Friday, March 16, 2012

Worth Mentioning - One Wedding and Lots of Funerals

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

This week, Cody prepares to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and likes hearing his own name in movies.     

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, a holiday that many people tend to celebrate by partying and getting drunk on green beer. Not being a fan of either parties or beer, I have established a personal tradition of celebrating St. Patrick's Day by getting a shamrock shake from McDonald's and a box of potato wedges from KFC, then consuming them while watching a Leprechaun movie.

My personal favorite of the Leprechaun franchise is


I can still remember the day that this movie came out on VHS. I had seen the first movie the year before and hadn't really been a big fan of it, but when I heard of the sequel's impending release date, I had my mother reserve a copy at a store called 1st Stop Video. One cassette wouldn't even be going on the shelf the day it came out for rent, we would be getting a phone call to come pick it up. When the call came, only my father was home with me. He did not support my fandom of franchise horror, but some days he would be more lax than others, and this was one of those days. He went to the store and got our reserved rental, but he didn't stay up to watch the movie with me. I wached it that night and was pleased to find that I enjoyed part 2 much more than the first.

The story goes that every one thousand years in a leprechaun's life, it will be able to claim a human bride. Her consent is not required, they are wed through trickery, "She sneezes once, she sneezes twice, she'll be me bride when she sneezes thrice." But if someone says "God bless you" amid the sneezes, the leprechaun misses its chance.

After his marriage plans are foiled on his 1000th birthday, the evil leprechaun of the title, played as always by the great Warwick Davis, has to wait another thousand years until he can claim a bride from the same cursed bloodline. His second opportunity comes in 1994 Los Angeles, and the lovely young Bridget is his betrothed.

Bridget is played by Shevonne Durkin, who I developed a youthful crush on in '94 through watching this and The Ghost in the Machine, in which she was the hot babysitter.

Complicating the leprechaun's pursuit of Bridget is her boyfriend, Cody. As Cody is Charlie Heath, an actor who, aside from this and the Beverly Hillbillies movie, worked completely in television until disappearing from the screen fifteen years ago. That's too bad, because he does a good job in this. I approve of his character using my name.

Cody lives with his alcoholic Uncle Morty (a cool character very entertainingly played by Sandy Baron) in a cluttered apartment with Friday the 13th Part II and Forbidden World posters on the walls. Morty runs a company called Darkside Tours, which takes tourists on hearse rides around the city, visiting haunted locations and celebrity death sites.

Along the way, the characters discover that if they get ahold of one of the leprechaun's gold pieces, he will have to grant them three wishes. Unfortunately, the leprechaun twists the wishes against them in horrible ways.

With likeable characters, a pretty girl, a fun story, and a hero named Cody, I find Leprechaun 2 to be a charmed film.

If Leprechaun movies aren't your pot of gold, a great alternate holiday viewing choice is


A Larry Cohen/William Lustig film about Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins - two of the horror genre's biggest badasses - trying to stop a killing spree being committed by vengeful former officer Matt Cordell (Robert Z'Dar). Also in the cast is Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, with a cameo by Sam Raimi. It's a fantastic slasher movie and is set around St. Patrick's Day, even including a St. Patrick's Day parade. There will be more about Maniac Cop on the blog sometime in the future.


A woman with crazy-long fingernails sits down at a computer and begins typing. The title and credits for this movie fill her screen. She reappears at the end to type up the end credits as well. Given the content of the movie, I'm going to guess that there's a bit more to the wraparound segments, that she's not just a woman typing up the credits, but that she's a crime novelist and the movie we see play out is a detective story that she's writing. Or maybe I'm putting too much thought into it.

The main character in the story is Cody Abilene, a rich young man with a perfect '80s mustache, who lives on a houseboat at the marina where his daddy founded the yacht club. Apparently not satisfied to just sit back and enjoy his riches and red DeLorean, Cody has decided to become a private investigator. He's got a gun, a tape recorder to narrate the story into (because every P.I. needs one), and now he's got a case.

Operations based in America have been leaking computers and chips to the Russians, and one of the sources has been traced back to the wealthy Chamberlain household. Cody is hired by government agent Contessa Luciana to infiltrate the Chamberlains and keep an eye on the socialites. This job gets Cody mixed up in a tale of sex, blackmail, and murder.

The Chamberlains' chauffeur Shane is sleeping with nearly everyone in the house - he's having an affair with Anita, the wife of Stuart Chamberlain. He has sex with Stuart's sister Liza in the shower. And since Stuart is actually gay, Shane has had sex with him as well. He's got video and pictures of all his trysts to use as blackmail... which gets him killed. Now it's up to Cody Abilene to find the killer. And maybe find out what's going on with the Russians/computers situation.

Taking a look at the credits gives you the information on what this is really about - written/directed by Andy Sidaris, with a cast including Sybil Danning and Playboy Playmates Lorraine Michaels, Lynda Wiesmeier, Kimberly McArthur, Barbara Edwards, as well as Lori Sutton (who appeared as a Playmate in Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and porn stars Robyn Hilton and Shanna McCullough, the main appeal of the film is the abundance of exposed female flesh.

But the movie is also entertaining around that, it's goofy as hell. Cody Abilene is a dope who can't even hit a target with his gun at point blank range. He does do alright with his fists; when confronted by a couple musclebound henchmen, Cody removes his shirt and informs them, much like Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, "This body is a lethal weapon."

The dialogue is silly and delivered in a suitably silly manner, with most of the characters conducting themselves as if they're actually in a porno. Women throw themselves at Cody, the girls in the boat next to his at the marina try desperately to get him in bed - "I understand that you're a private investigator, and we wanna know if you'll investigate our privates." - when he goes onto a car lot and asks for "the fastest thing on this lot", the saleswoman takes her top off. Every call he makes goes through the operator of a phone sex service for some reason, his race car driving pal June Khnockers will take any opportunity to show anyone her knockers, etc. It's ridiculous.

The fact that this has a 3.2 rating on IMDb is also ridiculous. A rating like that implies that something got screwed up along the way, but anything that's "bad" about this movie is absolutely on purpose. It's exactly what it was meant to be.

And yes, one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much is the fact that so many beautiful, scantily clad women were saying the name Cody.


  1. Great reviews of what are some rather interesting films.

  2. I love seeing these kinds of movies getting some love - and not in an ironic or snarky way - but with true affection. May I suggest 1949's White Heat for another Cody movie - as Cagney plays Cody Jarratt in it? And I'm really chuffed to see Andy Sidaris getting some blogtime here - I am a serious Malibu Bay films fan - here's a blog post spotlighting the man and his movies - if anyone wants to stop by and check it out:

  3. "I love seeing these kinds of movies getting some love - and not in an ironic or snarky way"

    That's why I started this blog, I was tired of seeing sour cynicism all over movie sites. I'm glad you dig it.

    I have seen White Heat, on TCM years ago. I need to revisit it.

    - Cody

  4. Leprechaun 2 and Maniac Cop? I say, you got one heck of a night!