Lemon Popsicle


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

About the DVD:

I purchased the first 4 Lemon Popsicle films in a box set from Amazon UK. I was enjoying the films on one level, but I gave up after the first one because the transfers are just atrocious. As one commenter wrote on the Amazon site: "No expense at all has been incurred to bring these films to you on DVD, except maybe to pick up 3rd-generation VHS copies from a (flea market) in Tel Aviv!" Since the DVDs are obviously VHS transfers, there are three big problems: (1) the visual quality is poor; (2) the sound is monaural; (3) they are in 4:3 aspect ratio, and have obviously been pan-&-scanned to cobble them into that shape.

The aspect ratio didn't bother me too much on the first film, but I abandoned the second film after about five minutes because most of the dialogue was coming from characters outside the range of visibility. That particular film seems to have been filmed originally in a 2:35 aspect ratio, so the cropping is particularly annoying. The action is sometimes difficult to follow because the frame often includes a single character who is not speaking, a situation resulting from a clumsily cropped two-shot or three-shot. The experience would be bad even if the visuals were clear and bright, but the VHS source was so poor that watching this particular version of Lemon Popsicle 2 is akin to watching a broadcast of Ben-Hur on an old rabbit-ear television with particularly bad reception.

As for the sound ... well, I suppose there are plenty of films that don't need more than monaural sound, but these four movies are not part of that group. The music is an integral component of their appeal. The sound track consists of non-stop oldies from the 50s and early 60s, so it's frustrating to hear them in such weak condition.

In the first film, the menu includes a choice of the original Hebrew dialogue or English dubbing. The Hebrew track comes without subtitles, so brush up your language skills! Consider some Torah study before watching. The second film is only available with the English dubbing. I didn't look at #3 or #4 because I just got disgusted by the quality of the transfers.

Bottom line: do not buy this collection.

About the film itself:

Although Lemon Popsicle is in Hebrew and takes place in Tel Aviv in 1960, it is almost exactly the same film as The Last American Virgin, which is in English and takes place in the USA twenty years later. That's because The Last American Virgin was a remake designed specifically for the American market. The two films were made only four years apart by the same director (Boaz Davidson) and the same producers (Golan and Globus), using some of the same storyboards and dialogue. In order to create the American version, the filmmakers made only the changes which were necessary for the chronological and geographic shift.

If you like the youthploitation sex comedies of the early 80s, you will regard this as their spiritual ancestor. It was made four years before Porky's or Fast Times, and touches upon the same themes and features the same kind of hijinks. I enjoyed it in spite of the abominable transfer, and offer only one possible precaution. I mentioned above that the sound track consisted of non-stop oldies. I was not using the term "non-stop" casually or figuratively. Nearly every minute of the film blasts a top forty hit into your ears, whether it's in the background under some dialogue, or at top volume when the action is visual. Unlike most films, which tend to "sample" pop songs, Lemon Popsicle usually plays the entire song from start to finish (sometimes more than once!), adjusting the volume depending on the spoken dialogue. When the characters speak, the volume of the doo-wop is lowered, but the tunes get loud again if and when the characters stop talking. I'm guessing that the decision to use the full length of the songs was both a stylistic choice and an economic one. I don't know precisely how the royalty fee structure works, but I'm assuming that the filmmakers pay the same fee whether they play a few bars of "Mr Lonely" or play the entire song through twice. If that is so, these filmmakers got their money's worth.

I love doo-wop rock. I'm not sure why. If somebody started making new doo-wop songs in the 50s style, would I love those, too, or do I just love those old songs because they are so familiar, so easy to sing along with, and so evocative of youth? I don't know the answer to that hypothetical question, but I do love me some greaser classics. Despite that affection, I was getting a little annoyed at the incessant presence of shoo-be-doos, bop-shoo-bops, sha-na-nas and rama-lama-ding-dongs on this soundtrack. So I'm guessing that you might get really annoyed if you don't share my affection for 1950s harmonies sung by lovelorn wimps about the unfaithful or unattainable girls in the local high school.

At any rate, I enjoyed the films enough to hunt out a better collection, so maybe this discussion will continue.

DVD info

It seems that there is an excellent set of all nine Lemon Popsicle films in German, if that's your bag, but at this time. there is no satisfactory transfer which incorporates either English dubbing or English subtitles.







There are no major reviews online.


6.1 IMDB summary (of 10)





No North American release.






Anat Atzmon showed her breasts in the role Diane Franklin played in The Last American Virgin.

Ophelia Shtruhl showed it all in the Luisa Moritz role.

Denise Bouzaglo was topless as a hooker who gave the boys a case of crabs.




Web www.scoopy.com

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


Pretty good genre film ... was before its time.