November 14th, 2012

LEGENDS OF THE SILVER SCREEN: MICHAEL PARE

Michael Pare belongs in an exclusive club. He’s one of the very few movie stars to be featured in multiple Legends of the Silver Screen columns. Pare’s starred in some pretty bad movies in his career (See: The It Came from the Thrift Store review for Dragonfight), but he has a knack for effortlessly rising above subpar material.

Our first Pare film is…

KILLING STREETS (1991) ***

Craig (Michael Pare) is a Marine in Beirut. His twin brother Chris (also Pare) is told that Craig has been killed in a car bombing. Chris doesn’t believe the cover story (Pare and his brother have one of those psychic twin connections) and he goes to Beirut to investigate. An American embassy worker (Lorenzo Lamas) tells Chris to go home, but he eventually agrees to help him rescue his brother.

This movie has it all. Michael Pare playing twins, Lorenzo Lamas speaking like Elvis Presley, and that hot chick from the beginning of Ghostbusters dressed like a sexy librarian. Okay, maybe it doesn’t have it “all”, but it has “enough”.

As much as I enjoyed Killing Streets, I do wish the two Pares had more screen time together. I will say that the split screen work was extremely well done, especially considering this wasn’t a big budgeted affair. I also wish Lamas’ part was bigger, but again, he does talk like Elvis, so the little screen time he does have is pretty damn sweet.

Killing Streets is a good time as far as I’m concerned. I’m a fan of Pare and Lamas, so I pretty much dug the flick just on account of seeing those two Legends kicking ass side by side. If you are a bit more discriminating, you probably won’t enjoy it as much as I did.

And frankly, that’s your loss.

Our pal, Comeuppance Reviews take on the film: http://www.comeuppancereviews.com/2012/01/killing-streets-1991.html

Next up in our Pare-A-Palooza is…

SOLAR FORCE (1996) **

In the year 2050, Earth becomes uninhabitable, so a bunch of rich white folks go live on the moon. They create a device that can reverse the pollution on the planet, but it gets stolen by some revolutionaries from Earth. Moon Cop Michael Pare goes down to the planet to get it back, but winds up helping the poor citizens fight off a gang of rapist bikers led by Billy Drago.

Solar Force tries to be too many things all at once. The first act plays like your usual 90’s low budget space movie, the second half is a standard issue Mad Max rip-off, and the finale borrows heavily from Terminator as an android is sent to Earth to kill Pare. If I had to pick one, I’d say the middle section worked the best, if only because it prominently featured Billy Drago acting like a slimeball. I don’t mind genre mash-ups like this. However, Solar Force goes on about 15 minutes longer than necessary and the space bound scenes could’ve probably been a little tighter too (although I did get a laugh from the awful moonbase model).

Michael Pare’s brother Terrence wrote the film, which probably explains why he gives 110% in this movie. In fact, Pare’s strong performance anchors the film and helps it from going off the tracks more than a few times. Drago is pretty great too, but everyone else in the cast is more or less a wet blanket. Pare and Drago do what they can, but their efforts still aren’t enough to drag Solar Force into the “Worthwhile” column.

AKA: Lunarcop. AKA: Astrocop.

And our final Pare flick is...

BLUBBERELLA (2012) **

Blubberella finds Uwe Boll in Postal mode again. That’s right; it’s another bad taste comedy that contains jokes about Jews (our heroine lives in “The Jew-y Part of Town”), gays, people in blackface, and if you couldn’t tell from the title, fat people. I will say this for the flick: It’s funnier than any of those Friedberg/Seltzer movies.

Watching Blubberella is a bizarre experience. If you’ve seen Boll’s Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, you’ll know what I mean. Boll uses the same actors, sets, and basic plot from that movie. The only difference is that instead of the ultra-hot Natassia Malthe in the title role, we have the obese Lindsay Hollister. Whole scenes play out more or less the same as they did in Bloodrayne, except, you know… there’s a fat chick instead of a hot one.

In fact, Blubberella often feels like Boll’s critique of Hollywood’s obsessive impulse to require their leading lady to have supermodel looks. It never quite works, but I do applaud the very experimental nature of the film. It’s probably the kind of thing Jean Luc Godard would do.

Wait a minute; did I just compare Uwe Boll to Jean Luc Godard?

Anyway, Blubberella is this half-vampire vampire hunter who is fighting Nazis in WWII. She’s also single so she spends a lot of time surfing www.jewishdating.com. Blubberella wonders where all her potential dates have gone and as it turns out, they’ve been taken by Hitler to the concentration camps. She then goes out to kick some Nazi butt.

Even though the movie takes place during WWII, nearly every joke contains a 21st century reference. Either that or it’s a fat joke or a gay joke. Many of the jokes are just plain in bad taste or flat out wrong. Some of them actually elicit laughter because you just can’t believe your fucking eyes. (Example: The scene where Blubberella’s gay friend sprays air freshener into a boxcar full of Jews.)

There are so many bad jokes in this movie that I lost count. However, the ones that hit are pretty funny. The Precious parody scene for instance, is fucking hilarious and the scene that pokes fun at Intervention made me laugh. And any movie in which a character inexplicably dons a Blue Demon Lucha Libre mask can’t be all bad.

Most of the jokes revolve around Lindsay Hollister’s weight. She’s a good sport about the whole thing, but there are only so many scenes of a big-boned broad eating over-sized submarine sandwiches that you can take. This joke simply cannot be sustained for an hour and a half. Actually, the flick runs only 75 minutes if you don’t count the Hal Needham style outtakes at the end. Even then, it’s still about a half hour too long.

Hollister has enough of a presence that you kinda wouldn’t mind seeing her working with better material. The rest of the cast handle the comedy rather unevenly though. Clint Howard gets a pass, mostly because he just acts like… well… Clint Howard. Michael Pare doesn’t fare nearly as well. He isn’t very funny, but he does do a KILLER Brando, so that’s worth something.

And Uwe Boll cameos as Hitler, which pretty much sums up everything you need to know right there.

Blubberella’s gay friend gets the best line of the flick when he says, “There’s no black people in this movie so the whore is probably going to die first.”

Here’s Direct to Video Connoisseur’s review of the film: http://www.mattmovieguy.com/2012/04/blubberella-2011.html

Next week’s Legend: Pare’s Killing Streets co-star, Lorenzo Lamas.