Thursday, February 18, 2010

Film Review: QUIET COOL (1986, Clay Borris)

Stars: 3.9 of 5.
Running Time: 80 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: James Remar (THE WARRIORS, 48 HRS., DEXTER, RENT-A-COP), Daphne Ashbrook (THE O.C.), Chris Mulkey (Hank Jennings on TWIN PEAKS), Nick Cassavetes (FACE/OFF, director of THE NOTEBOOK), Adam Coleman Howard (RIDE ME, DEAD GIRL), Joe Sagal (BARB WIRE, THE HIDDEN).
Tag-line: "A New York Cop. A kid from California. They're caught in the middle of a deadly business. It can get you rich, get you high, or get you dead. QUIET COOL. Where there's smoke...there's fire." That's a mouthful.
Best one-liner: "Oh, boy....I bet this snot-catcher of yours took a long time to grow, huh?"
So you want to see a sweaty, half-naked James Remar aerobicizing to some rockin' tunes? Well, you've come to the wrong place––go check out RENT-A-COP. But, while you're here, do you want to see Remar holding a mustachioed fat man at gunpoint, taking nail scissors, and forcibly trimming the dude's ginormous, bushy whiskers... just to be a dick?

How ‘bout seeing a motorcylin' Remar chasing a roller-skatin' purse snatcher into the subway, back out again, and then grabbing said miscreant by his belt loops and flinging him into the river? Hot damn!

"You have the right to remain–"


Remar, well-known for playing heavies (THE COTTON CLUB, 48 HRS, etc.) and later for supporting roles on cable TV (SEX & THE CITY, DEXTER), was rarely given the chance to be a leading man. Lucky for us, QUIET COOL affords him such an opportunity. Now, I'm generally rooting for Remar either way, so when he's the good guy, it just saves me the trouble of having to morally compromise myself. Anyway, Remar’s NYPD cop heads to the Pacific Northwest to bust up a ring of brutal pot growers who are causing his ex-girlfriend distress. The villains are immaculately costumed and well-coiffed. They apparently live in the forest and are always lookin' for trouble. Kinda like THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, we got a snowy blonde, fiery red, and raven-haired trio of tuff guys (including Nick Cassavetes and TWIN PEAKS' Chris Mulkey) who look like they'd be more at home singing back-up vocals for Wham! than brandishing assault rifles in the great outdoors.

Remar's just motorcyclin' through the forest with his l'il buddy, then–




Taking stylistic cues from Sergio Leone, the 'epic staredowns' take on an entirely different quality in this context, heightening the sexual tension to unthinkable levels. Remar even teams up with an orphaned, junior-league Rambo (Adam Coleman Howard) who’s always gazing longingly at his new father figure.

Remar––and the audience––are initially confused by these advances.

I’ll bet that the director told him to keep thinking intensely about the horror of losing his parents, but instead it translates as an open-ended invitation to his bedroom.








Unknown said...

Wow, a rare good guy role for Remar... who woulda thunk? This looks worth checking out for that alone!

HK Fanatic said...

I was fortunate enough to catch this on VHS from my local video store, before they went out of business (they had a ridiculously obscure selection of action and horror movies on VHS). It is indeed a pretty fun movie, if only to see Remar play the hero for once. Also, isn't there a theme song that includes the lyrics "quiet cool"?

Another fun Remar movie, albeit with him in a supporting role, is Jean Claude Van Damme's sole directorial credit (for now!), "The Quest."

Sean Gill said...


Yeah, I always love it when these traditional henchmen, heavies, and baddies (everyone from Lee van Cleef to Ironside to Remar) get the chance to play the good guy. As I said, I'm already rooting for them anyway!


Yes indeed there is a theme song that plays over the end credits, entitled "Quiet Cool" and peformed by Joe Lamont, and yes it is as horrific as I'm sure you remember.

I'll have to check out THE QUEST at some point, it looks pretty solid. The next Remar in my queue is WEDLOCK, which, call me crazy- LOOKS AMAZING: