American Pie Presents: Beta House

There is nothing I hate more than a DVD release labeled “unrated” with a cover box that promises plenty of sex and nudity. When Universal made American Pie 2 and that third wedding catastrophe, I found myself disappointed that the modern Porky’s was so tame.

Not so for American Pie: Beta House. As the second direct-to-DVD sequel to the theatrical blockbusters, American Pie: Beta House at the very least delivers in the T&A department… and really what more are we expecting from a movie like this.

The plot isn’t terribly original, summed up as a direct-to-DVD crossbreed of Animal House and Revenge of the Nerds. Dwight Stifler (Steve Talley) is pledging Beta House to be with his cousin Erik (John White). However, in a twist on the Revenge of the Nerds elements, the partying Beta House is now playing second fiddle to the Geek House, comprising Bill Gates of the future who scoop up the sexy girls that know they’ll be the leaders of tomorrow.

This campus war between the geeks and the frat boys culminates in a Revenge of the Nerds style Greek tournament. Coming in at the end to officiate the competition is American Pie alum Mr. Levenstein (Eugene Levy).

Anyone thinking of renting or buying American Pie: Beta House isn’t looking for deep character development or Oscar-winning talent. My guess is that they’re looking for what I was looking for – lots of naked twentysomething hot chicks with plenty of raunch. And if that’s what you’re angling for, you’ll get it here.

Much of the film’s plot is precariously balanced on risque gags and goofy stunts. It begins with the pledges completing a hazing ritual (which includes things like getting your ass signed by a stripper and having sex in the library), and the ending focuses on the Greek Olympiad (which includes things like who can hold off longest in a lap dance and Russian roulette with horse semen).

Sure, the Beta House parties are mind-blowingly unrealistic, but that’s okay. Just because real drunk college girls don’t all have their stripper schoolgirl outfits doesn’t mean a pig like me can’t enjoy watching this on DVD.

Hardly respectable but pretty funny at times, American Pie: Beta House was surprisingly not a waste of time. Of course, it reeks of a direct-to-DVD release, but at least it didn’t pull its punches.

The special features come with just as much edginess. The slate of deleted scenes demonstrates how many recurring characters were dropped in lieu of sex gags. There’s also outtakes, several behind-the-scenes videos (including one devoted to the crew “sacking” each other), music videos, feature commentary and an in-character interview with Mr. Levenstein.

Two additional features are worth note. One is a completely out-of-place episode of 30 Rock, which has nothing to do with American Pie. I suppose this was meant to cross-pollinate the market and get people to rent or buy 30 Rock on DVD.

The other feature that I hold close to my heart (figuratively, if not hopefully literally one day) is the “Boobie Yule Log,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Forget the wholesome, warm crackling of a holiday fire. Set the “Boobie Yule Log” on to loop through your next holiday get-together. It’s sure to be an attention-getter.

Movie Grade: B

DVD Experience: A-

The Upside: Uh… do I have to say it again?… BOOBIES!

The Downside: The big Crying Game twist at the end was a big predictable.

On the Side: An event in the Greek Olympiad steals from a reality television show idea I had. Dammit! I could have been a millionaire!

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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