Monday, May 20, 2013

Film Review: BUNNY O'HARE (1971, Gerd Oswald)

Stars: 1.5 of 5.
Running Time: 102 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Bette Davis (DARK VICTORY, ALL ABOUT EVE), Ernest Borgnine (FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK), John Astin (THE ADDAMS FAMILY, EERIE INDIANA), Jack Cassidy (THE EIGER SANCTION, MR. MAGOO'S CHRISTMAS CAROL), Joan Delaney (THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST, DON'T DRINK THE WATER), and Jay Robinson (SHAMPOO, Coppola's DRACULA).  Written by Stanley Z. Cherry (PETTICOAT JUNCTION, THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS) and Coslough Johnson (THE SONNY AND CHER COMEDY HOUR, SHE-RA, HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE).  Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff (ROLLING THUNDER, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, DILLINGER '73, EARTH VS. THE SPIDER, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN).
Tag-line:  "ENJOY those Golden Years with the most profitable pension plan any sweet little mother ever devised!
Best one-liner:  "SCREW 'EM!"

"Heya, bud– you wanna see a terrible movie?"
–"Not particularly."
"How's about a terrible movie with Bette Davis?"
–"I already saw RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN."
"How's about a terrible movie with Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine?"

–"Well..."
"Look at 'em smiling.  Come on."
–"Well..."
"How's about a terrible movie with Bette Davis and Ernest Borgnine where they play geriatric bank robbers... who dress up as hippies and tool around on a motorcycle so as not to get caught?"

–"Alright, you win– now there's no way I'm not watching that."
"I thought so, you sick bastard."
–"So wait... what is this again?"
"It's a Samuel Z. Arkoff American International shit-storm that's so cheap and desperate and awful that despite the presence of major Hollywood stars from the Golden Era, it doesn't even feel like a 'real movie,' ever."
–"Uh..."
"Also, there's an overwhelming, zany harmonica-laden soundtrack and some chase sequences worthy of Benny Hill."

–"Er...what?"
"Okay.  So imagine this:  Bette Davis plays an unappreciated older mother whose deadbeat kids are allowing the bank to foreclose on her home ("THIS IS MY HOUSE YOU CAN'T KNOCK IT DOWN!!!"),

only one of the dudes tearing her plumbing apart happens to be ex-bank robbing legend Ernest Borgnine, and so he and Ms. Bette strike up a December-December romance and vow revenge on the banks."

–"He's taking her toilet?"
"Yeah.  And did I mention that one of said deadbeat kids is played by the legendary John Astin, seen here wearing a wicked, rainbow-colored 70s smoking jacket?"

–"Okay...?"
"It's anti-bank message is certainly admirable, and it really tries for a late 60s counter-culture vibe, but it simply can't escape the blockheaded 'geriatric BONNIE AND CLYDE' gimmickry."

–"Why am I supposed to be watching this?"
"Well, of course it all leads up to the emotionally satisfying and semi-nude payoff of Ernest Borgnine digging a bullet out of Bette Davis' shoulder."

–"Can I leave now?"
"No.  If you've come this far, you should at least stay for the finale, whereupon Bette hangs up on both of her needy children and utters the sheer poetry of...

"SCREW 'EM!"

And from the look of her expression afterward, I think it's pretty evident that this sentiment is simultaneously aimed at the filmmakers!"
–"Oh.  Uh, why am I here again?"
"I don't know.  Because we have no standards?"
–"Well apparently, neither do Davis and Borgnine."
"We all gotta eat, brother..."


 –Sean Gill

2 comments:

Mike B. said...

Good Lord that looks horrid! But I wouldn't be able to resist it either, so I hope I never come across it!

Sean Gill said...

Mike B.,

Ha, exactly– I just couldn't stop myself.