Film Review: Tomboy (1985)

Release Date: January 25th, 1985
Directed by: Herb Freed
Written by: Ben Zelig
Music by: Michael Lloyd
Cast: Betsy Russell, Jerry DiNome, Kristi Somers, Richard Erdman, Philip Sterling, Michelle Bauer (uncredited)

Crown International Pictures, BCI Eclipse, 91 Minutes


I always thought Betsy Russell was pretty desirable. Now make her a mechanic and racecar driver and she gets infinitely more desirable. Unfortunately, the film around her is not very desirable.

Tomboy is one of nineteen gazillion 80s teen sex comedy movies. While that’s typically not a sub-genre that is known for Oscar caliber motion pictures there are a few that are true cinematic classics. Tomboy, however, is pretty close to the bottom of the barrel. Although, it is still entertaining and goofy enough to enjoy.

Betsy Russell stars as Tomasina Boyd (Tom… Boy… get it?). She rides dirtbikes, shoots hoops, works on cars and even built her own racecar that looks like the lovechild of a dangerous carnival ride and a 70s lunchbox. Her slutty prissy friend always tries to turn her into a slutty prissy girl. Betsy isn’t having any of that though because she’s a friggin’ tomboy.

This handsome racecar champion shows up in Betsy’s garage one day and all of a sudden, she cares about boys. Her friend even gives her a special perfume that makes vaginas smell pleasant. I’m not making this up, I swear.

Anyway, the whole thing comes to this big crescendo where Betsy has to race against her beau with the winner getting some sort of big-time racing contract. In the end, everyone is happy and richer. We also get to see Betsy’s boobies a few times along the way.

Tomboy is pretty crappy, for the most part, but it’s still fun and full of bizarre characters that go beyond just being 80s cliches. There’s the slutty friend who shoots a commercial wearing powedered donuts on her boobs, there’s the weirdo rich kid who doesn’t know how to relate to anyone except creepy old rich dudes, there’s the dumb hunk, there’s the loser guy who crashes and burns trying to get with the ladies, there’s the… well, if you’ve seen these types of movies, you probably know the drill by now.

The film has less than mediocre acting, art-less cinematography, a cookie cutter lowest common denominator score and a cheesy 80s title song that will make you slip into madness. But at least everyone looks like they’re having fun.

Tomboy is dated. It wasn’t good in 1985 even. However, if you’ve got 90 minutes to kill on a rainy day, throw it on.

Rating: 4/10