One of my genius ideas for “how to keep my blog going while I’m crazy busy at Clarion West” was having other people do my work for me. In that regard, I asked my sister, Mekaela, to watch a little movie for me and write something about it that I could post. The movie in question?
To present just how terrible this movie is . . . I give you Mekaela St. George.
Once upon a time our family watched a film, and I couldn’t remember any of it except the end where the villain – after getting set on fire – rises up to announce to the heroes that he was on fire and he liked it. Naturally this would become our go-to phrase whenever a character did something so ridiculous and crazy that you found yourself pointing to the screen, laughing, and then saying ‘did that just really happen?’
And naturally Carlie would one day have a movie blog and then challenge me to watch this movie again to review.
Summary: A disenchanted FBI agent and his inexperienced new partner-boss try to catch an army of serial killing ex-CIA mercenaries lead by Gary Busey, while also dealing with his trust issues, her flirting, and another FBI agent out for revenge.
Yeah, it isn’t good, but there are some themes, disillusionment with the government for example, that while not exactly original could be worked with should anyone ever, for some reason, decide to re-script and re-cast this film. (As for cast, it’s pretty much what you’d expect: Gary Busey is batshit crazy, Roy Scheider is a smug asshole, Kristin Cloke hits one out of twelve lines, and Lorenzo Lamas is pretty flat (but oh so angsty!)
But just in case you don’t have the patience to wait for the remake (and to save you the pain of having to watch the original) here’s pretty much the whole damn movie.
“Yes, I know these predators now.”
The film starts with a dramatic! thrilling! score which is a bit at odds with the scene of a car driving on a highway near some scenic mountains but whatever. We see Gary Busey is driving and, not even a minute into the movie, his girlfriend randomly exclaims ‘I see some squirrels up there – let’s get naked!’ and I’m like ‘oh-ho, so that’s how it’s going to be!’
Gary and Psycho Girl (so called because her favorite pastimes seem to be wearing wigs, screaming shit, and killing people) then pull over to terrorize and murder a family having a bbq outside their RV, which then segues into a serious Roy Schneider going to talk with FBI Agent Kelly McCord about leading the team to catch these serial killers. She’s inexperienced but smart but mostly just picked to lead because Smug Roy has a bug up his butt about FBI Agent Nick Travis.
We then switch to Nick and his partner who is doing surveillance and watching for any signs of naughtiness, I suppose. Some guy tries to grab a girl in broad daylight, they see it, and then it’s off for a ridiculous car chase that includes car bowling for FBI agents, Nick yelling not to hit kids and shoot the tires!, and through a goddamned horse jumping competition before the bad guy finally catches air, barrels through some bleachers, and then explodes.
In the next scene Kelly, Nick, and Smug Roy are investigating the site where the girls from the opener who have been left, after being raped and mutilated. Smug Roy and Nick trade some zingers and then Kelly is introduced as the new lead which Nick is just thrilled about it, let me tell you. He soon lights one of many cigarettes and he and Kelly end up talking about how he feels responsible, his and Smug Roy’s hatred of each other (we get a flashback to a negotiation gone wrong where a shitload of people died because Roy didn’t listen to Nick), his general sense of disenchantment with just about everything, and the fact that he thinks Kelly is only there to get something good enough on Nick that Smug Roy can fire him for. So yeah, trust becomes an ongoing and aggravating discussion for a large chunk of the movie.
Somehow the evidence from the crispy bad guy and the dead girls leads Kelly and Nick to this isolated shack where, I shit you not, Nick immediately finds some bones in a stream which he throws into his car. In the shack they also find a bones, blood, and other mutilated parts and because this is pre cell phone era they decide to just leave the place for later.
Unfortunately for them, crazy Gary Busey actually has a small militia of killers that has been watching the shack – you know, just in case. He orders them to take the agents out and, to be fair to the lackey who pulled the short straw for this job, Gary Busey never actually says how. So while Kelly and Nick argue about the wisdom of going on TV to provoke the killers (Nick is skeptical, of course), an ominous logging truck races towards them. We are then treated to a drawn out car chase where the truck tries to drive the car off the road and down a cliff. The idea of it is kind of cool – Nick has to maneuver his car between the wheels of the truck to avoid going over the edge – but it goes on for too long and I never buy any of the tension I’m supposed to feel. Finally Nick pulls Kate into the driver’s seat and the killer truck takes out half of their car and then escapes to kill another day, although not before spilling most of its logs everywhere.
“You’re lucky I don’t work at the post office ‘cause they shoot their supervisors!
The next day our logger, who we learn is named Bobby Joe, is getting an earful from Gary Busey when Kelly shows up on the news and proceeds with her plan to draw him out by calling him impotent about five or six times under a minute. Gary Busey is immediately charmed but Bobby Joe, who’s already in the shit house, tells him to leave her alone. Gary and I are a bit unbelieving that BJ would actually have the balls to say this but while Gary waxes poetic about smelling his blood and actually sniffing a la Hannibal Lecter, I decide to pause the movie to go get a soda.
The next scene has Nick and Kelly hanging out in a park while they wait for Gary Busey to attack (like sitting ducks, Nick whines) and Kelly prompts him to ‘mind hunt’ her so that the audience can discover that she’s in the FBI because she’s a do-gooder idealist or some shit and just guess what disillusioned Nick thinks about that. We transition to a night stake out where they’re pretending to be lovers or something? That’s what Kelly wants anyway – and I gotta agree, why else would they just be sitting in their car all night – but Nick will have none of Kelly’s playful teasing and neck nibbling because he just can’t okay?! He has some dignity!
She sticks her tongue out at him, which makes me laugh, and then they call it a night … but oh noes! A strip of nails to the tires and then they’re out of the car, guns drawn, and somehow the gang grabs Kelly but drives away so slowly (because of the windy, icy mountain passages) that Nick can chase after them. We get some creepy shots of Gary Busey leering down at the camera (and me inching away from my monitor) while Psycho Girl screams a lot, but eventually Kelly is able to get out of the van with Gary Busey’s bloody fingerprints on her wrist (and other uncomfortable places) prompting an HIV test. They eventually get a match to the prints and find out his name is Art or something but screw that. His name is Gary Busey (and he’s coming for you!)
Nick also trusts Kelly now, presumably because she got through all of this like a brave little soldier. Asshole.
The next day Nick, Kelly, the local sheriff and his men surround Gary’s Busey’s mom’s RV. She soon drives up and plays innocent but then Gary Busey and Psycho Girl spring up from the backseat and the shooting begins. Ma Busey even pulls a gun but is quickly shot down and then Nick hilariously yells ‘what they hell happened to your kid’ at her dead body as he runs past to chase the car which is doing donuts around all the cops. Everyone exchanges gun fire until they are able to break through the mighty two car blockade and escape into the mountains.
It’s also worth mentioning that Kelly gets shot in her vest and then, while purposefully shooting at the escaping car, accidentally shoots the windshield of an innocent car just moseying about while all this is going on, causing it to crash into an RV. So, for those keeping track, in the space of ten minutes, probably less than a day their time, Kelly is abducted, molested, tested for AIDS, shot, and then almost accidentally kills someone. She has an understandable freak out, even if they turn out to be fine and ready to sue.
Smug Roy then rolls in to take Kelly from the hospital to suspend and possibly fire her and she’s put into the backseat like a criminal. He then offers Nick her spot if Nick promises to make them all look good again. Nick more or less tells him to fuck off and then Nick, Smug Roy, and Smug Roy’s stunt double fight until Nick wins, restrains him, and takes off with Kelly in his car.
Kelly and Nick somehow learn that Gary Busey used to be in some mental program (ha ha ha ha) and go investigate, finding the only remaining patient from that program at the hospital … and hey, it’s David Carradine! Carradine tells a lovely little story about how Gary Busey once visited a Vietnamese hooker who had razor blades up her hoo-haa and that he went cuckoo afterwards (we later learn that the CIA does not approve of disemboweling people even if they shred your junk) and was put into the program to be experimented on but later unceremoniously dropped. And he’s kinda pissed about it all.
And then (bwahahahhaha) a militia guy in scrubs rides up on a fucking hospital golf cart and shoots Carradine. He dies but not until he can tell them where Gary Busey might be hiding. Nick chases him down and somehow he blows up, I think, but I was too busy laughing at the golf cart to really pay attention.
In short – next they find the place, watch a tape Gary Busey has made, escape getting blown up, end up passing each other on the road, Kelly and Psycho Girl shoot at each other, the FBI truck loses, probably catches on fire, the bad guys get away, and Smug Roy rolls up again to arrest them.
Then Kelly and Nick, while waiting for Smug Roy to do … something, share a smoke and some grub at a restaurant (but it’s okay ‘cause they’re both handcuffed) and exchange a nauseating conversation about how she should flip on him yada yada and that he wants her to live long and prosper (I am not kidding- he actually says this) and to remember him standing tall, etc. (Gag)
“It’s up to you, pal, ‘cause that fuck couldn’t catch a cold.”
Smug Roy is then talking to them in the car and Kelly appears to throw Nick under the bus, crying and falling into Smug Roy’s lap while Smug Roy has a ‘women’ eye roll before she grabs his gun and knocks Smug Roy out. (The driver wisely decides to pull over at a gas station) Kelly and Nick then meet back up with the sheriff and somehow find out that the militia plans to take out some ex government types at some peace summit. They guilt the sheriff into taking the day off to make some citizen’s arrests (because it’s out of his jurisdiction) and then Nick follows Kelly into the bathroom but kindly waits for her to finish her business before cuffing her to the stall. She’s understandably pissed (re whiney and teary eyed) and reminds him about giving his word to see it to the end, yada yada, and Nick manfully swallows back his emotions (he visibly swallows) but also gets in a ‘we can’t be together blah blah’ speech and then leaves. Kelly soon gets someone to get her free and drives purposefully after them in a crappy car.
Gary Busey and gang get to the meeting and start shooting up the place and then Nick, the sheriff, and his men come in and there’s LOTS of shooting until Kelly launches her car and crushes BJ … of course, momentarily knocking herself out in the process so that Gary Busey and Psycho Girl can grab her to a waiting boat. Nick pursues them in another boat, calling out Kelly periodically, while Gary Busey leers down at the camera again and Psycho Girl shoots rocket launchers or something. This goes on about forever until finally Nick rams them with his boat, launching himself at Gary Busey and they duke it out while Psycho Girl and Kelly fight. Kelly finally dumps Psycho Girl overboard and hits her with a paddle to keep her there while Gary Busey gets flung back into Nick’s boat, now on fire. There is a moment where all is well and then Gary Busey springs up, on fire, yelling “Look! It’s not over yet! I’m on fire and I …”
And I can’t tell if he says “and I like it” or not. I even replayed it twice, and I just couldn’t hear it! This just makes me so sad. Well, screw it. I’m going to say he did, so there. The boat explodes and launches Gary Busey the Human Fireball and that’s the end of that …
But it isn’t. Smug Roy appears at the shore and he’s pissed. He decides to kill Nick, well, ‘cause why not? They fight, Kelly gets smacked around, and it appears Smug Roy has the upper hand against Nick until the sheriff arrives and shoots Smug Roy in the head. Go sheriff!
The next scene Kelly asks Nick if he knows what day it is. He says Tuesday and she replies it’s Valentines (Gag) and the music swells and they kiss. (Double Gag)
And THEN we are treated to some damn ‘here’s what happened next’ credits where we learn that charges were dropped against Kelly and Nick, they end up teaching at the FBI (where Gary Busey and Smug Roy become courses), and they’re going to have a baby.
Carlie, it’s your turn to empty the dishwasher.