27 February 2009

Invasion U.S.A. (1985)

United States – 1985
Director – Joseph Zito
MGM/UA Home Video, 1985, VHS (Oversize Box!)

Clogged with a veritable host of 80’s action standbys like Billy Drago (who returned to meance Norris at least 3 other times), Invasion USA is one of the first Norris Brothers team-up films with Aaron scripting. (soon he would direct too, and oh boy, watch out) But here, hot on the heels of Norris breakthrough film Missing In Action, director Zito (also director of Friday the 13th: The Final Nighmare) has returned to grace another film with extremely senseless violence and glossy hyperbolic Americana. If you were a young boy in the 80’s you probably have fond memories of this film. I don’t, my parents were hippies and I didn’t get to watch violent movies until I was an adult. My fond Invasion USA memories are freshly fucking minted.

Some Cuban refugees in a set-dressed “shabby” boat drift about on the sea while a small child whines in Spanish. (thankfully this plot-critical dialogue is subtitled or I would have been totally fucking lost) Spotted by some American Coast Guard sailor-boys led by Richard Lynch, who no sooner greet them and welcome them to freedom than cut loose with a barrage of automatic weapons mowing them all down. Turns out the sailors are actually Soviet commandos after some drugs under the deck of the boat - and Bang! I get the feeling that’s how the entirety of this movie is going to play out, no fluff, all snuff.

Cut to a shot of quasi shirtless Chuck effin’ Norris driving a speeding air-boat through the Everglades, hair streaming back. Rostov, the clammy, skin crawlingly creepy Lynch, is as ruthless and self serving as backswamp macho man Matt Hunter (Norris) is helpful, assisting his hillbilly neighbor John Eagle with gator wrasslin’ and accepting Eagle’s offer of a freshly boiled frog dinner with a grumbled “I’m getting sick of frogs.”
“The Company” (we’ll leave that one up to you to figure out) comes to recruit Hunter for another mission, to take out Rostov, Hunter’s old Cold War opposite, but Hunter bitterly refuses and cuts logs with a chainsaw at his swampy retreat instead. Shortly after he smashes a bunch of faces in, that’s exactly where an equally bitter Rostov finds him. Explosions erupt killing John Eagle, but sparing Hunter himself of course, and reopening a festering grudge that he must obey.

Moments later, Rostov’s Soviet terrorist legions are storming up the beaches of Florida armed almost exclusively with American equipment and weapons. Wasting no time they instantly begin arbitrarily rocketing the homes of pasty American nuclear-families and attacking all the symbols of American freedom; churches and shopping malls. After charging like predatory insects into a fleet of waiting trucks, the Red Horde instantly distributes cells of perfectly coordinated guerillas across the continental 48, and a little later that night a nationwide wave of unfettered chaos and unrest erupts, leaving the civil authorities to bumble around and look confused. Hunter meanwhile (and I have to say I love the subtle irony in that name) is working his own brand of subtle tactics, bashing heads at the local biker bars and trading base insults and measured and blunt one-liners with fellow jaded ex-mercenaries.
“Where’s Rostov?”
“Where’s Rostov?
Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

Luckily for Hunter, even though the entire United States is under siege, Rostov has cleverly decided to keep his dirty Commie headquarters right down the street, and every time the filthy reds pop up with a clever scheme to overthrow capitalist social order, like putting a magnet bomb on the side of a school bus, Matt Hunter is there in his big truck to deter them at top speed and full auto and with equally reckless disregard for human life. (except that he’s a god fearing Christian so in his case they’re just collateral damage.) Hunter just doesn’t quit, but even all of his impeccable timing, perfect aim, and creepily rigid coppery cascading mullet-mane can’t keep him safe from the Feds who finally bust his muscly vigilante ass.

At last, Rostov has his chance and orders his army to storm the jail and eliminate Hunter once and for all. Leave it to those dumb subhuman Commies to fall for an old trick like that. And Rostov? Well that guy’s no smarter than his towheaded lackeys, a dude like Hunter, and I do mean dude, isn’t going to walk away without administering a little personal bearded bayou bad-boy beating, the long drawn out all American way.
John Eagle boiled the tastiest frogs in the swamp you ungracious Communistical savage, and somebodys gots’ta pay! Throw the fuggin’ truck in 4-wheel-drive and lets go meat-and-potatoes Commie stompin’. The thoroughly gnawed bone of action genre meat, roasted, boiled down to its basest potent essence and glazed with the rustic golden sauce that is Chuck Norris.

Watch the Invasion USA trailer at CultTrailers.

It might be easy since they have the same plot, but don't confuse this with the 1952 film with the same name.

Some alternate covers, the first for the novelization (!), the second, Hungarian VHS, and the third, the poster that later remained the VHS art and also in modified version the DVD cover art.

23 February 2009

Slammer Girls

United States - 1987
Director – Chuck Vincent
Lightning Video, 1988, VHS

Women In Prison films are a lot of things besides just women in prison. They can be anything from truly uncomfortable social commentary like Born Innocent, to hard core cut-n-paste porn like 99 Women or cheap fart-joke comedy like Slammer Girls. While this film might fall short of the actual fart bullseye, it hit quite a few branches on the way down.

The first tinny strains of music on the soundtrack bring back memories of many an uber shitty barbarian movie. Not surprising considering director Vincent helmed one of the shittiest, Warrior Queen, made the same year as Slammer Girls, and starring exploitation clydsedale Sybil Danning (Chained Heat and Jungle Warriors and Rick Hill, (Deathstalker himself in the first and fourth of that epic series). Vincent’s use of a regular stable of actors doesn’t stop at barbarians though.

A good-ol boy politician Jerry Calwell extols the virtues of electrocuting prison inmates, a position which apparently wins him the governors seat and the ire of an anonymous gloved hand which shoots him in the family jewels during his victory party. In an act that would make OJ and Cinderella proud, the cops run around trying to fit the assassins dropped glove to someone’s, anyone’s hand, winding up with innocent and dumb as a bag of wet sand Melody Campbell. Newspaper man Harry Weiner (that should give you a pretty good idea of where the humor is headed) decides to go undercover in the prison and expose Governor Callwell’s shady double business as manufacturer of JC Electric Chairs.

Melody is sent to prison where she meets a plethora of very crudely executed character types just groaning like overfilled sacks of offal with expletive-inducing puns ready to burst the shoddy seams. Thankfully - this is a women-in-prison film after all - their little tunics are strained too, and the ladies take it in stride to frequently relieve such pressure with surprisingly proactive nonchalance. Perhaps Chuck Vincent’s penchant for hiring former porn stars has something to do with this carefree attitude. In any case it does make the film more bare-able.
One such boob assault is committed by Tank (Tantala Ray of something called Tantala’s Fat Rack) and Mosquito against a whimpering nude Melody. Also on the inside is Mrs.Crabapples, the harsh prison matron who enjoys punishing the prisoners (though she falls short of lesbianism), some of whom don’t like it and some who do.
“Don’t I get any lashes? Not even just a few?”
Melody being the former, (much to the exasperated delight of her cellmates) finds herself time and again the scapegoat of the other women’s shenanigans and punished ruthlessly by Crabapples and her beefcake guards who double as barbarian strippers when the girls throw a welcome-back-from-solitary party for Melody. The crude, bludgeoning humor is ruthless and clearly must be meant to weaken your defenses for the final deluge of double entendre to come cascading from the ruptured sack.

Calwell’s mistress Candy Treat (Tally Brittany of, ahem, Warrior Queen) wants to be the prison warden because she was once in a Women In Prison film but didn’t get any good lines, and she wants to punish Melody for blasting Callwell’s dingaling. That seems like a plot thread that might take some actual acting from Brittany, so instead she takes most of her clothes off and gyrates with lots of “boi-oi-oi-oing” noises in a failed attempt to raise Callwell’s new transplanted penis for the solitary gay punchline of the film.

Finally, during a musical number resoundingly barked by the prisoners during Melody’s wedding (to Weiner) Calwell and Crabapples are revealed to be her parents, which doesn’t make much sense, but doesn’t have to at this point. Slammer Girls has absolutely no qualms about wallowing in stone dumb humor, dragging its knuckles intentionally through a base combination of slapstick and titty-flick that would make Benny Hill proud. The seemingly unassailable standards of WIP films make a lot of them seem almost forgettable except for occasional extremes of sex, violence or “exotic” locales (see Caged Fury). Even if it is remarkably simple (or not so for Chuck Vincent), Slammer Girls manages to stand out because the film, and those involved send-up those standards with glee.

18 February 2009

Violent City

Violent City (Citta Violenta)
Aka: The Family
Italy - 1970
Director – Sergio Sollima
Blue Underground, 2008, DVD

I picked up this movie simply because my boy is in it. Before I got a chance to watch it though, I discovered the soundtrack at Manchester Morgue, and found out that it was done by none other than Ennio Morricone. The music is so damn good I knew the movie would be too and I was downright anxious to watch this thing.

Sailing around on an expensive looking watercraft, and wasting no time at all, Jeff (Bronson) gets busy with the very very attractive Vanessa (Jill Ireland, who as we know by now, was actually his wife). Later during the credits Jeff and Vanessa wander around the city while a menacing hidden observer takes surveillance photos of them. Normally this might not warrant much notice but in this case largely thanks to Morricone, the credits are quite good and ratchet up the tension quite well.

Debarking from a plane the couple take a car but are soon being followed. Jeff drops the hammer to try and escape, a little bit hard to believe with the painfully fake overlay of passing roadway in the oddly static windows but we’ll take what we can get with Bronson at the wheel. Jeff drops Vanessa off and tries to lead the pursuers away but the car gets boxed in. In the subsequent shootout, Jeff manages to kill all his attackers despite being shot himself, but lands in an Italian jail with a couple of typically hyperbolic oddballs (thank the Italian talent for subtlety). An excuse it would seem to philosophize obtusely about the killer mentality with one of his cellmates and drop a little back story in the form of a flashback; that seductive mistress of plot development so many covet but so few can satisfy. We’ll see how this illicit relationship pans out in Citta Violenta.

The remarkably similar strange and distressing relationship between Jeff and Vanessa may be a clue. Back on the streets at last, Jeff tracks down Coogan, the man who shot him and Vanessa who it is now revealed, (again in a flashback) got into Coogan’s car during the gunfight.

Jeff will spend the rest of the film repeatedly torn between the ample and unquenchable ivory flesh of Vanessa and her absolutely inextinguishable desire to sell his ass out to every possible rung of the criminal hierarchy right on up to Jeff’s employer the head of the crime family, Weber played by a grinning Telly Savalas who seems to be having a lot of fun. Fortunately, as the accumulation of flashbacks (usually a dire sign) piled ever upward, Jeff began to grasp the breadth of Vanessa’s betrayal at about the same time I did. Jeff is a prisoner of his own lifestyle, mistrustful (rightfully I might add), unable to stop thinking like a killer, and unable to keep his mind off of Vanessa. (the quintessential and stereotypical sex/violence male dilemma) I’ll admit, I felt a little lecherous myself every time she was on screen wearing nothing but a smile and a conveniently placed piece of foreground scenery. Despite his severe reservations, as the intrigue is laid bare Jeff seems to come to terms with the confines of his own emotional prison, taking the final measure in an awesome climax that fairly neatly sets all those flashbacks in line and makes one hell of an imperfect movie.

Looking back across 40(!) years it’s easy to say that this is a pretty basic premise; professional killer wants to retire but his boss won’t let him. But even if the editing is a little to artsy for its own good, the film is still really good looking and just manages to keep its head above the tide of time-changes.

Violent City is available from Netflix.

An alternate DVD cover, German and Dutch VHS covers an Italian DVD cover and the cover of Morricone's soundtrack which I can't recommend enough.

A Japanese poster or one-sheet(?), the best promo piece I've found for Violent City.

16 February 2009

The Willies

The Willies
United States - 1990
Director – Brian Peck
Prism Entertainment, 1990, VHS

It seems to me that The Willies came a little too late for just about everything it was trying to do. It dragged its sorely underfunded carcass across the finish line well after the race was over, and more importantly after the crowds were gone. Fortunately, due to the lasting virulence of the VHS format, we can deride this little gem in the comfort of our own homes.

A campout in the woods finds several young boys including Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings) who are diligently reciting their well practiced and clearly written by an adult spooky stories and trying to give each other “The Willies”. For apetizers, it’s mostly urban legend fare, including the “fried chicken” rat gag, and an amusing poodle in the microwave bit which is painfully suspenseful thanks to some exceedingly long static shots of granny bubbling with excitement as Pookums whimpers. Unfortunately as I was soon to discover, this part was the most fun.

Ahhh, but all that was all before the credits, now it’s really time to start skimming the scum off the long since curdled Creepshow. The first of the longer stories is a classic. 8 year-old nerdy kid gets picked on by mulleted Iron Maiden shirt wearing bully. When he goes to the bathroom during the math test, Nerd discovers what appears to be a giant fanged turd-monster coming out of the toilet. Returning to class to raise the alarm, he pees his pants. No one believes him of course, especially not the teacher, cruel Mrs. Titmarsh , whom the monster promptly snacks on. Strangely enough, the poop monster also likes to roam around the halls of the school disguised as James Karen who along with his fellow Return of the Living Dead star Clu Gulager are only two of the staple no-name cameos in this film. In any case, after eating all the bullies we get to see the monster put his rubber human outfit on and glare menacingly at someone knowing full well that the gleam in his eye is really just undigested corn.
It’s beginning to look a lot like a shit-themed movie when in the second story a fat kid named Gordy Belcher repeatedly breaks into a farm to steal manure. The farmer Mr. Spivey, who looks at first like Bruce Dern, but disappointingly isn’t, has a meth-lab set up in his barn where he pumps the shit full of amazing growth hormones which yield freakishly large vegetables. Gordy though uses the poop to lure flies which he de-wings and uses to populate tiny dioramas including a diner, a castle and a church replete with fly-Jesus on the cross, and fly-preacher.

When Gordy is suspended from school for giving fly laced cookies to the cheerleaders, his chesty mother destroys his fly laboratory and he has no choice but to return for a fresh batch of shit. Instead of chasing him off, Spivey hooks Gordy up with some super chronic shit, which is promptly fed to more flies. Predictably some giant flies make an appearance and not so predictably eat Gordy’s arms off, leaving the rest of him to wallow like a big turd in the swirling poorly planned low class bowl of this movie.

The only reason I'm labeling this Gorror is because of the poodle explosion and the armless kid, and comedy only because of the plethora of dumb cameo bit-parts and sheer laziness of the production which were just about all that I found enjoyable about this movie. I knew as soon as the Iron Maiden bully pissed his pants in close up that this was going to be simple. I was right.

15 February 2009

It Came From Outer Space

It Came From Outer Space
United States-1953
Director - Jack Arnold
MCA/Universal Home Video, 2002, DVD

In some little dirt town called Sun Mesa, or something just as corny in Arizona, there’s a coarsely featured under-appreciated science fiction writer/astronomer type (screenwriter Ray Bradbury alluding to his own career?) with a dopey name to match his face, John Putnam. His hot pushover girlfriend is a local, and teacher in the village school. One night while exchanging forced coy lovers' promises in their romantic desert getaway they see a meteor crash a few miles from the house. The next day they go check out the crater with the help of the simple crop duster guy and his erector set helicopter. Putnam waddles into the crater and at the bottom sees what appears to be a ship and, WHAM an eyeful of alien creature! This movie has just blown its load in less than ten minutes and now the rest of it has to play out like an overlong episode of The Twilight Zone.Nobody believes Putnam when he tells them about his new friend, and he is mocked for being a weirdo by the entire community. Driving around whining and feeling sorry for himself with his gal, he gets increasingly embittered and starts mumbling to himself, finally getting out of the car in a paranoid frenzy and talking to the desert. Driving back and forth like a maniac, he runs across some local hayseed electricians who soon fall victim to a smoke billowing one-eyed monster.

Putnam, still driving around and cursing a society that rejects his visionary imagination tries to tell the hostile Sheriff something is going down, but as I said before, Putnam is bourgeoisie intellectual communist hive-mind type and the Sheriff is no exception to the boneheaded God-fearing skeptical cavemen who populate the American west.

With inexplicable perseverance Putnam naively hissy-fits his way into the job of ambassador/messenger betwixt the humans and the cummuno-creatures that are conveniently able to make themselves look just like the principal actors.

Inconveniently for the Sheriff and dirt farmer lynch mob, the monsters decline to actually make any threats or express hostile intent, but that aint gonna stop patriotic isolationist xenophobia from falling back on that tried and true classic American diplomatic policy of spastic reactionary lashing-out.

A victim of rapidly escalating mistrust and fear, Putnam bumbles into the role of ineffectual and simpering mediator and scapegoat for both sides. Well-placed desire for his more attractive temporal pleasures plug him robotlike ever onward and he strikes a crude deal between the earthmen and space guys, saving his own ego at the last possible doofy moment. I get the distinct impression that he could have just as easily slipped on a banana peel and broken a priceless art object in really, really slow, (feature length) motion and that would have just about done the same thing.

A 3-D double bill with Creature From the Black Lagoon (a personal favorite). Three posters, the last one is the best I think because of the eyeball juice. And a VHS box cover from the 1996 MCA Universal re-relaease.

09 February 2009

American Cyborg: Steel Warrior

United States - 1993
Director- Boaz Davidson
Cannon Video, 1994, VHS

In a post apocalyptical U.S of A the remaining hetero population has been herded into a big slum where a gay machine imbued with artificial intelligence keeps them under control with the use of heavy metal cyborgs. Naturally, as under any sinister state Electric Eye, a group of underground resistance fighters is just waiting in the wings to jam up the gears of the man’s machine with a little vaginal intercourse. The scratch here is that since the end of the war women have been infertile, and it's suggested that the birth of a child however freakish and messianic will somehow change everything. In a secret breeder base under the ruins of the city, that very thing is taking place, in a fashion.

In a squirt of not so subtle metaphoric genius, The baby's mother is named Mary (this probably should tell all of us hopelessly aberrant heteros that she will not be showing any skin in this film) and in a budget aphorism which simultaneously enhances the sciency part of this fiction, the baby is kept alive in a jar. Mary must transport the rubber rugrat 10 miles through the anarchic city to the ocean, where a legendary boat from Europe will come to pick it up and raise it to adulthood at which point something dramatic is going to happen. Just as Mary and and her two escorts are about to leave the secret base, a Rob Halford cyborg clad in a leather jacket studded with English steel bursts into the lab and starts enforcing homogenaety.

Ramming the rubber baby down in her backpack, Mary is the only one to escape alive and finds herself alone in the city. She quickly runs afoul of some of the crusty denizens of the ruins only to be saved at the last moment by Austin, a rugged but feminine featured macho warrior with a glistening well-groomed mane of Kenny G hair and well powdered face. Halford smashes up the happy encounter demanding that Austin stop living a lie.

Mary and her new slightly uncomfortable looking and standoffish protector, the romance-novel-cover rugged Austin flee, but time and again are hounded by that hellion Halford-borg, determined to ram denial down. Austin repeatedly, but only temporarily stops him, finding each time that he has another thing coming. He even slashes Halford's throat open releasing a gout of strange white fluid, but this bizarre solution only helps the cyborg regenerate the wound. In a final confrontation, just as he himself is snuffed out, the ruthlessly tyrant Halford-borg rips off Austins arm. Weeping uncontrollably like an elderly Polish widow -in fear and a measure of relief- Austin clutches his bloody stump, discovering on close inspection that he too is a cyborg, a Red Blooded American Cyborg! Stitching Halfords own severed arm onto his own stump in posthumous tribute, Austin takes Mary the last few blocks to the ocean where she passes the rubber rugrat to some French guys in a rotting wooden dinghy who plop the sucker into a big maraschino cherry jar at the very last minute.

Knowing he must now do all his living after midnight, Austin decides that he's destined to remain in the city, and in a graceful farewell to a former lifestyle turns his back on Mary and walks away knowing that his personal liberation has somehow helped save humanity. As a parting shot Mary promises to name the rubber baby Austin.

If this whole plotline sounds somehow familiar, you're not alone, just let the comedic effect sink in and enhance the experience. Above are some alternate covers for the American Cyborg story.

06 February 2009

Someone Behind the Door

France - 1971
Director – Nicolas Gessner
Gemstone Entertainment, 1988, VHS

Despite Bronson's decent performance in Rider on the Rain, it was a French film, as is Someone Behind the Door and that in itself is a tiny tragedy in a bottle. I bought this film, which is based on a French novel, strictly because of the Bronson name. I am above all loyal.

Mr. Bronson is dropped of in a daze at an English hospital where a brain doctor, Anthony Perkins takes him to a room and does cursory diagnosis and injects him with a tranquilizer before suggesting they return to his house where Perkins can “observe” him, something he does with his patients “occasionally.” OK, crude insinuation noted.

At his mansion, Perkins makes a lot of blunt suggestions, postulating explanatory possibilities for Bronson's loss of memory. While Bronson is out of the room Perkins plants a gun in his jacket pocket and drops several more tranquilizers in his orange juice. Really? When Bronson passes out Perkins dictates his sinister plot-like diagnosis onto a reel-to-reel tape. His wife, Jill Ireland wakes up and the two of them exchange bitter, hateful insults through a veil of coy and practiced friendliness. She leaves for a trip to visit her brother and Perkins goes through some kind of stiff awkward attempt at estranged husbandyness.

Bronson awakens and wanders the empty house inspecting fruit and searching for some purpose to his employment in this film. The waxen Perkins returns with a suitcase that contains a bunch of conveniently suggestive evidence, and a letter detailing infidelity and a sordid love triangle. Perkins further insinuates hypothetical explanations in order to rile Bronson, speculating all kinds heavy adulterous situations. Finding himself playing across from a disinterested two-dimensional wet blanket, Bronson decides he really ought to flip his wig if he’s going to make this film interesting.

Perkins shame unravels when Ireland's brother shows up looking for her, and its revealed that the whole thing is an elaborate harebrained scheme to frame Bronson for the murders Perkins intends to commit using the very justifications he’s been feeding to Bronson.
For reasons beyond my comprehension, it works, Ireland and her lover show up, and Bronson plays his role with glee, shooting the lover repeatedly, and tearing Ireland's clothes off in what amounts to a near-rape. (Keep in mind Bronson and Ireland were actually married at this point)

The many faces of emoting Bronson in Someone Behind the Door.

The whole thing takes on a depressing dimension because it’s quite clear that it is all an elaborate and subtle vilification of Perkins own sexuality and homosexuality in general, whether or not he realizes it or the film ever suggests anything overt is beside the point. In fact, that’s the real catch, it can’t be mentioned. Perhaps too it’s an accusation of a society that forces gays to hide themselves away and live double lives. That’s the second tragedy of this movie, I can’t tell who it’s pointing the finger at and if I keep it up I could dissect this thing for hours and that would be more boring than the film.

Perkins shuffles in pale and sweaty, withered by shame and the monstrous relief of being released from living his own double life. He breaks the news about the whole fake wife brainwashing thing and Ireland slips comfortably back into her sex object role, coolly mocking him with dripping disappointment and accusations, even slutty women (the deplorable/desirable patriarchal trope) it would seem are superior to the gays.

Bronson meanwhile has exited very quickly and is wandering the beach wondering what the hell happened.

Some alternate covers for the film, all of which vilify Bronsons character. The last one from Unicorn Video is my favorite but sadly does not improve the film.

01 February 2009


United States - 1992
Director – Rafal Zielinski
Paramount Home Video, 1993, VHS

Preceded by previews for Beach Babes From Beyond, Bloodlust: Subspecies 3 and a Shannon Tweed film called Cold Sweat which looks like a piece of shit simply because Charles Bronson was in a different movie called Cold Sweat, which I know for a fact did suck, but it still had Charles Bronson so it’s inherently better than anything Shannon Tweed ever squoze out. Enough, on with the film.

Kyle, a young naïve Nebraskan hottie trying to escape the stuffy traditionalism of her old-timey daddy’s rural home crashes headlong into her first big city in a montage of hyperbolically “real” modern Hollywood witnessed from the window of her Greyhound. With little time for her quaint ideas to catch up, the crazy metropolis takes hold and sends her spinning into a wasteland of unfettered vice.

The 90’s were a time of redefining social roles and coming to terms with razzle-dazzle technological advances like three color computer screens that were just beginning to allow a certain section of society to feel special. Detective Teffler is just such a man; flashy and suave with his grasp of heady cutting edge techniques like ordering his fat lackey to make the computer do stuff. Thusly Teffler will not shut the fuck up, and when he’s not feeling sorry for himself does most of his detective “work” in the office ordering that fat old walrus to operate the clacking and whirring fax-machines and keyboards. The fact is however, that no matter how demanding and jerky he can be Teff is all alone in the world, driven to work ever harder by a deafening loneliness and drifting through life with the careless abandon of a man in search of a purpose.

When a street goon is killed, Teffler uses the first half of the movie to show off just how much his unfocussed emptiness has overcompensated with wanton aggression. Tracking down the main suspect - a common hooker who moonlights as a singer in a terrible grunge band - he finds Kyle, the hooker’s little sister who’s been sleeping in the hall of a sketchy apartment building for an undisclosed period of time.

Since they can’t find her sister, Teffler makes Kyle stay at his house. Her brief street education has already corrupted her and she spends the second half of the film repeatedly slinking around in small or no clothing insulting a sweating and understandably bug-eyed Teffler, and trying to browbeat him into her pants. Having apparently never heard the adage that in order to eat the cake you first have to commit to having it, he refuses each time and she consequently removes the object of his desire from his grasp, running away like an aberrant child to aimlessly wander the streets in search of a job, a friend, hell, any acceptance at all to the strains of horrible shitty wailing “desperation” saxophone solos.

Ruthlessly crushed between two patriararchetypes, Teffler cracks. By “making her a woman”, Teffler has accepted Kyle, and she can feel wanted as long as she keeps it lookin’ good and offering her body as collateral, presumably whenever he gets restless. Teffler effectively has Kyle under lockdown now that he’s made the commitment that is the only way to keep the insatiable little lass from slopping it on the streets. Now they can spend the rest of their lives hating each other for a stifling relationship that they both implicitly reinforce. But wait! In the 90’s it’s OK to get a divorce and start all over again with someone else. At least the concept of love hasn’t changed in these modern times, Kyle’s daddy would sure be proud.

See, she looks happy with the arrangement already.