By Brian Abrams

It was summertime 1982. A raucous, misunderstood teen comedy went under-appreciated and overlooked at the box office. It had its problems at the time: There was little marketing money, soundtrack royalties went through the roof, the distributor was bought out by a larger studio, and the following weekend Universal Studios bombarded theaters with Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

As writer/director Boaz Davidson puts it, "It just got lost in the shuffle." And, not withstanding its long overdue DVD release last August, The Last American Virgin (Picture: - - - - - )has been ever since.

But back in 1978 Israel, Davidson's original version, Eskimo Limon (Lemon Popsicle), was immortalized. Every kid owned a copy (and still does--the series carried on with eight sequels to date), but practically no one in America had seen or even heard of either of these films. Except one obsessed Yank: Cabin Fever's writer/director, Eli Roth. These movies changed his life and inspired his career, in particular Davidson's life-story adaptation for the States, The Last American Virgin.

Here he shares his passion with

Is it safe to say you're The Last American Virgin's number one fan?
You don't understand. I'm writing and directing a teen comedy for Universal [Scavenger Hunt] right now, and I make everyone watch The Last American Virgin. When I went to England last October to do press for Cabin Fever, I did the same. Cerina Vincent hadn't seen the movie. I was shocked. So I showed it to her on the plane on my laptop, and, like twenties minutes in, her jaw just dropped. It's the most underrated teen comedy ever made.

But there's not even an entry for The Last American Virgin in the Leonard Maltin Guide anymore?
Lots of movies aren't listed in that thing. The original version, Eskimo Limon, there's like eight or nine sequels. You go to Israel, and everyone knows it. But here, no one knows The Last American Virgin. It just didn't convert. A film at the very apex of its genre, and it never got the respect it deserved.

Do you think that's because Last American Virgin was too racy for the mainstream?
I don't know where to begin. You know, I remember all my friends just loved The Breakfast Club. But I was bored. I mean, there were some funny lines, but it's not LAV. When you're eight or nine years old, you just want to see a hot girl naked. And now that I'm thirty-one, that hasn't changed. When I go to see an R-rated sex comedy and I don't get to see her naked, I get frustrated. People thought American Pie was so crazy, but in terms of sex, it doesn't come close. I mean LAV is probably the only American sex comedy where you can see erect cocks.

Just what is it about Boaz Davidson's LAV that separates it from every other teen comedy of its time?
Davidson is an underrated genius. He perfected the science of '80s movies with the "Fat Guy/Cool Guy/Nerd" formula, and everybody imitated his films after that. A number of movies followed because of him: Joysticks, G.O.R.P, Zapped, Screwballs--an entire genre of movies sitting on the shelves at Blockbuster, and no one knows their origin. It's a sad thing.

And it all started with the "Fat Guy/Cool Guy/Nerd" formula?
Yes. Cool Guy plus Nerd equals romantic comedy, but Cool Guy plus Nerd plus Fat Guy equals zany comedy. The Fat Guy has sex with the Nerd's mom, the Nerd has sex with the Cool Guy's sister, and then there's always this great culmination. They work as a team. They're always working as a team to get laid, and, crazy as it may sound, I totally buy it.

Unlike in American Pie, when they're all standing up on the dining room chairs, making that pact.

That wasn't real at all. LAV is the most realistic depiction of teen life, one sexcapade after another.

Unforgettable soundtrack too.
The soundtrack's incredible. That scene at the end when Gary's trying to raise money for Diane Frankin's operation, and U2's "I Will follow" is playing in the background. God, it's brilliant.

I think it's safe to say that there's no other film on the planet with an abortion montage sequence.

You know if I was a rich enough director, I would help to release all of Boaz Davidson's films on DVD. People just don't understand what he did for cinema. So many sex comedies in the '80s--so many still--are based on that Fat Guy/Cool Guy/Nerd formula.

Just when did that formula evaporate? When did the wild and crazy, out-of-bounds party animal comedies disappear?
1985. It was John Hughes. It's not his fault entirely, but what happened was that movies like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller, Pretty in Pink--they all became the thing to watch. Kids wanted to relate to those characters. The movies became more concerned with teenagers' social problems, as opposed to spying on the naked girls in the showers. That's what Scavenger Hunt is all about. I want to bring that back.

Is Universal cool with that?
Well, I don't think Universal has a problem with it. It's more the censors. They're so uptight. I mean, why do we make it such a big deal to show pubic hair anyway? Look back at LAV: there's nudity right from the start. You've got bush and all. Everything great and everything awful happens to them.

LAV just has that genuine and imperfect feel. It really brings out the awkwardness of being a teenager.
That's true. The friendships for instance, they're practically blood brothers, especially when it comes to sex. It's all about those high-school desperations: pretty, ugly--whatever. Sex swallows their lives whole.

Yeah. In LAV, even the Fat Guy gets laid. There is no Fat Guy getting laid today.
Exactly. And even with the Fat Guy, Davidson's movies are still unbelievably hot. You know you are going to see sex, too. But those days are gone.

And this all rests on the shoulders of John Hughes?
It's John Hughes, but it's also the conservatives. Remember that whole family values' campaign with Bush and Quayle in the late '80s? This thing happened where they started this backlash against the sex and violence sweeping the cinemas, and the ratings board reacted. The MPAA really tightened their belt.

Back then a film like Porky's slipped by with an R rating fairly easily and with full frontal (Picture: ). Today a film like The Cooler gets unfairly slapped with an NC-17 rating for showing a snip of Maria Bello's (Picture: ) pubic hair. It's absurd. God forbid we show anything sexual, and it's like we have to keep it away from kids at all costs.

Look at the uproar Janet Jackson's breast caused. What kind of a message are we sending to our kids? It's no wonder Johnny Depp lives in France. This place is turning into one big conservative asylum, all from the Religious Right.

So, you're saying we need Bush out of office and back into movies?
It's deeper than that. AIDS also had a lot to do with it. By the end of the '80s there was this awareness that if you slept with the wrong person you could die. It wasn't just a gay virus anymore--it could happen to anyone. Because it wasn't socially acceptable to have random sex and because audiences were too aware of the possible repercussions, the movies reflected that.

In LAV, the kids get crabs from a hooker. Today they'd be lucky if that's all they got. We need to get back to the '70s when everyone was swinging and sex was not such a crime.

Our sexual icons have backed down, too. Especially in teen comedies.
Oh yeah. Just look at what happened to Shannon Elizabeth from American Pie (Picture: - - ). I don't know if it's the lack of talent or what, but she's just not doing nudity anymore. She doesn't want to be known as the naked chick. It's a problem. It's like she's scared to be known as "that girl." And you know, there's nothing wrong with it. Besides, people should want bush by now. I'm tired of the Playboy bunny figure. I don't want the girl to look like a ten-year-old. It's just a little weird without it.

Don't you have a horror flick lined up for next year too? Which film is coming out first?
The Box will most likely hit theaters Halloween 2005. Scavenger Hunt is probably Summer 2005. That's what the studio has planned for now. Of course that's always subject to change.

Have you spoken to some actresses yet for Scavenger Hunt?

Have you cleared your whole nudity clause with them?
We're not at that point yet, but once we are, the mandate will be out. And if you're not interested, don't sign up. And if you do and you back out, then you're going to be fucking nailed for it.

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