Rewatchability, which Urban Dictionary defines as “the ability to watch a movie repeatedly without becoming nauseated by it,” takes for granted the notion that one likes the movie to begin with. I’ve seen the movie “Dodgeball” dozens upon dozens of times – it’s a definite favorite and a guaranteed surfing stopper when flipping through channels – yet it wasn’t the repeat viewings but the very first time I saw it when it about made me want to retch. I actually went to the theater, saw it with all the family, and was simply aghast at just how awful it was. Then somehow, for years and years after, I’m elated and almost immediately uproarious every time I come across “Dodgeball,” its ridiculousness having transformed from repulsive to addictive. How the hell does that happen?
Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe the iconic ESPN “The Ocho” broadcast team of Cotton McKnight and Pepper Brooks could find a way to explain it. But what I do know is that one of the many classic and rewatchable scenes (and one of the few I liked from the get-go) was the Average Joe’s vs. Girl Scout Troop 417 match, and part of the reason for that had to be that it’s set to the breakneck, ripsnorter of a tune ‘Take It Off’ by The Donnas. Equal parts Ramones, Runaways, and AC/DC, The Donnas were an all-female California pop-punk band which Rolling Stone once described as “a guileless take on adolescent alienation, trafficking in fun rather than rage,” and that MTV declared “a good old-fashioned rock and roll party.” Before dissolving in 2013 The Donnas had recorded seven full-length albums and achieved a level of celebrity in which they’d appeared on The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, and a main stage set at Lollapalooza.
But frankly I only know them for one song, this one, and not simply from its momentous appearance in “Dodgeball” in 2004, but also as accompanying Zach Galifianakis and his still-reluctant wolf pack on their approach to Las Vegas in “The Hangover” five years later. There’s really nothing not to like in this tune; the party starts right from a ripping riff and the opening line declarative, “I’m on my second drink / But I’ve had a few before.” And then it continues with churning, distorted power chords, a pummelling rhythm section, sassy call-and-response vocals, a hair-tossing, Angus Young-worthy solo break, and bad-ass attitude for days. I could listen to it over and over. Much like watching “Dodgeball” and hanging out at Average Joe’s gym with Patches O’Houlihan. Just remember, if you can dodge a wrench you can dodge a ball.
“God damn you, Bernice!”
“Vegas! Vegas, baby!”