when Amanda Aday was sent crashing through a ceiling on a fountain of shit. And they're three of the more restrained moments in Pledge This!, which jumps about like a man with testicles the size of oranges struggling with a lobster in his underpants, only not as funny. Actually, it's a wonder that gag wasn't in the film. Perhaps there wasn't enough room in between the racial stereotyping, jokes about gay men and having young children say, "rim job".
I've done some stupid things in my life but I've never gotten a tattoo, largely because I dread sitting in a retirement home with a tattoo of what was once stallion now looking more like a donkey what with the collapsing of my skin into something resembling a well-worn leather jockstrap. It's that thought of doing something now and regretting it much later. With half the cast getting a part based on their taking their clothes off and the other on an apparent willingness to just be in a movie no matter what, they'll all regret being in Pledge This!. And Paris Hilton will too, more so this than the home movie footage of her with a dick in her mouth.
And whaddaya know...the DVD is plain rotten as well. It's not so much a blending of various techniques as a mish-mash of tricks the director has used elsewhere but which are employed without rhyme or reason. Slow-motion, special effects and close-ups would be fine anywhere else but pop up in Pledge This! at random. At one point, the film just stutters for no good reason, looking as though the DVD either caught a glitch or that in a Rock It!-inspired moment, the director scratched between frames like Herbie Hancock's robots. With the exception of the orange of Paris Hilton's skin, the colour is washed out from the film and there's more detail in a Dear Deirdre photo story than there is here. The surround soundtrack is fine in that it's easy to hear the dialogue, sound effects and gurgling of shit in the drains. But, being honest, you will no more want to watch nor listen to Pledge This! than to drill holes through your feet.
The Making Of (8m33s) on this disc opens with somebody called William Heins, who is apparently the director of this film. In a world where even the homeless bums strung out on meth would deny any involvement in Pledge This!, it's hard to believe that anyone would actually take credit for this. Then again, it's hard to see anyone actually guiding this mess to the screen. Twelve pints of Stella and half a bottle of rum in me and I would could direct a Land Rover over a tightrope better than Heins does this film. By appearing in this feature, he clearly has less shame even than a man in a picture I once downloaded of the Internet who was gobbling up a giant poo so fresh it was still half in the woman producing it. Finally, there are a couple of Trailers, one for National Lampoon's TV The Movie (37s) and Spring Break (55s).