We’re pretty sure the title of Josh Heald’s screenplay, Hot Tub Time Machine, was the result of a drunken night tossing Magnetic Poetry tiles at a refrigerator. (We can’t believe the studio passed on that evening’s other gem, Supersonic Stripper Pole.) The plot took a little more crafting: Three middle-aged friends—John Cusack, Rob Corddry from The Daily Show, and Craig Robinson of The Office—along with Clark Duke, playing Cusack’s nerdy kid brother, return to their old stomping grounds for a bachelor-party ski weekend only to find the resort has devolved into a wasteland of P.F. Chang’s and poorly groomed, patchy slopes. When the boys decide to cut their losses and get black-out drunk in their crappy lodge’s strange hot tub, the quartet wakes up to find the Jacuzzi has zapped them back to 1986.
We can’t be sure about the rest of the story until Hot Tub’s March release. All we’ve seen is a coffee-stained first draft of the script and the F-bomb-ridden trailer. But we know the movie, filmed in Fernie, BC, last spring, is a mash-up of Back to the Future (Crispin Glover, a.k.a. George McFly, has a role as a one-armed bellboy) and every ’80s comedy about boobies ever made. As Cusack and the gang try to find a way home and score with the big-hairs, they run into ski goggles full of cocaine, Chevy Chase, and a Poison cover band, and face off with a preppie in a climactic ski race that riffs on Cusack’s 1985 cult classic, Better Off Dead.
Could Time Machine earn a place alongside schlock masterworks like Ski School and Hot Dog…the Movie? According to screenwriter Josh Heald, who still hasn’t sobered up, it will blow them all away: “Hot Tub Time Machine is probably the greatest gift anyone’s ever given the world.”