By Richard Winters
My Rating: 1 out of 10
4-Word Review: Teen acquires telekinetic powers.
Barney (Scott Baio) is a high school nerd who spends more time in the science lab than socializing with friends. During one of his experiments he accidently acquires an ability to move things using telepathic powers. His powers impress fellow teen Bernadette (Felice Schachter) and the two fall in-love…and that’s about it.
One of the biggest problems of this horrible teen comedy is that there is no discernable plot. Yes, we have a teen acquiring some amazing powers, but the script does nothing with it. The tricks that he does are minimal and there is no real bad guy, tension, or even basic story just some broadly ‘comical’ scenarios instead. The premise reminded me of one of those old Disney movies with Kurt Russell playing college kid Dexter Riley who would somehow attain similarity extraordinary powers, but those movies at least had Cesar Romero as a fun bad guy and even on a subpar level were far funnier and more entertaining than this.
I think what really bugs me about this movie is that you have some nudity and crude jokes, which would clearly aim it for an older audience and yet the humor is incredibly kiddie-like stuff that could only amuse your basic 4-year-old and be lame to everybody else. The brief bits of nudity that you do see do not make sitting through this inane thing worth it. You also get treated to not one, but two sappy 70’s-style love songs that could easily make most people want to puke.
Baio has no screen presence or ability to carry a movie and it is easy to see why he went right back to doing TV-sitcoms after this. The way he politely puts up with his over-the-top intrusive parents (Roger Bowen, Marya Small) is pathetic. Most films of this type always portray the mom and dad as being ‘uptight’ and ‘out-of-it’, but this one plays it up too much until it becomes just plain dumb.
I will say that Heather Thomas is hot here. Really, really hot both with her clothes on and off and simply eyeing her in every scene that she is in helps in a minor way get through the stupidity. Sue Ann Langdon is attractive in the ‘milf’ category and she is the only one of the cast members to appear in the film’s 1990 direct-to-video sequel Zapped Again!.
The Exorcist parody and the Carrie prom-like disaster that occurs at the end is mildly amusing enough to give this embarrassment one point, but otherwise this film gives the already low-grade genre of 80’s teen comedies a bad name. In fact I would consider this to be the worst out of all of them.
My Rating: 1 out of 10
Released: July 23, 1982
Runtime: 1Hour 38Minutes
Director: Robert J. Rosenthal
Studio: Embassy Pictures
Available: VHS, DVD
Posted in 80's Movies, Adolescence/High School, Crude Comedy, Farce, Movies with Nudity, Parody
Tagged Cesar Romero, Entertainment, Felice Schachter, Heather Thomas, Movies, Review, Scott Baio, Sue Ann Langdon
By Richard Winters
My Rating: 6 out of 10
4-Word Review: More interns more drama.
It’s another year and time for a new set of young interns to infiltrate the New North Hospital. Lew (Dean Jones) and Gloria (Stefanie Powers) who became engaged at the end of the first film are now married, but Lew is diagnosed as being sterile and the couple cannot have children, which causes a strain on their marriage. The caustic Tony (George Segal) who used to be a gang member on the streets and has worked his way up to being an intern looks to leave his troubled past far behind only to have his new girlfriend Nancy (Inger Stevens) attacked and raped by his former gang member friends, which sends him on a one man mission for revenge.
Although the film goes on a bit too long and isn’t quite as compelling as the first one I still felt it was an improvement. The stories and themes are grittier and don’t have the fluffy or formulaic romance angle. The fact that the interns are housed in a rundown condemned building in order to save on costs allows for some amusing moments as the tenants must make due with all sorts of quirks that come with the old building. There is also a rather startling scene showing an actual baby coming out of the womb who is not crying or breathing and the doctors attempts to revive it, which is both disconcerting and vivid.
The only story thread that doesn’t work is the rape one. The biggest issue here being that Nancy flirts and even jokes with Tony while she is in the hospital and only a few hours after being attacked, which seemed highly unrealistic as is her acting like the whole incident was ‘no big deal’ and they should just move on from it and not bother to catch the perpetrators. Then a couple of days later she attends a party and something there subtly reminds her of the incident, which sends her into an irreversible catatonic state, which seemed too extreme in the other way. However, Tony’s confrontation with the rapist inside the hospital and his later operation on him to save is life is good.
Segal is impressive. He played so many touch feely lead roles during the 70’s that he acquired almost a benign persona, but here his character is quite brash and acerbic and his confrontations with the equally acerbic Dr. Riccio (Telly Savalas) are fun. Stevens is also quite good as his love interest and it is a shame that she ended up killing herself in 1970 just as it seemed that her film career was ready to take off.
As with the first film one can spot a lot of up-and-coming stars including Barbara Eden, Dawn Wells, George Furth, Marianna Hill, and Adam Williams. One can also spot Bob Crane very briefly during a wild party segment. There is also Sue Ann Langdon as a drug addicted prostitute who speaks in a hip lingo and fakes paralysis simply to get some drugs that will satisfy her fix. This also a unique chance to see Jimmy Mathers the younger brother of Jerry famous for starring in ‘Leave it to Beaver’ and who looks just like him.
A few actors reprise their roles from the first one including Savalas who appears here completely bald even though in the first one he had hair. Powers is effective as the opinionated and stubborn Gloria a woman unhappy that she can’t have a baby and unwilling to accept adoption as the answer. Kaye Stevens reprises her Didi character and takes part in a funny vaudeville act. There is also Michael Callan reappearing as Alec who in the first film ended up having a nervous breakdown, but no mention of that here. The part where he dresses up as a woman to get into the girl’s dorm and his ‘conversation’ with his therapist offer some added levity.
My Rating: 6 out of 10
Released: June 1, 1964
Runtime: 2Hours 3Minutes
Director: John Rich
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Not available at this time.
Posted in 60's Movies, Black & White, Drama, Movies Based on Novels, Movies with a Hospital setting, Obscure Movies, Sequels
Tagged Bob Crane, Entertainment, George Segal, Inger Stevens, Michael Callan, Movies, Review, Stefanie Powers, Sue Ann Langdon, Telly Savalas