Three guys trying to get laid have fake casting calls to pick up girls.

The Lowdown

Remember when National Lampoon used to be special? Actually, other than the magazine, there was not much to the success of their motion picture branch outside of Animal House and Vacation. The recent output of National Lampoon presents has nothing to do with the original National Lampoon label. With the exception of the excellent Van Wilder, nothing with the company’s name associated with it has been worth a damn in many years.

Cattle Call continues the ongoing assault of bad movies with the National Lampoon name plastered on the front of the case. Thomas Ian Nichols, the worst male actor from the American Pie movies, headlines this movie about a group of friends who have a fake casting call to pick up girls. Once again, Nichols is the worst actor in the cast, and as the lead, it makes a bad movie worse.

The best actor in the movie is Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show), who plays the eccentric Glenn Dale. How do we know he’s eccentric? When we first meet him, he answers the phone but doesn’t say anything. His reason is if the phone stops ringing, you should know he answered it. He also talks in a low, strange dialect. He is great in his strange role, but it is not really as great a role as you might expect based on the idea of the character. That is the fault of the script, not Bader’s performance, as he gives the bad script his best effort.

The first half of the movie is simply random scenes from the casting call. It is boring and it felt like the movie would never get underway. There are random nude scenes, but nothing as special as you would expect from a National Lampoon movie. When the final cast of three is set, the plot finally starts to get underway. It is flimsy, uninteresting and never in any way connects with the audience. The conclusion of the movie is a little too easily wrapped up and does not come across as honest.

The direction is simple and uninteresting as well. It is full of fades and does not display a director with any kind of vision. The script is simple and shallow and uninteresting. The women are attractive and Jenny Mollen is quite surprisingly good in her role and the lead female of the film. She is also one of the only girls to not appear nude, reminding me of another piece of sloppy direction. There is a scene in the bathroom where Mollen’s character steps out of the shower. You get a nice look at the side of her breast, but when she turns slightly to put a shirt on, you can actually see the white pasty covering her nipples. I don’t know if the editor never noticed this or just didn’t care enough to remove it digitally. It appears to be a rushed, sloppy excuse for a movie.

While the idea is good, the acting is bad, the direction is bad and the script is bad. I will say this for Cattle Call – it sets a new low for the National Lampoon name.

The Package

The DVD includes various trailers.