Fran Drescher Once Starred In a Raunchy Movie About Jewish Summer Camp – Kveller
Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Fran Drescher Once Starred In a Raunchy Movie About Jewish Summer Camp

It's called "Gorp," and we're honestly not sure we want to watch it.


a still from "Gorp"

Fran Drescher has recently become a labor rights icon as the head of SAG-AFTRA, who had some pretty harsh (and Yiddish) words to say to studio execs as she led her union to strike. But once upon a time, she was a sex icon (I think?) in an utterly subversive Jewish summer camp movie from 1980 called “Gorp.”

That’s right, Drescher, who would go on to become a fashion icon over a decade later in “The Nanny,” played a liberated Jewish camp counselor in the movie directed by Joseph Ruben (“Sleeping With the Enemy”), who at one point in the movie declares, “I’m just here to have fun, sex and fun, no commitment, just like the guys.” Get it, girl!

I’m going to break the news to you now: “Gorp” is not available for streaming anywhere, and I have never seen it. And after reading everything I can about the film online, I’m not sure I’d really want to see it.

One IMDB reviewer, who obviously has a bone to pick with Drescher, wrote of her role, “While she has never been unattractive and is not nearly as annoying here as she would become some years later, [Drescher] plays the camp nympho who ‘does’ everybody (including a rabbi!) without actually ever taking off her clothes.” Which, I might add, is actually iconic. Speaking of the rabbi, actor Robert Trebor, who you may know from “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Hercules,” plays Rabbi Blowitz. In one still from the movie, we see Rabbi Blowitz and Evie drinking wine from coupe glasses (fancy!) and studying what appears to be some kind of Jewish text together, lit by a silver candelabra. Is the wine for kiddush? Does the candelabra represent Shabbat candles? Again, I haven’t watched “Gorp,” so I don’t know, but if they are, it seems the Jewish details in “Gorp” may be as lacking as its sense of propriety.

“Gorp” seems to be a dirtier, more nihilistic and probably not as good precursor to 2001’s “Wet Hot American Summer,” which still goes down as one of the most authentic depictions of summer camp on the silver screen. It also was the first major film to star Rosanna Arquette and Dennis Quaid, which means, if it weren’t for “Gorp,” we might not have ever gotten “The Parent Trap,” “Desperately Seeking Susan” and “After Hours.” (OK, fine, we would probably still have them, but just in case, thank you, “Gorp,” I guess?)

On Amazon reviews, it’s compared to movies like “Meatballs” and “Animal House.” “For those with a fondness for bad 80s movies and 80s camp-themed movies, it’s a must-watch,” one Amazon reviewer wrote, while another called it “worthless.”

Another described the film, which has a 23% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as “a dozen silly/gross/madcap storylines piling over each other in a fashion similar to movies previously made by John Landis and Ivan Reitman… Stupid, yes, unlikely to yield many chuckles, irritating, particularly mean-spirited toward fat people, but rowdy and festive at least.”

Apparently, “Gorp,” is an abbreviation of “granola, oats, raisins, peanuts,” and the movie poster says it contains “a bunch of fruits, nuts and flakes.”

If anyone out there has seen “Gorp,” do let me know if it’s worth hunting down. For now, I’ll just enjoy the fact that a movie exists in which Fran Drescher is a sexually liberated woman who never has to take off any of her clothes. An icon.

Skip to Banner / Top Skip to Content