Yes, I know—believe me, everyone has told me—these movies are a total and complete waste of time and have little, if any redeeming qualities, but to me they are just fun. If we are honest, we all have things like this in the closet. Maybe I should have kept mine there, but anyone who knows me much at all, will know that I just like odd things. . .so there should be no surprises.
Tomato meter critics’ and viewers’ ratings in parenthesis
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (6%/19%), starring Eddie Murphy and Randy Quaid as his out-of-date robot assistant, this movie is set on the moon in 2087, the new cool place to be. Murphy is a nightclub owner. The club is so successful that the local mob kingpin wants to buy it and will not take no for an answer. The thing cost $100 million to make and had an estimated worldwide box office of less than $8 million.
I like it because of the cool appearance of everything. Yeah, the story is trite and predictable, but some of Quaid’s comments about and reactions to Babette, another robot are just funny. It is not Oscar caliber, but it is fun to me and, frankly, I have never understood why it is so hated. Maybe this is a blind spot with me.
Caveman (20%/51%), starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelly Long, Barbara Bach, and John Matuzak, is set before the discovery of fire, which Ringo does during the movie and shortly thereafter makes the largest omelet in the world with a dinosaur egg. Ringo is an outcast. Matuzak is the leader of the socially correct group and Barbara Bach is his woman. Long has the hots for Ringo; Ringo wants Bach. They head to a local ice age and run into the Abominable Snowman.
Along the way, in addition to fire and cooking, they discover sedative drugs and music, with Ringo, of course, on the percussion, and learn how to walk upright. While there is no dialogue per-se, they do speak some, although with grunts and other vocalizations, but there is a small vocabulary which you will pick up quickly, especially zug-zug.
Of course, this is where Ringo met Barbara Bach, and they married shortly after making the film.
It is just funny. Not high -brow, just a nice diversion for an hour and a half.
W. W. and the Dixie Dance Kings (Not rated/38%) stars Burt Reynolds as WW, a southern con-man with a really nice car who takes control of the Dixie Dancekings, a middling country western band headed by Dixie played by Connie Van Dyke. In his spare time, he robs the gas stations of an oil company he believes owes him. The movie has Jerry Reed and Ned Beatty (of course), and smaller parts by Mel Tillis and Don Williams, but it is Art Carney as the Bible-thumping lawman Deacon Gore who almost steals the show.
Never released on any type of home-viewable media, a friend of mine in Omaha found it at three in the morning on some cable channel and scarfed it for me on a VHS. Anyone got it in an electronic format? DVD?
If you can find it, watch it. Again, not high art, but fun, in a White-Lightening meets Rhinestone sort of way. Oh, and send me a copy. This may be my favorite of the bads.
Gator (0%/41%), another Reynolds piece with Jerry Reed, it is the sequel to White Lightening (which is a good movie, one I climbed the fence behind the liqueur store at the 22 Drive in a dozen times or more to see) The plot is basically the same as the original: Reynolds’ character is blackmailed by the feds into helping the capture a dangerous criminal (Reed).
This is Burt’s debut as a director and maybe that is why the things lumbers along and seems to lack any real direction, but in the genre of Hixkploitation, which Reynolds did so well, it is fun, in a manner likely to offend anyone these days,
Fast cars, Reynolds, swamps, it’s just fun.
While this list could be made from Burt Reynolds movies, two is enough.