The latest from the National Lampoon brand was originally intended to hit theaters this year, but never made it there, likely due to Hilton's distancing herself from the production to the point of reportedly not attending the film's premiere. Now appearing on DVD, the film is dismaying, even with low expectations going in.
Starting with a voiceover that is supposed to be from Hilton's character (yet clearly doesn't sound as if it's being read by Hilton), "Pledge This!" opens by introducing us to icy sorority queen Victoria English (Hilton), who is trying to nab FHM's "hottest sorority" and will let nothing stand in her way.
However, when a ragtag group of freshmen enter the picture, Victoria realizes that the group will give her frat the diversity it needs to win the contest. Or something. When the girls find out that Victoria is just planning on using them (and torturing them in the process), the freshmen decide to get even.
As for where this film goes wrong, it's tough to know where to begin. Hilton is the film's biggest mistake, as she manages to show far less personality here than she has in "The Simple Life", where she's overshadowed by Nicole Richie. Paula Garces ("Clockstoppers") is somewhat better as the leader of the freshmen, but she's certainly done no favors by the film's horrendous script (and the fact that her name is spelled wrong on the front of the box!) Remarkably, "Reno 911"'s Kerri Kenney also appears as a raunchy old freshman.
As for the film's production values, it clearly looks as if it was done on the cheap, from some choppy editing to sets that look thrown together last minute. While Hilton is really one of the film's biggest mistakes, I almost can't blame her for distancing herself from this mess. While Garces (whose name is spelled right on the back) provides a few nice moments in the film's one somewhat pleasant performance, this is otherwise a train wreck.
The DVD presents the unrated version, which is, according to the box, "the version that couldn't be shown in theatres." Given that the movie didn't go to theatres, wouldn't both the rated and unrated versions be considered the version that couldn't be shown in theatres? Just asking. I'm guessing the unrated edition contains more female nudity.
VIDEO: "Pledge This" is presented by Visual Entertainment in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality varied quite a bit throughout the film. While some of the brighter outdoor sequences looked fine, other scenes - both interiors and exteriors - could look rather grainy and soft. Some minor specks and marks were seen on the print used and some mild edge enhancement was occasionally seen. The colors often seem washed out and skin tones seem accurate in some scenes and off in others.
SOUND: "Pledge This" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. As with the visuals, the film's audio was uneven, with some dialogue sounding reasonably clear and other passages sounding s bit muddy.
EXTRAS: A "making of" featurette and a couple of trailers.
Final Thoughts: "Pledge This" is sunk by the fact that Hilton remains the personality-free center of attention. The DVD boasts just adequate audio/video quality and a couple of minor extras. Skip it.
The Film D