National Lampoon Presents the Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell



National Lampoon Films

There once was a time, many years ago, when the name National Lampoon in front of a movie would have indicated a certain level of humorous content.

Based on more recent output bearing the branding, funny no longer seems to be a prerequisite.

Witness "National Lampoon Presents The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell," an insufferably one-note, postapocalyptic "satire" set in the aftermath of the nuclear destruction of the U.S.

Written and directed by newcomer Kevin Wheatley, the slipshod production wears a smug smirk on its face as it piles on all the allusions to our founding fathers combined with Shakespeare, but there's precious little here, if anything, that would provoke laughter.

It's the end of the 21st century and the world as we know it, but rising from the ashes of an irradiated America are a handful of rebuilders, including Tex Kennedy (Wheatley), who forges a campaign trail accompanied by a pair of robots (Chandler Parker, Paul Whitty).

Along the way they meet up with a female cannibal (Jamie Bullock), a deadly sea snake and a descendant of Fidel Castro, but apparently not a decent writer who could have made something remotely entertaining out of this waste of time that looks and sounds like it made it all up as it went along.

While it's being released in theaters with a bloodshot eye toward the college crowd, this would-be midnight movie should have beaten a path directly to video, where it could have partied next to forsaken copies of "National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze" and "National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj."