You could argue that studio films have become less political and class-conscious since the '60s, but cinematic class-consciousness has remained a fixture in, of all places, the world of lowbrow comedy. What is the oft-filmed comedic struggle between slobs and snobs if not a commentary on the role of the proletariat in contemporary Western society? Two recent direct-to-video comedies, the Luke Wilson vehicle Kill The Man and the bawdy, low-budget T&A romp Golfballs!, both continue this comedic tradition in their own unique fashion. A fairly dire Caddyshack rip-off that's low on inspiration and competence but chock full of gratuitous nudity, Golfballs! tells the story of a run-down golf course whose commercial fortunes turn around after its employees discover that golfers love to see scantily clad, large-breasted women washing golf carts and caddying in a lewd and lascivious fashion. This, naturally, brings the course into conflict with the snobs, who are concerned that the slobs will sully the reputation of their sport. All of which leads to numerous scenes of sleazy-looking vixens washing each other, as well as the now-obligatory scene in which a snob is thrown into the pool. It's familiar, raunchy, moronic stuff, but it's also oddly innocent, as the film, in true softcore-porn fashion, seems to view borderline-prostitution as only a bit less wholesome than leading a Girl Scout troop. Slightly more upscale, but still fairly stupid, is Kill The Man, a slapstick comedy about a pair of hapless copy-shop-owning pals (Luke Wilson and Joshua Malina) forced to compete with a giant corporate chain store that moves in next door. Of course, this necessitates hiring a series of comical types, chief among them a communist rapper (Phil LaMarr of MAD TV) who is named, in what should give you a good indication of Kill The Man's not particularly subtle comedic approach, Marky Marx. Apparently operating under the low-comedy rule that comedic schemers are unencumbered by the dictates of reality, Malina and Wilson set out on a series of anti-corporate pranks that in real life would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars and get them arrested. Of course, it's ironic that the vast majority of people who see Kill The Man will rent it from a large corporate chain store, but it's not exactly an irony that the good-natured but self-consciously quirky film is smart or savvy enough to address, let alone undermine.

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