Sunday, 20 September 2009

No.160 : Weekend With The Babysitter

Here’s a bit of an oddity from 1970 that garnered a frankly woeful 1.4/10 at the IMDb. It’s a hard film to categorise - it’s a sort of soft porn, action thriller fantasy with a bit of education and stoner wisdom thrown in for good measure.

We open with scenes of a young girl on a moped inter cut with some action at the border. The customs are shown to be doing a bang up job and although that seems incongruous with the carefree girl all will become clear soon. Or not, depends if you can stay the course really.

Anyway our hot chick arrives at her destination and we find that she’s the titular babysitter - but there’s been a mix up! The wife is indeed going out but not with the husband who is staying in. As he waves the wife off he tells the girl to stay so he can pay her for her time. The dirty bastard.

The pair settle down on the sofa and the girl starts reading a script that the chap, who is a director, is due to film next week. The girl laughs at how crummy the script is (oh the irony!) and tells him that the kids don’t talk like that. To prove her point she takes him out to meet her skuzzy friends.

Meanwhile, we learn that the wife has a drug problem and is visiting her dealer. They want paid and all she can offer is a loan of her husband’s boat which could bypass the customs problems we witnessed earlier. They take her along on the smuggling trip and after doping her up make her indulge in some lesbian sex for no other reason, it would seem, other than to secure an ‘X’ certificate for this tame offering.

Back at the house the husband is flat on his back after the night on the tiles but the girl stays over to make him breakfast and take him to the speedway, like you do. After lots of unnecessary shots of screaming bikes and babysitter nudity he realises that his wife is missing and commandeers a friend’s plane to search for her. Once spotted he rallies his new biker chums to intercept the bad guys and save the wife. Will lives be lost and will our man take his junkie wife back over the nubile babysitter?

This is quite a funny film if you don’t take it too seriously. The two leads are awful with the silver haired director as convincing as a hat stand. We’ve no idea what the baby sitter’s motivation is in seducing the old timer but fair play to him seeing as this was before the time of Viagra. The sex scenes are pretty tame although I did like how one ended with a cut to an anchor splashing into the water!

The kids all get a say and one boy’s assertion that not all bikers were bad was proven when they intercept the bad guys and destroy their drugs rather than toking up themselves. The twangy early 70’s soundtrack is a bit of a distraction but if ever a film was of its time this is it.

It’s certainly not as bad as the low scoring suggests but by no means a classic either. For your money you do get a fair bit of nudity, some cringingly bad sex scenes and dialogue you wouldn’t hear in a porno - so a wise investment all round then!

Best Bit : Pilot calling the control tower and asking them to call a biker bar for help

‘W’ Rating 11/23

Friday, 18 September 2009

No.159 : Walk Hard : The Dewey Cox Story

Well we’re back after a long pause while we fought for our entitlement of Arts Council funding. It not what you know it’s who you blow in this game! We can’t guarantee the same level of ‘W’ movie immersion as you’re used to but the occasional ‘W’ will certainly keep the wwwolf from the door.

First up in this tranche of ‘W’ wonderment is a real treat that is certainly at the pinnacle of the spoof genre, one that is often disparaged by this forum and several lesser ones too.

As you could probably guess from the title this is a comedy retread of the Johnny Cash bio-pic ‘Walk the Line’ but don’t confuse it with the likes of ‘Teen Movie’ and shite like that, this is a fully rounded picture that walks a similar line but picks off plenty of laughs along the way.

We open with the child Dewey who is growing up on a mid-western farm with his prodigy brother. After an ill advised, but surprisingly deadly, machete fight his brother is killed leaving his Dad stating ‘the wrong boy died’ throughout the film, even after Dewey has made his name.

The child actor is quickly replaced by John C McGinley who takes over the role when Dewey is just 14 and towers over the teens of his high school band. His career quickly blossoms and soon he’s on the road with Elvis and being introduced to ever more potent drugs by his long term band mates.

Like Cash, Dewey has his ups and downs and after a few falls secures his own cheesy 1970’s TV series and a succession of trophy wives. He also emulates Johnny by having one woman colouring his life and Dewey is lucky enough to have Jenna Fischer on his arm, presumably when ‘The Office’ was shut.

As the film nears it’s climax we are returned to the opening frames where a contemplative Cox was silently recounting his life before going on stage for one last time. Can Dewey still put on a great show after endless nights of booze, drugs and women?

I have been accused in the past of liking spoof musicals a bit too much, and in truth I’ll take ‘The Rutles’ over ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ anytime, but this film is far more enjoyable than Joaquin Phoenix wrestling with his emotions and acting ability any day.

The songs like ‘Walk Hard’ and ‘Guilty As Charged’ are excellent and Reilly does a great job as the hapless lead. The laughs are frequent and layered throughout the film and at no point does it sag. There is plenty of swearing and nudity to keep the interest levels high and the cast, including plenty of well known cameos, is universally great.

As you will probably have gathered this film is a true return to form for the ‘W’ quest and has certainly got the juices flowing again. Give it a look - run, don’t walk to the video shop. Or download it, I don’t care.

Best Bit : Lyall Lovett has it large
‘W’ Rating : 20/23