July 1st, 2014

THE FIRST TURN-ON! (1983) ***

On the last day of summer camp, a bunch of horny campers sneak off to a cave to smoke some grass. Their uptight teacher shows up to chastise them when all of a sudden, there’s a rockslide and they wind up trapped in the cave. As the group’s air and food supply dwindles, they try to keep each other’s spirits by recounting their first sexual experiences. As the stories go on, it becomes apparent to both the audience and the characters that they are all virgins; a matter they quickly remedy by staging an impromptu orgy.

The First Turn-On feels like a ‘70s skin flick version of Meatballs. The summer camp scenes are pretty funny, and the flashbacks feature a lot of skin. Since this is a Troma movie we’re talking about, most of the jokes are obvious and/or lame, but the crudeness and flat-out disregard for taste that’s inherent in the delivery of the punchlines makes it all sort of charming. My favorite line belonged to the douchebag lothario whose motto was, “When in doubt, whip it out!”

Sure, a lot of the comedy is patchy and uneven, but it also works as a time capsule of ’83. I especially dug all the fashions and hairstyles. And besides, it’s always a nice change of pace to see a summer camp movie that doesn’t feature a masked killer.

Vincent D’Onofrio makes his screen debut as an idiot named Lobotomy. (That sort of gives you the level of humor we’re dealing with here.) And it was kind of cool to see Mark Torgl popping up in a small role one year before he became The Toxic Avenger. It’s also important to note that Madonna also auditioned for the flick, but didn’t get the role