My feelings about this movie can best be summed up by something that I noticed while watching the Gag Reel that is included on this DVD. The clapboard used in these shots lists the name of this film as College Sex Comedy. Now, that’s not the genre, mind you… that’s the title. Of course, the title was changed before release, but the fact that the film was basically titled Insert Generic Teen Sex Comedy Title Here during filming should give potential viewers some idea of what to expect from this film. It’… certainly not a horrible movie, but it’s not exactly good, either.
The plot starts off predictably, with a virgin college student, and all that situation entails. It’s not that the film is not funny, it’s just that we’ve already seen it hundreds of times before. The real downfall of this storyline, however, is that it asks the viewer to accept innumerable far-fetched coincidences throughout. The entire film could have been wrapped up in the first 15 or 20 minutes, were it not for countless silly twists of fate. If you ever saw the Sylvester Stallone bomb Oscar, then you’re with me.
I can confidently say that I would much rather watch American Pie for the 30th time than to sit through Dorm Daze again. If it’s on TV, and you truly have nothing better to do with two hours of your life, then it’s probably worth checking out. Under any other circumstances, however, I would pass on this one if I were you.
The audio track on this disc is altogether unimpressive, with one notable exception. I appreciate the fact that the audio engineers attempted to have the sounds move around the room in congruence with their sources, but that trick only works when it is done accurately. Otherwise, the result is odd noises from unexpected locations, which can seriously distract the viewer. Unfortunately, that is the case here, with such unfortunate blunders as a door shutting on the left side of the screen, and the sound coming from the right side of the room. The exception that I mentioned earlier is one excellent moment involving an aviary. In this scene, viewers can clearly hear a bird chirping as it flies completely around the room and back. Sure, it might be cheating a little, since the bird is never actually seen on screen, but the result is aural bliss, nonetheless.
The video starts off poor, but improves somewhat once the film gets rolling. The opening credits are straight out of the 80’s, including grain and faded colors. The colors seem to improve after the main titles, though the grain remains throughout There are also some focus problems that show up from time to time, as well as a nagging problem with bright whites blooming over onto the neighboring colors. None of these issues prove to be anything major, but they are enough to mildly annoy the average videophile.
As with the feature itself, the extras on this disc are slightly below average. There are a surprising number of trailers, as no less than 10 show up, not including the trailer for Dorm Daze itself. There is also a gag reel, which is no funnier than anything else on this disc. Three deleted scenes are here, all of which have an optional commentary track. These are the scenes in their unfinished form, complete with poor picture quality and timecodes. Finally, there is the curious addition of National Lampoon’s Master Debaters, a half-hour television program that features real-life debates on silly topics in front of a live studio audience. It is sort-of the Win Ben Stein’s Money approach to oratory. Unfortunately, this show does not work as well as Stein’s did, which is probably why I have never heard of it before.
It is a shame that the folks at the Lampoon aren’t any better at making wise cracks than they are. The magazine was genius back in its day, most of the books are still very funny, and who can forget the triumphs of Animal House and Christmas Vacation? I sincerely hope that the people at the Lampoon can do something to turn this sinking ship around at some point in the future. I miss the good old days.
Special Features List
- 11 Trailers
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes w/Optional Commentary
- National Lampoon’s Master Debaters