Sunday, August 07, 2005

Make It Rain

I have no idea how Tom Waits does it, but he did an entire album that sounds like Son House would have the morning after a night of drinking thirty shots of Jack Daniels, smoking an entire carton of Camel Wides, selling his soul to the devil, and waking up in a gutter. That said, Real Gone isn't necessarily a very good album. It might be for other artists, but I think most of us just want our regular Tom Waits back. Hell, if Francis Ford Coppola wants to make another movie and have Waits do the soundtrack, I'm all for it, because everybody loved the soundtrack to One From the Heart. Okay, everyone who saw the film, which is me and about five other people. Wait, four, because one of them died eight years ago.

Anyway. I was just watching this tremendously awful movie on the local UPN station; so awful, in fact, that I had to post about it after watching only fifteen minutes of it and declaring it to be a federal disaster area. Now, I knew it was going to be bad based solely on the fact that it stars Casper Van Dien, who has never been in a good movie. Oh, say what you will about Starship Troopers, but you know deep down in your heart that it wasn’t good. Sure, by comparison to Van Dien’s turn as Tarzan, it was a masterpiece, but that’s beside the point.

Now, this movie goes by the name Road Rage, but its title over at the IMDB is A Friday Night Date, which explains to you why they changed it to Road Rage at some point, despite the fact that the IMDB lists no fewer than three other movies with the title Road Rage. Unfortunately, this is not the one with Yasmine Bleeth, because that would have made it tremendously more entertaining, given its weak script. Okay, I’ll break down what I saw for you:

Imagine the Steven Spielberg classic TV-movie Duel with two people in the car instead of just Dennis Weaver, which means it actually has dialogue; the truck is now a big black Dodge pickup; Casper Van Dien runs the truck off the road, causing its driver to become angry and begin chasing them, and after some time passes, the girl in the car says, “It’s okay, it’s not your fault,” even though it was his fault, because the jackass didn’t look at the lane he was merging into, causing the truck driver to get pissed off and eventually cause a pileup the likes of which we haven’t seen since Final Destination 2, though not remotely as entertaining, although it did have a Miraculous Flying Cop Car, which seemed ripped right out of The Blues Brothers; that the cop car looked like a Datsun is beside the point. Yes, a Datsun.

Anyway, it’s one of those movies that was born bad. I mean, any time you have a script in which the line, “Hang on!” is used more than twice, it’s going to be a bad movie. It implies that there are retarded characters in the film who don’t know to hang on when it’s time (and that time is generally very clear) to hang on, unless they hear the magic line, “Hang on!” which is then followed by a sudden jerking of the wheel to the left or right, a cut to an exterior angle of the stunt driver and a dummy in a spinning car which eventually rights itself, closed out with a return to an interior shot of the car with the driver asking, “Are you okay?” Of course she’s okay, dipshit! There was a dummy in the spinning car!

I mean, if Russ Meyer was alive today and big boobs couldn’t just be bought for a couple-thousand dollars, this is the kind of bad action film he’d probably have made. I mean, his Bosomania series of films certainly couldn’t be termed as ‘action,’ but there was a fight scene at the end of Common-Law Cabin that had me on the edge of my seat, which ended in a (very obvious) dummy being hit by an out-of-control speedboat. It’s probably the best moment ever to take place in three feet of water, eclipsing even Bo Derek’s emergence from the water in Blake Edwards’ 10.

So, how can a movie be as bad as this one was? I mean, there’s no way that Casper Van Dien could possibly be responsible for all of it, and the answer lies with the director, Sidney J. Furie, director of such hits as Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Iron Eagle II, and (my favorite) The Taking of Beverly Hills, starring Ken Wahl and Matt Frewer. I’m not entirely sure why there’s not a federal law preventing guys like this from coming within a hundred yards of unexposed celluloid.

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