There are few things worse to have spawned with the DVD market than direct-to-video films. Sure, they’re of marginally better quality than made for TV movies, but more often than not they are cheap imitations of their predecessors. It should come as no surprise that after a successful trilogy of theatrical releases, the American Pie films continued on DVD, largely following Stifler and his offspring and their exploits in high school and college. With American Pie Presents Beta House the viewers get an overload of nude women within minutes into the film and not much else. Like a poor man’s Animal House or Revenge of the Nerds, Beta House does nothing original in the least and instead focuses on what its viewers want the most: breasts.
In the latest Pie sequel, Dwight Stifler (Steve Talley) and his cousin Erik (John White) go to college and…get laid. There’s not much else going on in the film until rival houses throw down in a series of events that range from bra-removing to beer drinking. Aside from the appearance of Mr. Levenstein (Eugene Levy) later in on the film to preside over these Greek Games between the Geek House and Beta House , there isn’t a whole lot of relations to past Pie films and in the end it doesn’t matter in the least. It should come as no surprise that the only two quotes about the film that are used on the package are from Pete Hammond at Maxim.
I’m not sure who finds these films still humorous. I’m past the point of thinking anyone actually does, they just watch it for the skin—in which case, there’s better methods to get it. With the first Pie films it managed to combine strong humor with the eye candy—in this DTV there’s just the eye candy and little else. I didn’t laugh once during the film, not even during the beer vomit scene, which reminded me of another film I’d watched years back where everyone in the room began throwing up. It was funny the first time and watching a similar scenario in this film was far from entertaining.
I’ve really got nothing to say about this film. There’s nothing redeemable about it and considering there was a completely naked female four minutes into the film, I had a difficult time expecting anything of value would follow after it. I’m certainly near the films target audience, but it just isn’t worth watching. Pretty naked ladies don’t make for a satisfactory film, regardless of who you are. Well, unless you’re fourteen. Skip it.
Well this one certainly has a slew of extras. Arriving with an embossed slip case over a standard amaray case, inside we have an insert advertising HD-DVD and the disc, which contains the logo over a mirrored surface. Menus are static and have a guy shouting “Beta Houe F***ing Rules!” over every menu. Every menu. Annoying as hell. Video and audio are of good quality and what you’d expect from a DTV comedy: clean picture and front focused audio.
Moving onto the extras we have a lively and actually quite entertaining commentary track from director Andrew Waller, writer/co-producer Erik Lindsay and cast members John White, Steve Talley, Jake Siegel, Meghan Heffern and Nic Nac. The track certainly has more laughs than the film, at least. Deleted storylines, deleted scenes and outtakes follow and are your standard fair; shockingly enough, there were even more breasts cut from the film! I’m almost empted to go back and count how many there were, but that’d mean watching the film again.
Next is the “Exclusive Interview with Mr. Levenstein”, which is a mock-news style piece about Levenstein’s participation in the last Greek Games that Beta house participated in. Admittedly, it’s slightly humorous just for Levy (I guess the guy can’t get work in anything else) and not much else. “Behind the Games” and “Beta House – Not Just Another Slice of Pie” are two featurettes, one focusing on the games in the film and the other about the making of the film itself. “Boobies Yule Log” is quite literally topless women dancing to Christmas music. Well, jumping to Christmas music, I should say. Such a…stupid extra. Who the hell watches this stuff?
“Nuts About Pie” and “American Pie Presents: A Public Service Announcement” are two more short featurettes, with the PSA the actors from the film commenting on how they shouldn’t do the stupid things the films in this series portray. Really? Wow. “UGO’s Foxy Fan on the Set” is a completely forgettable fluff piece and two music videos by God Make Me Funky (“Won More Time”, “Luv T’Day”) are ear bleeding horrible and round out the extras.
No wait, there’s one more extra…an episode of 30 Rock. What the hell? I love this show but why is this on set? I’m not even sure what this episode, “Hard Ball”, has to do with American Pie, other than having one of the main characters pose for Maxim. Such a strange extra to have, but at least the DVD producers saw fit to include one piece of actual humor on the DVD.
Just Skip this movie and DVD. Don’t give it a second glance and just move onto some other comedy. Even Balls of Fury was better than this one.
American Pie Presents: Beta House is now on DVD in rated and unrated versions.