Why isn't The Whoopee Boys a cult classic?
I think this is one of those movies that just suffers from a really bad title, among other things.
The Whoopee Boys as of 2021 is 35 years old. I did not see it in the theater back in 1986, nor could I because I literally wasn't old enough to see an R-rated movie then.
A fuzzy memory of mine tells me that in the late 1980s - which by the way is before I even went to high school - a friend of mine at the time told me to go watch this movie because it was really funny. Where did he see it? No idea. Maybe he saw it on cable television or possibly rented it himself. I do remember being in the video store with my dad, specifically seeking this movie, and remember it being tough to find because the original VHS cover (which was pretty much exactly like the image you see above) didn't exactly stick out among all the other tapes. Very bland styling, mostly white box, easy to miss. But I found it.
The VHS tape was rented, and I think I watched this movie only once.
Is this movie funny? For an '80s movie, yes. Lewd, crude, rude juvenile humor, but it works. I find it interesting that the R rating is for language alone...
...which brings me to why this movie isn't remembered all that well.
First, the title. I guarantee movie goers specifically avoided seeing this just on title alone. Were it named something else, I'm positive it would have done better.
Second, the R rating. All it would have taken to bring the movie safely into PG territory is cutting out about 2 minutes. And I can assure you it would have not affected the storyline nor the comedy at all. Were this a PG movie, again, it would have done a lot better.
This should be a cult classic and it's amazing that it isn't
This movie falls right in line with other '80s comedy movies of the day in its demeanor. It doesn't take itself too seriously, is surprisingly competent and there are genuinely good laugh-out-loud moments.
Something The Whoopee Boys does real well is give off a happy '80s vibe. While re-watching this, I was easily able to put my mind back to how things were 35 years ago and stay there through the whole movie. Well, almost. There's only one part that dates it, and it's fortunately only for a few seconds with the mention of a "car phone," which in the context of the movie is only something very wealthy people had and used regularly. In 1986, that was largely true. Aside from that very minor nitpick, it's a great '80s trip otherwise.
The phrase "they don't make movies like this anymore" totally applies here. Being it's a happy fun '80s movie should make it a cult classic, but this one slipped through the cracks. I squarely blame that on the title.
To give you an indication of how bad (as in forgettable) the title is, the only way I found this movie is that I remembered a comedian with the last name Rodriguez was in it. I then did an online search for '80s comedy movies with a lead character played by actors with the last name Rodriguez. From that search, I found Paul Rodriguez, looked up the movies he acted in during the 1980s, and from there I found The Whoopee Boys.
Yeah, it took that level of searching just to find this flick. I couldn't even remember the title; it was that forgettable. I had to go by actor name.
Again, I blame the title alone as the reason hardly anybody remembers this movie today.
Good movie? I think so. If you like mid-1980s style humor with some raunch to it, you'll like it too.