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Still, it was one hell of a party, and testament to Holly’s charms of persuasion, for to get a rager going at this level, yet in an even bigger venue, we’d have to turn to… 9. House Party (1990) Now, how in the hell could I propose to write a list about cinematic house parties without bringing up 1990’s seminal film offering, the aptly titled House Party ? Now 22 years old, this celebration of teenage exuberance and maturation hasn’t aged a day, except for the bright-as-fuck clothes, shitty music, and contrived character sketches drawn from a discarded ‘Cosby Show’ episode.

A somewhat predictable story, especially when taken against the other pictures listed today, this one was also about a high school kid ( Chris Martin ’s Play) whose parents were going out of town, an event that clearly necessitated a rocking fiesta. While the subsequent House Party sequels wisely spent more time at the actual shin-digs, the original installment actually spent a majority of its time following the trials of Play’s best friend, Kid, who had to sneak out of his house to make it to the party. On the way to the bash, Kid ran across some school bullies, a frat reunion, and an always-smooth George Clinton , who was spinning records at a party in the neighborhood. Once he got to the real gathering, however, the movie gave audiences all the revelry and jocularity expected of a picture sporting a name like House Party . There were smoking hot chicks, tasty beverages, a dance contest, and one of the first hip hop freestyle battles in movie history. Hell, the cops even showed up, yet this party was so damn cool, the fuzz only arrested the asshole bullies that had been giving Kid a hard time, and left pretty much everyone else alone. Because of the party, both Kid and Play seemed to have lined themselves up nicely for a little action with some choice ladies, something that likely evened out the severe ass-whooping Kid received once he got home, and had to face his father’s belt-wrath.

Yet as good as it was, if this film had been a little less concerned with presenting a positive, parent-approved message to kids, it might just have edged out the debauchery seen in … 8. Sixteen Candles (1984) The cinematic conduit for teenage angst and indecision, John Hughes knew what an amazing party could lend to the lives of up-and-coming adolescents. It should come as no surprise, then, that Sixteen Candles is but one of two Hughes films on today’s list (no peeking!), for the director clearly grasped what made an epic party, and how a movie could use that seminal event to color and define the lives of those involved. In Sixteen Candles , the film’s main character, Molly Ringwald ’s Sam Baker, struggled to come to grips with a number of earth-shattering milestones oft encountered in the life of a mid-western American teenager. A seemingly anonymous sophomore, Sam spent the handful of days the movie followed pining over the hunky senior Jake while she contended with a pushy clan of extended relatives that had invaded her house for the occasion of her older sister’s wedding. The stress of this situation would have been enough to weaken an already pencil-thin resolve, but Sam also suffered the indignity of her sweet-16 passing by unnoticed (because of all the wedding hoopla), and the dreamboat senior Jake finding a private quiz Sam had completed which detailed her love of him. With all this popping off, it’s a miracle that the red-headed sophomore didn’t just up and steal the family car for a coke-fueled birthday trip to Vegas (this WAS the 80’s, after all). Hell, she didn’t even go to Jake’s wild, hedonistic senior-afterparty, which sprung to life because of the ambitious machinations of Jake’s worthless friends. Clearly a rich kid, Jake’s house offered the perfect venue for a free-roving band of locust-like teenagers looking to consume and/or destroy everything in their path. What followed was a celebratory house-fiesta that would have made Caligula proud. Though the audience got a pretty decent look at the party, what really impressed this author was the staggering amount of destruction catalogued after the fact. As Jake wandered the tattered ruins of his casa, all manner of evidence spoke to the complete, unencumbered nature of the party. Shit, Jake even found himself a person after a little cleaning up ( Anthony Michael Hall ’s The Geek). A full-on party the likes of which are seen maybe once in a decade, it would have needed even more damage, as well as whores, to beat out … 7. Risky Business (1983) There was a time, long, LONG ago, when people didn’t see Tom Cruise coming from a mile away. The brash young kid with a million dollar smile slid into the American mainstream with Risky Business , and has mostly stuck around ever since, due in large part to the innocent charm mixed with a fiery intensity few have equaled before or since. The passion Cruise has brought to his work has always been an integral part of his success, for behind that wolf’s grin there lies a sleeping dragon. This particular character-trait was used to brilliant effect in the young man’s cinematic coming-out party, Risky Business , where Cruise played the wide-eyed Joel Goodson, an upper-crust high-school brat with more problems than pimples. Joel learned early on in the film that his parents were leaving town, something he saw as the perfect opportunity to nip at the old man’s scotch and do a little underwear dancing. Joel’s friends saw the larger possibilities that their buddy’s situation afforded, however, and made damn sure a swanky, upscale house devoid of parents didn’t go underutilized. While the first ordered hooker turned out to be a tranny, the second was of far better stock ( Rebecca De Mornay ’s Lana). Yet this is where shit started going south for Joel.

The whore (Lana) robbed his house, then got Joel in deep with her pimp, Joe Pantoliano ’s Guido. As bad as this was, it had nothing on the next development in the picture, which saw the Porsche 928 belonging to Joel’s father driven into a goddamned lake. So that he could raise the money to get his mother’s valuable antiques back from Guido, not to mention clean and repair his pop’s ride, Joel threw a call girl-party using Lana’s whore connections. The result was a high school rager Chicago’s North Shore neighborhood likely never forgot. Virginal high school boys with loads packed in so tight that they could have lacquered a board room table got a chance to tangle with high-end pussy they’d have normally been lucky to view at fifty paces. The party was hosted in a lavish residence with booze for days and an erotic entertainment factor hard to beat at a high school gathering. Had things gotten a bit rowdier, and escalated to levels that demanded riot gear, the party in Risky Business might have jumped ahead of … 6. Beerfest (2006) Hip-hop ragers and whorehouse kegers are fine for your high-school crowd, but when professional, tournament-ready drinkers grace a house party, things escalate rather quickly. This was definitely the case for the unnamed Colorado household that unknowingly hosted one of many on-site training sessions conducted by America’s unofficial Beerfest squad. The team, captained by the Wolfhouse brothers, strolled into a house party they’d discovered so as to challenge a bunch of university brats to a few rounds of drinking games.

The Wolfhouse squad was prepping for a return to the annual underground Beerfest in Munich, Germany, and were in need of some practical competitive conditioning.


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