Aug 072020

Eurotrip is a 2004 teen comedy. 

Eurotrip is a very parochial movie, with the American teens treating Europe as if it is a terrifying land of threatening depravity. The plot itself is premised on heterosexual gay panic: the protagonist doesn’t realize that he has become email pals with a German girl and thinks a man is propositioning him. When he realizes his mistake, he goes on a trip with some friends across Europe to find his love and make amends. 

Much of the comedy is the characters attempting and failing to enjoy European pleasures supposedly forbidden in puritanical America. (Two of the “vices”, cannabis and absinthe, are now mostly legal in the USA.)

Madam Vandersexxx (Lucy Lawless)

Cooper, the obligatory dimwitted horndog, says: 

Cooper: “This trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity to broaden my sexual horizons. […] I’m talking about crazy European sex. You know America was founded by prudes. Prudes who left Europe because they hated all the kinky, steamy European sex that was going on. And now I, Cooper Harris, will return to the land of my perverted forefathers and claim my birthright, which is a series of erotic and sexually challenging adventures.” 

In Amsterdam, “the drug and sex capital of Europe”, Cooper grabs a flyer for “Club Vandersexxx”. Inside, it’s all young beautiful white women lounging around in lingerie. Madam Vandersexxx (Lucy Lawless) welcomes him. 

Vandersexxx and Cooper

Madam Vandersexxx: “He is American. How sad for you to grow up in a country founded by prudes. A country overrun with crime and illiteracy. A country where a man is forced to make sex to only one woman at a time, and one must learn the woman’s name beforehand.”

Cooper: “It was horrible.”

Madam Vandersexxx: “I know. But you can come with me and let the vandersexxx begin.”

The women start undressing him. 

Cooper sits next to Madam while the other women are stroking him. She introduces to him the concept of safewords.

Madam Vandersexxx: “Sometimes, we find our clients are so overwhelmed with the pleasure, that they sometimes scream out, ‘no’, when they really mean ‘yes’. And that is why we have the safe word.”

Cooper: “The ‘safe word’?”

Madam Vandersexxx: “If at any time the ecstasy gets too great, you just use the safe word. Until we hear the safe word, we will not stop.”

She hands him a folded piece of paper.

Cooper: “Yeah, right. ‘Stop.’ All right.” 

Madam Vandersexxx: “We’re going to start slowly, teasing you with a little light erotic foreplay.”

Cooper: “Wheee!”

Cooper is delighted even with the women handcuff him to the bedframe.

Then Madam Vandersexxx begins in earnest. The women disappear, the curtains retract to reveal bare concrete walls, and she summons “Hans” and “Gruber”, two large muscular men in aprons and harnesses. They swiftly transform the bed into a standing bondage frame and equipment locker. The soundtrack changes to aggressive techno music with male German vocals. 

Cooper: “So, are the girls coming back?”

Madam Vandersexxx: “Administer the testicle clamps!”

They rip off his clothes and bring out scary-looking equipment with car batteries. 

Cooper remembers he has a safeword, which turns out to be a long, complicated word in Dutch he can’t pronounce correctly.

After some of Madam Vandersexxx’s ministrations (involving a wind-up cymbals monkey), Cooper manages to pronounce what he thinks is the safeword. Instead, she orders her minions to bend Cooper over a bench and bring out some elaborate, phallic-looking mechanized device. The target is his ass. 

The next morning, Cooper rejoins the group, walking bowlegged. “I don’t want to talk about it.” At least he got the t-shirt.

Much like the dominatrix scene in Tomcats (including a similar room that instantly transforms into a dungeon), the comedy exploits male insecurity about sexually voracious women, with homosexual panic added. 

New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless is probably best known as the title character of the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (1995-2001), who had more than a hint of the dominatrix about her.

  11 Responses to “Eurotrip (2004): The Celluloid Dungeon”

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