003797Reviews & Counting
Gold Diggers (National Lampoon's...)
DVD disk
03.28.2005 By: Scott Weinberg
Gold Diggers (National Lampoon's...) order
Gary Preisler

Chris Owen
Will Friedle
Louise Lasser


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Two of the world's dumbest criminals plan to marry a pair of nasty old ladies so they can kill the gals and inherit their cash. But, of course, the nasty old ladies are actually dead broke, and they've hatched their own plan to kill their grooms for the insurance money. 80 minutes of horrific sex jokes and dead silence (on your part) follow.
Yes, it's a great movie if you happen to live in upside-down bizarro world. But if you happen to reside anywhere else, NATIONAL LAMPOON'S GOLD DIGGERS is an absolute abomination of the highest order. The flick takes one simplistic concept and then beats it mercilessly into the mud for an hour and a half. And it's not just that the "boy, old women gross and disgusting" material is ugly and mean-spirited ... no, that could be forgiven if the movie were written with some craftsmanship and creativity. What's most distressing about GOLD DIGGERS is that it's so overwhelmingly unfunny. The screenplay is full of chucklers like "How'd you like a knuckle sandwich?" and "I retain water like the Hoover Dam." But you should be grateful for the comedy stuff that's delivered via the spoken word, because GOLD DIGGERS plumbs new depths in the name of moronic shock value. The humiliations that veteran actresses Renee Taylor and Louise Lasser are put through should be against the law. I'm doing us both a favor by not going into detail. (Imagine your grandmother demanding oral sex from Tom Green. Yeah, it's THAT kind of ugly.)

One hates to pick on such an obviously deficient target, but let's cut to the point here: if you see the words "National Lampoon" on any DVD, then you should automatically run screaming from the room. (Animal House & Vacation, notwithstanding, of course.) How bad is GOLD DIGGERS? It makes NATIONAL LAMPOON'S DORM DAZE look like a David Mamet film, and it makes NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER look like the funniest film ever made. As the lead morons, Chris Owen (that creepy-looking oddball from American Pie) and Will Friedle (from, I'm told, some sitcom) mug, mutter, and sputter through their inane dialogue while looking alternately grateful for a leading role AND stunningly humiliated by the material they're required to deliver.

And the less said about Ms. Taylor and Ms. Lasser the better. Hollywood doesn't seem to have much use for elderly actresses, so we can't blame the ladies for needing a gig. To see both women forced to present such self-demeaning jokes about how atrociously unattractive they are...it's just ugliness all around, without one stray whit of true humor to salvage the day. It's not just that GOLD DIGGERS is mindless, inept and absolutely amateurish -- it also has an unseemly little mean streak that only serves to up the rubbish factor. Truly this is one of the most off-putting, unpleasant and earth-shatteringly unfunny "comedies" I've ever seen.

(Oh, and you can forget about that blonde babe who's plastered all over the DVD cover. Including the rather worthless special features, you'll get to see (maybe) nine full minutes of the gal. Gotta love movie marketing techniques this shameless!)
Bloopers: A brief handful of line flubs and technical errors. If only any of the onscreen participants exhibited any charm or wit, these bloopers might earn a chuckle or two. Alas, we're just stuck with inept actors making mistakes and off-screen voices yelling 'cut'. Whoopee.

Nikki Nude Outtakes: Now here's the section that MGM wants you to know about! (Note: There are bare boobs!) This section features the silicone sexiness of Ms. Nikki Ziering, a gal who clearly has trouble remembering any dialogue over five syllables in length. Yes, we do get a few glimpses of Nikki without her top. You'll also get to hear the director prodding the half-naked lady to discuss how he's the "hottest director in Hollywood" -- not once but twice. Again, the professionalism of this flick just leaps off the screen and into your lap. (And just like/ that/ your PG-13 movie earns a "Hot Sexy UNRATED" DVD release.)

Deleted Scenes: Here we get a collection of seven sequences deemed "unfit" for inclusion within the "Gold Diggers" narrative. That's like telling seven slices of rotten cheese that they're just not good enough to be thrown on top of a moldy, hair-covered pizza. I'd love to say that just ONE of these scenes would have made the movie a little funnier. Sorry, nope. All they'd have done is make the movie longer and, if possible, stupider.

Alternate Beginning: Sorry, make that eight slices of rotten cheese.

Alternate Endings: Oh dear lord will this pain never end? Here we have not but TWO alternate endings. As if there were so many worthwhile ways to end GOLD DIGGERS. (My favorite way to end the flick involves a vice and a hammer.)

Nikki's Gold Digging Tips for Men: Proving that she's not much better as a reader than she is as a memorizer, Nikki Ziering pops in for a few minutes of smarmy and curiously non-ironic tips on gold-digging. Someone slap me when this stuff is over.

Nikki's Gold Digging Tips for Women: Just a few more moments with the teleprompterally-challenged Nikki and her swollen casabas. This time the ladies are given advice like "OK, first, go find a rich old man.," and other assorted smuggery. Mini-featurettes like these just tell me one clear thing: DVD producers will go to ANY lengths in order to justify a lot of cleavage on the disc cover.

Lenny & Cal's Gold Digging Tips: Chris and Will get together for some annoying EPK chatter, once again accompanied by the immortal Teleprompter of Negative Wit. They basically deliver even MORE "advice" on how to dig that proverbial gold. Again, there's no 'wink' at the audience or jocular sense of fun; it's just insipid stuff like "Find someone who has more money than you, and then figure out a way to get it." (Oh, my sides are splitting!)

Nikki Ziering: Backstage at the Gold Diggers Photo Shoot: Someone figured that since Nikki's already in about 3% of the movie, why not have her do a bikini photo shoot while she's at it? But since we all got to see her bare boobies about six minutes ago, I'm not exactly sure who'd be turned on by the bathing suit material.

Trailers: At last! Something on this disc worth watching! Skipping over the Gold Diggers trailer, you'll get to see coming attractions for Dorm Daze, When Will I Be Loved, The Yes Men, and Species 3.
DVD cover girl Nikki Ziering gets more attention on this disc than Clint Eastwood does on both platters of the UNFORGIVEN (SE). And I guess that's just fine, especially when you consider that literally everything else connected to GOLD DIGGERS is pretty venal, ugly, obnoxious, and head-slappingly unfunny. This is a cheesy little DVD that houses an atrociously bad attempt at filmmaking.
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