Feb 02

Squeeze Play

squeezeplaytGenre: Comedy
Year: 1979
Country: USA

aka: Hot Balls

Director: Lloyd Kaufman
Starring: Jim Harris, Jennifer Hetrick, Rick Gitlin, Helen Campitelli, Rick Khan


Have a ball


Every weekend, a team of young men leaves their girlfriends and wives to play softball for their Team Beavers. The girls feel left out and wants the guys to grow up and spend more time focusing on them instead.

The guys ignore their repeated requests, so the girls figure out a plan to get back at them. They start their own all-female team called Team Beaverettes and challenge the guys to a final battle of the sexes in the lovely game of softball.

Squeeze Play was Troma’s first successful film. It didn’t set the world on fire, but it proved to make money and made the Troma team continue to produce three more sexy comedies before going all out with The Toxic Avenger.

The premise for this comedy isn’t bad. Women’s rights were a hot topic at the time and adding a sport to the film would obviously attract males. However, they also thought this might make some money overseas, but no one over here in Europe plays softball so that was a mistake on their part.

Squeeze Play does have its funny moments, but might be a little tame for todays audience. It also features very little nudity for being Troma, something that Kaufman is not very happy with. According to him, some of the girls refused to show off their bodies after shooting had started and he couldn’t start changing out the actresses by then. From then on, he would always shoot the nude scenes first so that wouldn’t be a problem on future projects. This also makes this film have one of the more lackluster wet t-shirt contests ever filmed.

What hurts the film is that it doesn’t separate itself from other comedies at the time very well. It’s not that funny, the characters aren’t that interesting and while the plot has some potential they never make it work that well. They could have added some better reasons for why the women complain, I don’t feel like the softball games are hurting any of the relationships here and it just looks like the women want their men to stay home with them 24/7.

Samantha and Wes is the main couple. Wes is the star of the softball team and Samantha is very winy about it, too much actually. She doesn’t come off very likeable, although actress Jennifer Hetrick is very cute. Their relationship doesn’t become very interesting and the two are not very funny either. Helen Campitelli is one of the few girls who doesn’t mind showing some skin and she is quite lovely. It’s refreshing these days to see a bunch of natural good looking girls with flaws, instead of the “perfect” looking girls we are delivered in the movies of today.

Squeeze Play is considered the real start of Troma. It’s a below average comedy and without the Troma stamp on it, it would probably be a forgotten piece of film by now. It doesn’t get boring, but it won’t bring out much interest or many laughs from you.




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