Saturday, March 28, 2009

Film Review: DEADLY WEAPONS (1974, Doris Wishman)


Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 75 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Chesty Morgan (DOUBLE AGENT 73, Fellini's CASANOVA , Harry Reems (DEEP THROAT, SHERLICK HOLMES, DEVIL IN MISS JONES), Richard Towers (THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT), Philip Stahl (KEYHOLES ARE FOR PEEPING).
Tag-lines: "Seeing is Believing! 73-32-36!" AND "See the mob get 'BUST'-ed when Chesty takes her revenge!"
Best one-liners: See immediately below.



"Yehh-eah-ahh! You got the job!"

Chesty Morgan stars as a successful New York ad exec (...) who is drawn into a horrific circle of sleaze and revenge via breast smotherings when her two-bit punk lover is murdered. (It must be noted that all of the NY scenes look as if they were filmed at the cinematographer's grandmother's house in Santa Monica.)

This phone call takes place at Chesty's high-rise Manhattan office building where she is a successful ad exec.

Now it's difficult to tell if Chesty is on Quaaludes for the duration or if she's just mortified to be appearing in this fine film, but regardless, it lends the film an air of despondency which partially undermines the campy proceedings. As in MANOS and films of that ilk, the makers of DEADLY WEAPONS lack a rudimentary understanding of the language of cinema. There are bizarre cutaways to everything from the carpet to the sidewalk to portraits of dogs. Continuity isn't just thrown out the window; it's tossed, screaming, into the void of space. The seams of the patchwork plot are held together by a deluge of phone calls- it's safe to say that useless phone calls outnumber deaths by cleavage by a ratio of at least 15 to 1.

But that's a good thing. Because...



Then there's the soundtrack- a hodgepodge of Jimi Hendrix meets Perry Como ripoffs and smoove jazz that is surprisingly one of the stronger elements of the film.

Anyway, Chesty finally seeks her revenge against:

Captain Hook ("You call me Captain Hook one more time, and I'll kill you!"),

and the other guy (who has a mustache so intense that I believe if Sam Elliot were ever to see it- much like the legend of the sax player who threw his instrument in the East River after hearing Charlie Parker play- he would shave off his 'stache that instant), and after she's finished with the smotherings, this film delivers a family-related denouement so nihilistic, I would daresay call it Shakespearian.

And then it ends on a freeze frame. You're gonna sit there in a daze for a moment after it's finished. You might even purse your lips, furrow your brow, or stroke your chin. But you're definitely gonna be asking yourself, "Where do I go from here?"

-Sean Gill