3 StarsStraight from the opening Superman inspired credit sequence (complete with theme music) I knew Celebrity Sex Tape would be an enjoyable Asylum flick. As I’ve said many times their teen sex comedies are the best movies in their catalog. This particular one finds five nerdy unlovable (or rather unsexable) friends, Ross, Kwan, Ed, Marcus and Doug on an adventure through porn. After filming Ed having sex with a female celebrity (see the title), the boys are attacked by her agent after the video is released onto the world wide web. Now they must pay him $500,000 bucks or he’ll sue. How will they come up with the dough? They’ll make more sex tapes and charge people to watch them on the Internet of course! Luckily Doug works as a webmaster for a porn site, and there’s a plethora of slutty actresses looking to reinvigorate their careers. But the sex tape their fans are demanding is one starring the virgin Ross. Will he go through with it, or stay true to his non-sexual girlfriend Kim?
As was the last Scott Wheeler directed Asylum teen sex comedy MILF, once again this is a gratuitously sexual 80’s throwback that’s been smartly modernized. This film employs some very uninhibited actresses; we not only get plenty of nudity, but a nice helping of full frontal female nudity as well (remember when movies used to have that?). Wheeler re-teams with MILF scribe Jonathan Haug and brings on new comers Patrick Sheehan and Matt Short to hammer out the pages. The film is well written and moves at a quick enough pace to hold attention, but in the end there could have been a few more laughs. Not that there aren’t laughs to be had here. The best things these writer’s do is in using character traits to move and motivate the storyline. No one seems to act out of turn and everything that happens feels natural to the universe of Celebrity Sex Tape.
At times the low budget plays into the filmmaker’s hands – see the bathroom fight between Ross and Ed, the simple use of sound effects akin to a martial arts battle overlaid onto a slap fight make what would have been a silly scene more laughable and enjoyable. Other times, such as when dealing with the cell phone the guys use to tape the sex scene – a flip phone that apparently doesn’t work as it’s never on in the entire movie (while they film with it or watch the video on it), cheapens the flick. (Also not sure why they used a flip phone here, could you imagine the video quality from that sucker? I bet Paris Hilton is wishing Rick Salomon used a flip phone. Did no one have a better phone on set they could have borrowed?)
The actors are all great, Jack Cullison (returning from MILF) as Ross is dweeby and a believable virgin (sorry man). Howard Cai as the asian Kwan is one of the films great 80’s throwback characters. A little racist sure, but who doesn’t love the asian that no one can understand and needs subtitles? Colbert Alembert is the nerdy Marcus who is constantly getting punched out as a running gag. Andre Meadows as Doug is the asshole of the group. He’s basically a black version of Jonah Hill’s character from Superbad. Addicted to porn, willing to sell his friends out at a moments notice, and always peeing his pants at the first sign of danger. Jonathan Brett as Ed is almost not a geek, so much so that he starts this whole thing and pretty much is the only guy capable of starring in the sex tapes. Of course being almost not a geek doesn’t make you not a geek at heart. One thing The Asylum does well is casting a group of characters that play well with one another. There’s no reason to doubt these guys are real friends, hang out with one another and would embark on such a voyage of debauchery. Hiring good actors doesn’t hurt either.
I’m very impressed with Wheeler (and The Asylum) on these little comedies. With some of the utter crap that other people come out with these movies are fresh, funny and slickly produced (for probably less than half the budget of an American Pie straight to DVD flick as well). Wheeler also was the cinematographer on this one, and for someone with a background in visual effects, he directs actors and blocks scenes very well. The Asylum needs to keep him on for the next few upcoming comedy projects.
While I don’t think Celebrity Sex Tape is quite as funny as MILF, it’s still worthwhile if you’re a fan of the genre.
(Just because I couldn’t leave this out, and had no where else to put it: I do wish they had brought back Jamie Bernadette from MILF in some larger role than the incredibly meager cameo she got here though.)
Director: Scott Wheeler
Stars: Jack Cullison, Howard Cai, Jonathan Brett, Colbert Alembert, Andre Meadows