The raunchy teen road trip comedy is a fascinating genre in and of itself. There have been some truly classic films in that vein, but it has been a long time since any of them were actually playing in a first run theater. Same goes with the party film. Well, director Phil Dornfeld, protege of David Zucker, has finally come to the rescue with his road trip party extravaganza Mardi Gras. The comedy will give the famous New Orleans street fair its long overdue run on the big screen, and it will serve as a showcase for some mighty fine up and coming talent.

We recently flew down to New Orleans to watch Dornfeld film some of his upcoming party opus. There, the director had sanctioned off most of Bourbon Street and, along with a number of local extras, he was realistically recreating the intense drunken atmosphere of a real Mardi Gras parade. It was an amazing "fake" festival of flying beads, drunken sorority babes, and a couple of guys just looking to get laid. Liquid hand grenades went flying, and the Hurricanes were flowing freely from what looked to be a non-stop spout of slush. Of course, I must note, every drink was fake and every one appearing in front of the camera was sober. But it all seemed just a little to real. I guess that's what comes from shooting on location. Hopefully, someone will waft some puke smells into the theater to top it all off.

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The film stars Nicholas D'Agosto (Rocket Science, Fired Up), Josh Gad (The Rocker, 21) and Bret Harrison (Reaper, Grounded for Life) as three college roommates that set off for New Orleans and the party that will end all parties. D'Agosto plays Mike, whose girlfriend is currently away from school for her grandfather's funeral. He heads off to Bourbon Street to support his friends' lust for adventure but is soon surprised to see his girlfriend there exposing herself for beads instead of mourning her dearly departed grandpa. Gad plays Bump, an overbearing and sometimes thoughtless party monster that has grown tired of the campus scene. When he arrives in Louisiana, he accidentally "bumps" into a local girl, played by Regina Hall, and she eventually comes to show him the real meaning behind Mardi Gras. And then there is poor Scottie, played by Harrison, a naive and somewhat clueless chap that ends up falling in love with the most beautiful girl on all of Bourbon Street. Too bad she is Carmen Electra and the queen of Mardi Gras. When all is said and done, these three friends wind up having the time of their lives and enough drinks to last a lifetime.

While in New Orleans, we got a chance to chat with all three leads, as well as Regina Hall, Carmen Electra, and director Phil Dornfeld. We will soon provide extensive set visit coverage, relaying the day of shooting we were present for and the sites that made our trip worthwhile. This was a good one. You won't want to miss it.

Mardi Gras will open in 2009.

Cinemark Movie Club
B. Alan Orange