by Curtis Lanclos
Today (June 29, 2019) marks the 35th Anniversary of the release of Bachelor Party starring Tom Hanks and Tawny Kitaen. This 1984 film follows the life of Catholic school bus driver Rick Gassko (Hanks) and his announcement to his testosterone-heavy party animal friends of his engagement to Debbie (Kitaen). His debaucherous friends insist on giving him a bachelor party on the eve of his wedding, and much of the film is dedicated to whether or not he can resist the temptation to be unfaithful to his fiancée. A gratuitous amount of slapstick humor ensues; and although this film isn’t anywhere near Academy Award material, it has become a cult classic among many of us who grew up in the 1980s. To this very day, my High School friend Richard and I exchange many memorable quotes to one another from this film via text and social media!
Fast forward back to modern day. For the past couple of years I have been involved with a wonderful RETRO event called 80s in the Sand. This is a week-long event wherein middle-aged folk like myself congregate together at the Breathless Spa and Resort in Punta Cana, DR to enjoy “everything ’80s!” Original MTV VJs join in on the fun, as do several recording artists and actors from our favorite decade. November 3-10, 2018 marked the second edition of this event, and one of the actresses scheduled to appear was none other than Tawny Kitaen, aka Rick Gassko’s fiancée in Bachelor Party!
Around the middle of 2018, some discussions were brewing on the 80s in the Sand Facebook Group about ’80s movie/TV costume ideas for the theme nights for the upcoming event in November. My friend Vip from Chicago (whom I met at the 2017 event) joined the conversation and he had a gripe or two. Specifically, since he is of Indian descent, he was lamenting the fact there are not many notable characters in ’80s films who are from India. In fact, the only characters which came to mind were Gandhi and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (from The Simpsons).
I chimed in and said, “What about that funny pimp from Bachelor Party? He was an Indian! And he had a henchman named ‘Milt’ whom I could portray!”
Vip agreed and we started to respectively put our costumes together. Others in the Facebook group caught wind of this, and under the leadership of wonderful veteran “Sanders” Jennifer and Shirley, it was decided that on “Club Night” at 80s in the Sand 2018, a large handful of us would portray the a majority of the cast of Bachelor Party!
Not long after 80s in the Sand 2018 began, Ms. Kitaen and the staff photographer Kelley Sweet learned of our plan. So, it was decided we would all do a photo shoot together! Here are some of the photos from that memorable night (all photos by Kelley Sweet Photography)…
Vip as “The Pimp”and Curtis (of RetroZest) as “Milt”
“Cole” and “Disguised Hooker Debbie”
“Belly Dancer,” “Nick,” “Tim,” and “Asian Hotel Client”
“Tennis Rick and Debbie” and “Disguised Hooker Debbie”
“Dr. Tina Gassko”
The Entire Group with Tawny!
When I first saw this film 35 years ago, I never dreamed I would ever meet Tawny Kitaen; much less recreate a character from one of her movies and have my photo taken with her! This is the kind of thing 80s in the Sand does for those of us who cherish the ’80s!
Incidentally, Ms. Kitaen will be returning for 80s in the Sand 2019 (November 2-9, 2019). Why don’t you come down to Punta Cana and meet her along with many other performers from the greatest decade ever? It’ll be a week you’ll never forget!
Read my summary of the very first 80s in the Sand (2017) HERE!