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|Written by April Yorke|
|Wednesday, 29 July 2009 00:00|
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen could have been improved in a variety of ways, like not being so boring, so juvenile, or so racist. As Shia LaBoeuf and Megan Fox laid there in each other's arms in the shadow of the Sphinx, I thought, "I can't believe you are just lying there. You might die! Have sex!" Two years into their relationship, they just lie there arguing about which one should say "I love you" first. I don't really want to see either LaBoeuf or Fox in a sex scene, but it would have been a welcome distraction at that point. As I rolled my eyes heavenward and prayed for my deliverance, my inner monologue added with derision, "If this were the '80s, you would be having sex."
Ah, '80s action movies. If there was one thing you could count on, it was a completely gratuitous sex scene. Why are these people having sex? Unknown. What does it have to do with the movie? Who cares? For two minutes or so, nothing of importance happens on screen, leaving you plenty of time to gather your thoughts about the various plot machinations that I'm sure are difficult to puzzle out.
Recently, my best friend and I were watching Highlander, and, out of nowhere, Highlander (Christopher Lambert) and Brenda (Roxanne Hart) have sex. I say "out of nowhere" because the leads have no discernible chemistry, and they don't even seem to like each other. Nothing at all had previously occurred indicating that they wanted to have sex with anyone, let alone each other. Highlander gets weird about brandy, sniffing it and then describing all the bloody events that went down that year (wars, pestilence, death). Brenda reacts like this is creepy as hell, but it also apparently gets her motor running. Sure, he's an immortal who beheads other immortals. Sure, he's Scottish-American with a French accent. Sure, she's a CSI who's also an expert in ancient swords. None of this matters - it's the '80s. So, they have sex in silhouette, complete with silhouette nipples.
Sadly, the internet would not cough up this video, so I give you instead a training montage with Highlander and actual Scottish person Sean Connery as his Egyptian-Spanish (accomplished via eyeliner and bronzer) mentor. In other news, training montages are due for a comeback.
Always fade out at the end of a montage.
1986 must have been a banner year for training montages, action movies, and gratuitous sex scenes: Top Gun is another fantastic example of the three. "Integral to the plot!" you cry. Because Maverick's (Tom Cruise) romance with Charlie (Kelly McGillis) is an important subplot in the movie, right? No, my friends. That's not why there's a sex scene in the movie. It was added after initial test screenings because moviegoers complained that there was no "love scene." Thank you, moviegoers!
Seriously! You must be 18 or older to view that 1:39 minute clip. Also, thanks to said moviegoers, we get a sex scene tinted blue because Kelly McGillis had already dyed her hair a different colour for her next role. Blue lenses: when silhouettes just aren't enough to suggest how hot your sex is.
Of course, you're not entirely wrong: there is a romantic subplot in Top Gun. It's even slightly more believable than the one in Highlander (unless you are turned on by guys who punctuate their sentences with "Heh, heh, heh." Maybe you are). But did you need to see it? Of course not. It was pretty obviously implied that they had sex, and it's not like you didn't already know about their romantic relationship by that point in the movie.
Fortunately The Lost Boys came out the next year to show gratuitous sex scenes everywhere how it's done. The plot revolves around a single mom (the always welcome Dianne Weist) who moves with her two sons (Jason Patric and Corey Haim) to a small Californian town. The elder of the two, Michael (Patric) falls in with a bad crowd (lead by Keifer Sutherland), and, before you know it, he's on his way to becoming a vampire (it's a slow process in this variation on the mythos). While it seems to be a lame metaphor for generalized teenage rebellion, it's also an excuse for a sex scene:
Now, if you've seen this movie, you may recall that Star (Jami Gertz) is David's (Sutherland) girlfriend. But David's also a vampire (how uncool!), so he's not the best boyfriend in the world (how times have changed!). Michael, on the other hand, is actively against turning into a vampire, so Star nails him while Mike Mainieri wails in the background about a brother-sister relationship. She does know what's happening to him (vampirism, in case it wasn't clear), but she can't tell him that, can she? No! Sex is the only solution to this line of questioning. You should try it next time someone asks you why you are late for work ("I can't tell you! I don't know how to help you!"). Other signs this movie was made in the '80s include the other Corey (Feldman) showing up as a comic book geek/vampire hunter and Bill (Alex Winter), of Bill and Ted fame, as part of David's gang.
As the '90s rolled in and political correctness became the order of the day, gratuitous sex scenes fell by the wayside. They were and continue to be a horror movie staple (how else will you know who deserves to die?). Action movies seem to build up to a kiss or two and maybe an exchange of "I love yous" (no, seriously). While Michael Bay is happy to let his camera linger on Fox's breasts and lips as much as possible (his idea of an audition is a car wash, after all), everyone's clothes stay on. Still, there is one who would seek to bring such ridiculousness back to the big screen: comic book adapter extraordinaire Zack Snyder. How many Zack Snyder movies have I seen? Two. How many have completely gratuitous sex scenes? Two! "Source material," you say. But while Dan and Laurie's first time is integral to the characters and the plot of Alan Moore's Watchmen, there's not a viewer among you who didn't notice that a sex scene between Patrick Wilson and Malin Akerman is at least a little bit gratuitous. One can only imagine what he has in store with Sucker Punch. Maybe he should study up on the '80s for some tips.