The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guns and Lipstick (1995)

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This has been one of those holy grail type films that I've had a fair amount of trouble tracking down, but because it has such an immense cast, I never stopped looking.  Really, it wasn't so much that I had trouble tracking it down, it was that when I did, it was often really expensive.  For instance, my local record store had a used copy for $16.  Can you believe that?  Finally, I bit the bullet and put down $5 plus $3 shipping to get it from Amazon.  Let's see if it was worth it.

Guns and Lipstick has Sally Kirkland as a PI who was wrongly removed from the LAPD.  She has a case protecting Sherrie Rose, but Rose ends up dead anyway, and Captain Robert Forster wants to pin it on Kirkland because she wouldn't date him when she was on the force.  Turns out, Rose had something a lot of people wanted, include crime boss James Hong, his fake daughter Bobbie Phillips, and albino Sonny Landham (no Predators were involved.)  She has her allies though, including Rose's brother Evan Lurie, local bar owner Paul Benedict, and crazy drunk Wings Hauser.  Oh, and Joe Estevez has a small scene too.

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This was a story that was all over the place, didn't really know what it wanted to be, could've been cool old school gun shoe thriller with Kirkland great as the lead detective and a great cast of characters around her, but really was just another mystery yarn that felt like it had plot twists for the sake of plot twists, just to add to the run time.  Raymond Chandler this was not.  On the other hand, there is a fun element to fist pumping every time a familiar face popped up on screen, and the 90s elements are in full force, especially the sweet mullets.  Ultimately, I feel like this is really only for completists and people like me who have review sites that focus on movies like this.

I started with Sally Kirkland instead of the film's one DTVC Hall of Famer, because she was the star, and I liked the idea of the classic off-beat detective film led by a woman.  Really, this idea would've worked better as a 90s TV drama, and this movie probably would've worked better as a 42-minute episode, because it's not like Kirkland couldn't have carried this.  She also got to get the hunk, as her and Evan Lurie hooked up.  She was the right person for the role, unfortunately the film didn't hold up its end of the bargain.

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Here's Wings playing the piano.  He's not in this much, but when he is, he's pretty great.  Near the end, he ends up in a car with Kirkland, and right away he's just staring out the window with his mouth agape in that trademark Wings style.  He flips out at her earlier in the film in a drunken rage.  One time by the fire, he gives her a massage.  He drinks Seagram's 7 straight from the bottle, then plays the piano and sings some raspy song.  I mean, it's all just Wings-y.  Is this $8 worth of Wings?  Maybe not, but if you're a Wings fan, you'll appreciate what you're seeing.

Let's try to go through everyone else.  Forster is the classic cop heel.  He's always bringing Kirkland in to arrest her, but the charges don't stick.  James Hong is pretty sweet as the crime boss.  Too many of his scenes are covered with smoke, so we can't see him.  Landham as the albino was weird.  You can try to explain to me why that made any sense.  Benedict was funny as the bar owner, I always love seeing him in anything.  Then there was Joe Estevez, who has one scene near the beginning where he sexually harasses Kirkland as he frisks her, then throws her onto her chair.  Not one of his fines moments, but it's Joe Estevez, so it's always fine for us.

This movie was exceedingly mulletous.  We're talking mullets aplenty.  We had full out business in front and party in the back 9.5 in mulletude mullets.  We had skullets.  We had the classic skullet 'stash combo.  We had twin ape drapes among extras leaving a building Kirkland was entering.  The best one was one of Hong's thugs.  It was one of those "oh man, I can't believe you did that!", the "it's awesome" and "it's ridiculous (in the true sense of the word, not the 'a lot' slang sense we often see it as)" at the same time.  If a 90s movie can give you one thing, it's sweet beaver pelts.

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Oh... oh what's that?  Evan?  What's that?  Oh, oh no!... oh my God, oh no, what am I... what am I looking at?... Evan please, say it ain't so!  Oh God... Fanny Pack!

I don't think I can write anymore.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0155733/

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