Volume 93, Issue 59

Friday, January 14, 2000


Weekend Pass

Stillborn comes to life

Rock in the P.O.M. of your hand

The idiot's guide to good theatre times




In order to prove my point, I'll begin with an example.

Even if you haven't seen the original Psycho, you would recognize the shower scene or the eerie score. Likewise, you may have no idea what exactly Casablanca is about, but you still know of the phrase "Play it again, Sam."

As unfortunate as it may be, a myriad of movies survive on reputation, rather than merit alone.

Though many of these legends earnestly deserve the praise they accrue, many others simply ride the coat-tails of familiarity without actually offering audiences anything of value. This is the unwitting strategy behind Debbie Does Dallas '99.

Even those appalled by adult entertainment widely accept the name Debbie Does Dallas as synonymous with porn. This is the first of the titles you heard in grade school, normally followed by eruptions of giggles from kids completely unaware of what it actually meant.

Later in high school, it was the title you could expect to see replayed late at night between the fuzzy lines of the sacred scrambled channels. Yes, the fame and longevity of Debbie Does Dallas should not be understated – nor should the disappointment many will experience when they watch the latest version of this fabled movie.

Debbie Does Dallas '99 follows the simple story of a cheerleading team who need to raise $10,000 in order to purchase a bus which will serve as a venue for their drunken fun and debauchery. In short, it's an honourable cause that could inspire even the coldest of hearts. Armed with little money and a lot of cheer, the girls bet on a home team victory, hoping to make up the remainder of the cake. Of course, the only logical way to ensure the win is to incapacitate the opposing team through some relatively unconventional means.

Opening with a montage of exciting clips set to Michael Toland's ambitiously poppy theme song, viewers' expectations are heightened from the outset. Unfortunately, it does not take long until anticipation takes a backseat to the colossal boredom which ensues. This movie does not deliver on it's potential on any level.

Stylistically, Debbie '99 does nothing to distinguish itself from any other movie out there. Adding to its bland nature is the lack of music. After Toland's initial number, the movie only includes one other song. As much as we mock the standard wap-chikka-bow porn theme, the fact is that these movies actually suffer when no soundtrack is present.

Music aside, Debbie '99 remains cinematically emaciated due to all its other weaknesses, which add up to a reel of forgettable moments. Even the sex scenes in this supposed classic are riddled with nonsensical dirty talk and repetitive action. The scenes appear so scripted and formulaic, they draw more than a few yawns. And I ask you, if porn cannot offer you entertaining dialogue, solid style or exciting sex, what can it offer?

In the case of Debbie Does Dallas '99, only the name.

–Sara Martell

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Copyright The Gazette 2000