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Friday, August 19, 2022
An early hit for schlock factory Cannon Films, this leering but ultimately surprisingly serious-minded teen sex comedy (virtually a scene-for-scene remake of Menahem Golan’s 1977 Israeli smash hit Lemon Popsicle) is a mash-up of Porky’s and Fast Times at Ridgemont High with a trio of suburban L.A. youths chasing girls and competing for the attentions of a cute transfer student. Although it’s decked out with seemingly every late 1970s and early 1980s pop single, Last American Virgin remains an unusual film for its time. Going even further than Cameron Crowe’s Fast Times, released the same year, The Last American Virgin features rites-of-puberty hijinks that eventually give way to darker, more painful experiences, until the true meaning of the film’s title becomes clear.
Seymour Kneitel and James Tyer, 1944, USA, 35mm, 8m
In one of the most bizarre and harshest premises for a Popeye cartoon from Fleischer Studios familiar Seymour Kneitel and head animator/de-facto director James Tyer—arguably one of the greatest cartoonists of his day—Bluto builds a puppet of the sailor and uses it to manipulate Olive.
“A ‘warts-and-all’ comic portrayal of desperate teen horniness, The Last American Virgin thoroughly subverts the teen sex comedy, taking a sick glee in the punishment of its protagonist. There’s a similar touch of masochism about the seemingly endless amount of times the Gleaming Spires song ‘Are You Ready For the Sex Girls?’ is needle-dropped throughout the movie (this could’ve also been for budgetary reasons, but I imagine it was for reasons both artistic and financial. A great touch in any case.)” –Owen Kline