For #16 of the #52PickUp series, I set my sights on another comedy “classic” from 1995:
That’s right. I watched National Lampoon’s Senior Trip. And once again I will ask this question: Is this film funny or nostalgically funny?
Senior Trip follows a group of loser students who create chaos on a daily basis. While getting caught throwing a party at the prickly and anal Principal Moss’ house, lands the gang detention, it is here that they’re challenged to write an essay to the President regarding the issues with the education system.
The one “smart” student, Lisa Perkins, takes this challenge seriously and writes her heart out. Well sure enough, the President loves the idea and invites the kids to speak on behalf of his education reform bill.
The principal is livid. So he reluctantly agrees and joins the crew in an attempt to keep them out of trouble. Surprisingly… trouble ensues.
On their way to Washington D.C. they leave a trail of destruction. They catch a person on fire, destroy the bus, kill the bus driver, and so much more. Well okay, to be fair, the bus driver (played by Tommy Chong) did that to himself.
Senior Trip embodies the 90s in The Breakfast Club-type tropes with a depraved twist.
Where/ when did I first see it?
I had rented this from the holy ground in Fort Kent: Video Market. I remember seeing a trailer for this film somewhere before another VHS rental (as trailers were known to do) and wanting to see this.
Eventually I did, and it became a recurring rental for my brother and I. This movie was perfect for us as kids, because while it isn’t necessarily for adults, it had lots of swearing and such, so it was right up our alley. As a result, we would watch this depraved stuff all the time.
It was released theatrically in September of 1995, so I’d say we were watching it by March 1996.
How does it hold up?
This was one of the first movies that I’ve revisited with the #52PickUp that I realized is more nostalgia than real humor. I did chuckle at a few parts, but my sense of humor has evolved somewhat, and this movie is fairly low brow. That being said, if you like that kind of stuff then this is the movie for you.
What did I like about it and why?
Again, at the time, the jokes were just at the right level of dirty the cast was great too. I mean the lead is a strapping, young Jeremy Renner.
Yeah, I was surprised too, but when I first saw him post-Senior Trip in 28 Weeks Later. “Hey, that’s the guy from Senior Trip!
Matt Frewer (from the show Max Headroom and The Lawnmower Man) plays Principal Moss and he’s perfect for the role. Frewer is able to perfectly portray Moss’ incessant need to control and is great at acting annoyed from all of these damn kids. When I was young, Moss was an asshole, but now as an adult, I can properly relate to his motivation.
God I sound old.
As a kid, there was one actor I was excited to see again and that was Miosky played by Eric Edwards. Edwards had a great run in the 90s as the stereotypical fat kid/bully. I had first seen him as a bully in Problem Child. Then he went on to play parts in Sgt. Bilko, Blade, and The Little Rascals.
Then there was one of my favorite people in this film, for many reasons, the voice of hundreds of characters like Timmy Turner from The Fairly Oddparents, Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls and more: Tara Strong.
Then of course there’s the connections to Kids in the Hall. The director of the film, Kelly Makin, also directed a few episodes of the show and Brain Candy. Not only that, but Kevin McDonald himself stars as a mentally disturbed crossing guard who devotes his life to destroying Reggie simply because he called him a “dickhead.”
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the scene where Reggie and Wanda are watching Jason Goes to Hell. Even at this early stage, I was excited by New Line allowing their films to crossover like that, although they decided to dub over the real audio of the film instead.
- Anyone can speak on behalf of the President simply by writing a letter.
- Jeremy Renner was adorable.
- Tara Strong is gorgeous.
Where can you see it?
Check out National Lampoon’s Senior Trip on CanIStream.It?