With the success of The Naked Mile, Universal decided to make a direct sequel to that movie with Erik Lindsay. It would again focus on Erik Stifler’s sexual misadventures with his cousin Dwight and his best friend Cooze. Since the release of Band Camp in 2005, the direct to video market had grown 36 percent.
If The Naked Mile focused on the greatness of masculinity, the new film Beta House would focus on what it means for a woman to be masculine.
The Sexual Siren
In Greek Mythology, the sirens would tempt sailors into crashing their boats onto the rocks with their beautiful songs. In movies, the sexual siren is a character who tricks men into having undesirable sex. The Male character usually assumes that he is having sex with an attractive and feminine woman. A male character can be tricked based on seduction or through blacking out after a night of heavy drinking.
Often the sirens will be what the narrative considers masculine, either in temperament, body type, or actual genitalia. In either case, a major fear with this character is that they will penetrate the male character in some form. A sexually aggressive female is considered undesirable, as she reverses the traditional male and female roles in narrative. The man becomes submissive while the woman becomes dominant.
A less used version in the series revolves on an elderly woman having sex with a much younger man. This character appears in the Jim Carrey vehicle Yes Man (2008) and American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (2009).
Beta House focuses on Erik’s first year at Michigan state after his girlfriend breaks up with him. However, their fraternity’s very existence is under threat by the freakish Geek fraternity. Eventually, they must compete against the Geek fraternity in the Greek Olympiad. Whichever team loses gives up their charter and house to the other team.
The World of the Film
Beta House is a more relaxed film than the first. This is probably best exemplified by Dwight Stifler. In the first film, Dwight is a party animal who spends the film getting drunk and getting into fights. Here, he acts as more of a pickup artist and mentor. He’s a bit more subdued and easygoing.
If the previous film focused on how amazing the penis is, this movie focuses on men (and women) ejaculating. At the beginning, the lead character of Erik keeps experiencing premature ejaculation. A character’s big secret is that she has forceful ejaculations. In the Greek Olympiad, two events revolve around ejaculating. The first event involves Russian Roulette with a gun full of deer semen. The final event is basically just getting lap dances until ejaculation. Dwight participates in both events.
Along with the masculine storytelling and phallic imagery, the film also makes of two of the most masculine movies of the 1970’s: The Deer Hunter (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979). The Russian Roulette scene is a direct reference to the Russian Roulette scenes in The Deer Hunter. In another scene, Dwight dresses as the Robert Duvall character from Apocalypse Now as the pledgers of his fraternity fire water balloons at students. Most of their targets are women. When the balloons hit them, they reveal the women’s breasts. When this happens, Dwight says, “I love the smell of boobies in the morning.” All of these references add to the film’s masculine mature.
Like many of the Direct-to-DVD sequels, Beta House cut many character development scenes. The film also significantly cut down the storyline of many of the characters. For example, the storyline of Dwight seducing the head of the Geek fraternity is now less obvious because the film cut out the final scenes where they get together. Some characters that had a storyline in the original film disappear to the background here.
In this film, Noah Levenstein (Eugene Levy) oversees a lot of the action in the film. As the Beta’s lawyer, he bails them out of jail when they get into trouble. At the Greek Olympiad, he oversees the games and announces some of the events. This is because he previously participated in them and became famous for it.
The Creative Team
The Naked Mile united its cast and crew in more than one way. John White (Erik) and Jake Siegel (Cooze) became roommates, while Steve Talley (Dwight) lived up the street from them. According to cast and crew commentary and interviews, the second film was a chance to have even more fun.
A Man who had worked in the film industry for years, director Andrew Waller made Beta House one of his first films. In the same year that Beta House came out, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released another Waller film, Taking Five. Similar to Beta House, Taking Five focuses less on relationships and more on a goal the lead characters have.
The Erik Lindsay Formula
In the Erik Lindsay films, the character who often experiences this storyline the most is Mike “Cooze” Coozeman (Jake Siegel), a friend of the lead. In both movies, Cooze’s storylines revolve around him searching for sex and finding it in the most unexpected ways.
Jill from The Naked Mile
In the previous movie, Cooze meets a college girl, Jill (Jax Smith, credited in these movies as Jaclyn A. Smith). Jill begins to reverse roles on Cooze when she smacks his ass. When they get back to her room, she turns out to be a masochist. She pushes Cooze down on the bed. During their sexual experience, she refers to him as “slave” and “peasant,” making it clear that she is the more dominant party. This ultimately leads to Jill penetrating the tied up Cooze with a dildo, which makes her domination even more masculine in the narrative. Pouring ice down his pants the next morning, Cooze does not want to talk about it.
Jill makes an appearance in Beta House, but her role is mostly cut down to a background character. She is one of the judges in the competition. In a deleted scene, she actually interacts with Cooze. Cooze walks into the Greek Olympiad. Dressed as a Greek Goddess, Jill greets him and hits a scroll against her hand. Cooze flinches a bit.
Although Beta House has been edited significantly, there were originally more sexual sirens in the original cut. Besides Jill, there was southern belle Denise (Sarah Power), sex addict Tiffany (Ashleigh Hubbard), and others.
A tall southern belle, Denise starts her relationship with Mike. She feels bashful every time Mike gets close to her genitals and often gives him handjobs instead. As sexual contact involving the vagina does not occur, the guys become more and more worried that she is actually a man. Cooze has two nightmares where she has a penis. In the first, Denise has Cooze go down on her. It’s all tender and romantic until she yells out “suck my cock.” In the second, Denise is actually seen with a large penis (it’s described in the DVD commentary as a “horse cock”).
In the end, it turns out that she is not a man, but a woman who very powerfully ejaculates. After Cooze has sex, he goes to talk to Dwight covered in female ejaculate. Dwight is immediately impressed because “not many women can do that.” Something that could be potentially horrifying to the male ego turns out to be awesome.
In the deleted scenes, there are even more hints at this story. Most notably, there’s a scene where Denise takes “the man’s part” in a dance.
Tiffany is a sex addict that Dwight picks up from a sex addicts anonymous meeting. A rich woman, she went to sex addicts anonymous after she slept with the fourth landscaping crew her parents hired. Dwight regrets it after she proves too sexually aggressive for him. He wants to stop and get an ice pack, but Brandy stops him, telling him that “ice packs are for pussies.” He finally gets away by tricking her into closing her eyes as he runs out of the room.
Tiffany also had a much larger role in the film. In an early deleted scene, Dwight learns that she is trouble when she playfully grabs his penis at a party.
More importantly, she has a whole storyline in the original. Handicapped Geek virgin Jake Parker (Bradford Anderson) wants to have sex, but cannot find a partner. Tiffany finds herself attracted to him when she sees him at the Greek Olympiad in an event called “The Lightning Bolts of Zeus.” In this event, the male contestants have electrodes placed on their penises and get shocked. Whoever lasts the longest without falling down wins. In this cut, Tiffany ends up taking Jake’s virginity at the end of the movie.
Wesley and Women
The rush chairman of the fraternity, Wesley (Jonathan Keltz) is known as “the blackout menace.” He has a habit of waking up in odd places after performing outrageous acts. In many cases, this means waking up in the beds of women that film considers strange.
Early in the film, Wesley gets blackmailed into drinking again. If he does not drink, Bull (Dan Petronijevic) will tell a room full of hot women about “the transvestite in Mexico.” After a night of heavy drinking he wakes up in the bed of Bobby and Margie (Nic Nac and Christine Barger), a heavier couple who love threesomes.
The film repeats the gag of Wesley waking up in strange bed at the end. This time, he hears a toilet flush. A female body builder from the Geek House (Tatiana Anderson) comes out of the bathroom and asks if he wants to fill her with “some more protein.” Wesley screams. Cut to the outside, where the three male leads (Erik, Dwight, and Cooze) stand on the porch of the fraternity. Their new girlfriends (Ashley, Denise, and Irene) stand beside them.
Usually, the love interest would come first in these articles. However, in the case of Beta House, the Love Interest serves a different purpose than the other films.
Although she is female, Erik’s love interest of the film, Ashley (Meghan Heffern), is “just one of the guys.” She is masculine in non-threatening ways. She’s tomboyish, but feminine. She will go along with their schemes and pranks, but will not overpower them. Above all, she has what could be a strong libido without any aggressive male tendencies.
Ashley is also basically Erik’s female equal. Like Erik, she has broken up with somebody and is looking to start a new. Erik meets her in the Dorms co-ed bathrooms (Dwight pushed for co-ed bathrooms for reasons that seem more skeezy than progressive). She takes a shower, while he pees. This introduction makes them equals on a different level than the sexual sirens.
Beta House is a movie about the idea of women being masculine, from temperament to build to genitalia. In it, masculine exists as something men want to be, but do not want to experience. However, women often prove that they are masculine in ways they do not expect.
This is the last of the Erik Lindsay films. Two years later, American Pie Presents would reboot itself with Book of Love.