Tag Archives: James Stacy

Flareup (1969)

flareup

By Richard Winters

My Rating: 3 out of 10

4-Word Review: Stalker terrorizes go-go dancer.

Michele (Raquel Welch) is a Las Vegas go-go dancer that attracts the unwanted attention of Alan (Luke Askew) who blames her for the breakup of his marriage. After killing his wife he then sets his sights on Michele who moves to Los Angeles in an attempt to lose him, but he figures out what club she is dancing at and continues his reign of terror. When Michele finds a new boyfriend named Joe (James Stacy) the psycho decides to add him to his already growing hit list.

Raquel is the whole movie. Her acting ability is definitely limited and at times even annoying, but in the looks department she gets an A+. In fact I’d say she is at her best looking here out of all the movies she has done. The scene where she gets on stage to gyrate her body during a provocative dance number is pretty much the highlight of the whole film. Although some of the other girls dance topless she does not and she very angrily rejects another female dancer who offers her some ‘woman love’, so there is no lesbian scene either, which could be a disappointment to some oversexed male viewers, but her presence offers enough eye candy to propel the movie on nonetheless.

Askew who wears a tacky bowl haircut looks a bit too clichéd, but he is a good enough actor to keep it tolerable. Stacy is decent as the love interest, but the romantic scenes bog down the pace. This was the last movie he did before he got into a motorcycle accident and lost his left leg and arm, which spiraled both his career and personal life downward and eventually led to a child molestation charge in 1995 that sent him to prison.

James Neilson’s direction is okay. The best part is the on-location shooting, which makes you feel like you are right back on the streets of Las Vegas from forty years ago and its fun seeing the different shops and billboards that were out during that era. The foot chase between Welch and Askew that occurs late at night in a zoo with wild animal noises heard in the background has potential, but should’ve gotten more extended.

The script though is one-note and gets stretched much too thin. The action starts out right away, but the pacing is poor and there is really never any tension. Everything gets done in a formulaic way with nothing that is unique or memorable.

Although I will give some credit to the finale that features a burning man the special effects are overall pretty shoddy. The psycho shoots at and kills people, but we never see any bullet holes or blood on the dead bodies. One scene has a security guard (Gordon Jump in an early role) shooting at Askew’s car and putting two bullet holes in its rear window, but then when the camera cuts away to a long view of the car the bullet holes have somehow miraculously disappeared.

My Rating: 3 out of 10

Released: November 10, 1969

Runtime: 1Hour 40Minutes

Rated M

Director: James Neilson

Studio: MGM

Available: VHS, DVD (Warner Archive)