National Lampoon's Gold Diggers (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

We would have given two thumbs down, but we couldn't actually turn our thumbs down because we needed those thumbs to hold our noses while watching this film, which is also known as "Lady Killers".

Scoop's notes in white:

In discussing the worst films of 2004, we found that the contest was nearly a runaway for Superbabies. That movie, after all, got no positive reviews, and was rated the worst of all time at IMDb. As you can well imagine, that stupefying level of incompetence nearly blew away the competition, and yet National Lampoon's Gold Diggers refused to surrender. Gold Diggers matched Superbabies with 0% positive reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and when Metacritic did their end of the year accounting, the final tallies were 9/100 for Superbabies and 6/100 for Gold Diggers. Given that fact, in concert with the IMDb score of Superbabies, the director of Gold Diggers may proudly and rightfully boast of having made a movie worse than the worst movie of all time, a paradox comparable in complexity only to the Mudd's Robots Conundrum.

Given that he made fun of Catholic orphanages in this school, and is therefore probably excommunicated and banned from the sacrament of confession, Gary Preisler, the man who wrote and directed this film, will need to contact one of those sin eaters to obtain forgiveness for this effort. And I'm not just talking about a regular old garden variety sin eater who can chow down on the taste of your having filched a few bucks from your mom's penny jar, nosiree. This guy needs the Marlon Brando of sin eaters, a man who could chow down every crumb of the seven deadly sins of Larry Flynt and Hitler at an all-you-can-eat buffet, a man who can even eat gluttonously when he consumes the rich taste of Gluttony itself. (Speaking of Mudd's Robots, can a sin eater commit the sin of gluttony while eating the Sin of Gluttony itself?)

I suppose you can guess from my expertise in this topic that I tried to be a sin eater myself, but I could never swallow my Pride.

I did learn however, that Envy goes best with a Pinot Noir.

But enough about me. Could there be more to say about the film? Oh, there's more. Consider this: the topline above-the-title star of this film, the headliner, so to speak, is the redheaded doofus who played The Sherminator in American Pie.

Or consider the DVD box. Riddle me this, Batman. How do you fill the box with written blurbs capable of marketing a film with zero percent positive reviews? Even the notorious quote whore, "Earl Dittman of Wireless Magazine" was abstaining from this one. The guy who wrote the DVD box did a helluva job at spinning this. Since no reviewers used any positive adjectives, he quoted the negative adjectives which might at least provoke some sales to people who like gross-out comedies, hoping that the people in that highly-targeted audience would see those negative characteristics as positives. He also quoted only one adjective at a time, completely separated from the context in which the words were originally used. These are the reviews used on the box:

"Tasteless" - The Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Offensive" - The Washington Post

"Low-brow" - The New York Daily News

"Raunchy, offensive" - The Hollywood Reporter

"Ultra-crass contribution to the Lampoon shelf" - Boston Globe

All of those reviewers actually said those things, but I'm sure they never dreamed their comments would be quoted to sell the DVD! If you want to see what reviewers really thought of this film, click on the Rotten Tomatoes link and just read the one line summaries of each review. It will bring a much leaded uplift to sagging spirits!

The plot:

Two young losers concoct a plan to get rich by marrying two very old heiresses who live in a beautiful Beverly Hills Mansion. Shortly after the dual wedding ceremony, the boys decide they need to accelerate nature's course a bit because the old women are not dying fast enough, so they conspire to kill them. Unfortunately for our lads, and unknown to them,  the women have fallen on hard times since their father invented condoms, and their evil uncle has hijacked their fortune from them. The only hope for the old biddies to save their crumbling lifestyle was to pretend they were still rich, marry two young gold-diggers, insure them, kill them, and reap the rewards.

Thus, everyone is trying to kill everyone else. There is no wit in the murder plots. The performing is annoying, crass and lowbrow. The only alleged humor in the film basically consists of the boys' ongoing disgust at having to have oral sex with incredibly old women, one of whom is permanently horny.

That's the film. Toss in a convenient happy ending, and you have the wrap-up.

I guess I could cite three points of interest:

  • To be fair, the finished film doesn't look bad at all.

  • If you are into 70s nostalgia, the old gals are played by Renee Taylor and Louise Lasser. Lasser, who was married to Woody Allen in the sixties, and was once a hot star in the soap spoof "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" (1976-77), plays the shy sister. The sexual predator is played by Taylor, who garnered an Oscar nomination in 1970 for her script for Lovers and Other Strangers, and won other writing awards for that film as well as for Made for Each Other.

  • The DVD fares a little better than the PG-13 theatrical release, since some flesh has been inserted, albeit clumsily, in the form of dream sequences in which one of the boys fantasizes the life he will someday have with former playmate Nikki Ziering (July 2003), assuming that his horny old wife finally dies. The DVD version of these sequences is "unrated", but would be rated "R" based upon the frequent appearances of Miss Ziering's impressive aftermarket hooters. (The theatrical version of the film, given neither wits nor tits, was a comedy with absolutely no merit of any kind.)

Tuna's comments in yellow:

National Lampoon's Gold Diggers is another of the too frequent completely lame comedies from National Lampoon. Two orphans tire of working for minimum wage, and move to Hollywood to pursue a promising new career as purse snatchers. On their first attempt, dressed as a rabbi and a nun, they pull off a woman's prosthetic arm, which she proceeds to beat them with until the cops arrive. They learn their lesson, and, upon release, decide to try armed robbery on two old ladies. They hadn't counted on mace, and find themselves in jail again.

Meanwhile, we learn that the two old ladies, sisters and heirs to a condom fortune, have been swindled out of their money by an uncle. They decide to spring our two heroes, marry, insure and then kill them. When our heroes see the sisters' mansion, they decide to marry then outlive them. These are not marriages made in heaven, and soon everyone wants to kill each other, but they keep missing, and the body count mounts.

Stupid idea, stupid screenplay, poor execution. The only thing of merit in this entire film is Nikki Ziering's tits, which she shows first as a fantasy girl, then later as the new girlfriend of one of our heroes. There are outtakes from her nude scenes in the special features. 

As an aside, it could have been worse. They proved it on the DVD with alternate opening and closing scenes.



  • The transfer is anamorphically enhanced, and is actually quite good!
  • There are many special features, although it should be noted that I watched them all, and they all suck.
    • Unrated bloopers
    • Nikki Ziering bloopers
    • Deleted scenes
    • Alternate beginning and endings
    • Nikki Ziering's Gold-Digging tips for men and women
    • Lenny & Cal's Gold-Digging tips
    • Nikki Ziering: Backstage at the Gold Diggers photo shoot


Nikki Ziering shows her breasts in several scenes on the unrated DVD.

The Critics Vote ...


The People Vote ...

  • Yahoo summary. Yahoo voters call it a D+. You can also find a trailer and a film clip.
  • Box Office Mojo. Inexplicably, this turkey was released on 1000 screens, and pulled in a paltry $400,000 on opening weekend, well on its way to a final tally of ... um ... $500,000.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, we agreed that the unrated DVD cut should be rated a low D. You might enjoy Ziering's nudity, but nothing else. The PG-13 rated theatrical version would be an E-, about as bad as a movie can be, but saved from an F by the fact that the plot is basically coherent and the photography is in focus.

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