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creature feature: Virginity

In all Asylum movies, there is an enemy to be defeated. Sometimes that enemy is a monstrous creature running amok in a populous area; sometimes it's a crazed genius at the helm of a fiendish plot for world domination/destruction; sometimes it's a psycho or a supernatural being with a penchant for nubile women; sometimes it's an extraterrestrial lifeform or object whose arrival spells doom; and sometimes, in the cases of films like The 18 Year Old Virgin and Barely Legal, it is that most heinous of curses, the most affronting of affronts - your virginity.

In both these films - both written, by the way, by Naomi Selfman - and many other teenage sex comedies, virginity is a thing that must be slain, a thing to purge oneself of in order to insure normal, healthy personal development, and of course, lots of sex. In most creature features, this is the part where I would describe the creature in question, it's schematics and parameters, abilities and weaknesses; that's a little hard to do with virginity - it's just a thing about you that's there until it isn't, and getting rid of it, "killing" it, if you will, is relatively easy, depending on how you rate a variety of factors including appearance, willingness, standards and proximity to partners with comparable ratings. Yet it remains a hard and fast (pardon the pun) tenet of young adulthood: getting laid ain't easy. Even if, if 18 Year Old Virgin and Barely Legal are to be believed, you're a smoking hot chick.

In both films, women decide their still-intact virginities need to be done away with at the very first legal opportunity, their 18th birthdays. All sorts of sexy hi-jinks ensue in their quest to obtain a dong for the deed, and in the end, it's realized that sex and love, while of course highly compatible, can come separately with varying degrees of physical and emotional satisfaction. But they still hit it, so, problem solved.

Losing one's virginity, to some people, could be considered the most significant rite of passage there is; it certainly cannot be argued by anyone, no matter their beliefs, that it is one of the more intensely personal experiences a person can go through, and thus it is to be expected that pursuing this experience can sometimes reach fervent heights. That's why we have these movies, not to mention American Pie, The Last American Virgin, Losin' It, Porky's, Superbad, The Virginity Hit, Can't Hardly Wait, Twilight and, of course, The 40 Year Old Virgin. The conclusion? Virginity is to comedies as Nazis are to war movies: the ultimate villain.

Ooh, pitch idea: Virgins at the Center of the Earth, a sort of Vernesian Blue Lagoon/Land of the Lost thing about college kids on a church trip - the whole purity-ring crowd - whose bus falls into a crevice opened by a localized earthquake. Instead of dying in a fiery blaze as logic would dictate, they fall into an inner-earth paradise from which they can't escape. As the months wear on, the promises of the surface world fall away as passions flare. But you know, funny.

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