Hollywood Knights [1980]

Director: Floyd Mutrux
Stars: Tony Danza, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julius Averitt, Steve Ballard, Phil Berle
Genre: Comedy
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 91 minutes

You've got to give credit to the Hollywood Knights. They may be crass, juvenile, sex-mad pranksters, but they have an open-door policy: nerds and jocks alike are welcome, as long as they show proper disrespect for authority. The Hollywood Knights, a minor 1980 cult comedy poised somewhere between the innocent nostalgia of American Graffiti and the raunchy humor of Animal House, chronicles the antics of a practical-joking high school gang on Halloween night, 1965. In tribute to the last night of their favorite hangout, a Beverly Hills drive-in marked for destruction by the snooty Chamber of Commerce, the gang's court jester Newbomb Turk (Robert Wuhl in his film debut) leads the Knights in an all-out assault on the forces of law and order, conformity, and good taste. Nestled in the parade of toilet humor, fart jokes, mooning rebels, and topless co-eds, however, are the ruminations of the end of an era: the times they are a changin'. The doo-wop and surf soundtrack gives way to Motown, the Mamas and the Papas, and the Byrds as high school sweethearts Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer weather the transition from puppy love to adult romance and Vietnam looms on the horizon. It's a schizophrenic film, bopping from juvenile anarchy to thoughtful drama and back again with a sloppy but energetic drive and a rowdy rebelliousness that will never be accused of sensitivity, decency, or dignity. Fran Drescher, Gary Graham, and a hilarious Stuart Pankin also star. --Sean Axmaker

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