Teen Movie Hell: A Crucible of Coming-of-Age Comedies from Animal House to Zapped!

August 23, 2019 - Comment

Born in the drive-in theater backseats of the 1970s, the demonic visions of Teen Movie Hell fueled the VCR, cable TV, and shopping mall multiplex booms of the 1980s before collapsing in the 1990s in a pixelated pile of cable dissipation and Internet indulgences. Between George Lucas’s American Graffiti in 1973 and Richard Linklater’s Dazed

Born in the drive-in theater backseats of the 1970s, the demonic visions of Teen Movie Hell fueled the VCR, cable TV, and shopping mall multiplex booms of the 1980s before collapsing in the 1990s in a pixelated pile of cable dissipation and Internet indulgences. Between George Lucas’s American Graffiti in 1973 and Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused twenty years later, lust-driven laugh riots on the order of Animal House, Porky’s, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Revenge of the Nerds boomed at the box office and conquered pop culture by celebrating adolescent misbehavior run amok.

Puberty-powered comedy classics including Meatballs, Caddyshack, Valley Girl, and The Last American Virgin fused hormonal overloads with anti-authority abandon and below-the-belt slapstick to create a genre that also unleashed the anarchic, sex-mad likes of The Swinging Cheerleaders, H.O.T.S., Hardbodies, Private School, Joysticks, Spring Break, and Zapped!–as well as the mainstream variations Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Pretty in Pink.

All-seeing author Mike “McBeardo” McPadden (Heavy Metal Movies) passes righteous judgment over the entire genre, one boobs-and-boner opus at a time. In more than 350 reviews and dozens of bonus features, Teen Movie Hell lays the crucible of coming-of-age comedies bare, from party-hearty farces such as The Pom-Pom Girls, Up the Creek, and Fraternity Vacation to the extreme insanity exploding all over King Frat, Screwballs, The Party Animal, and Surf II: The End of the Trilogy.

Tap the keg, tailor your toga, and belly flop hard into the exploitation inferno of bikinis beaches, locker rooms, summer camps, study halls, wayward teachers, cool camp counselors, wet-T-shirts, custom vans, sexy ESP, shower peepholes, and other overlooked penal code violations!

Comments

Anonymous says:

Intended for a very specific audience I picked this up because a friend of mine wanted to read it together, so I knew nothing about the author except that he evidently shares my love of teen movies. From the start, I felt like this book was not written with someone like me in mind. Some context: I’m a Xennial white woman, politically very liberal, who at once occasionally feels rebuffed at emergent standards of conduct and speech but also acknowledges that these new norms have resulted in a more respectful and inclusive world,…

Anonymous says:

Pulitzer worthy A book on the sub-genre of teen sex comedies is something I have been eagerly awaiting for over a decade. I can’t think of anyone better to have put it together than Mike McPadden. I thought I had seen a large amount of films that fall under this category but Mike has demonstrated that most of us have probably only scratched the surface. I have considerable detective work ahead trying to track down several films that I had never heard of until Mike provided reviews for them in this book. Props…

Anonymous says:

Fun and informative trip down Gen X cable-TV memory lane! Having grown up smack dab in the middle of the “Teen Sex Comedy” zenith point (helped along mostly by cable TV), I was intrigued and then quickly delighted with this new book from Mike McPadden. A worthy follow-up to his previous book, HEAVY METAL MOVIES, the real surprise of TEEN MOVIE HELL is not only the sheer volume of movies that were made – it’s also the amount of craft and creativity and care that was put into these seemingly forgettable sex romps. Who would have guessed how much…

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