A Movie A Day #206: Conflict of Interest (1993, directed by Gary Davis)

Conflict of Interest is a by-the-numbers direct-to-video movie about a tough cop named Mickey who is obsessed with taking down a drug dealer and club owner named Gideon.  Mickey is a widower.  Years ago, his wife was gunned down in front of him and his son.  His son is now a teenager with a motorcycle and a mullet.  Gideon hires Mickey’s son to work at one of his clubs and then frames him for murder.  Even though his superiors order him to back off, Mickey is determined to clear his son’s name.

Why should you watch Conflict of Interest?  How about this:

That’s Judd Nelson, going heavy on the sideburns and eyeliner in the role of Gideon.  I am not sure if this movie was filmed before or after the famous “puffy shirt” episode of Seinfeld.

Judd chews up and spits out every piece of scenery that he can get his hands on.  Matching Judd step-for-step is Alyssa Milano, who plays Eve.  She falls in love with Mickey’s son, even though she is already a member of Gideon’s harem.

Mickey is played by Christopher McDonald, who gets a rare lead role in Conflict of Interest.  McDonald may not be a household name but he is one of the great Hey, It’s That Guy actors.  Usually, he plays smarmy businessmen and game show hosts.  He’s a surprisingly good action hero in Conflict of Interest, though his mustache cannot begin to compete with Judd’s sideburns.

About as dumb as dumb can be, Conflict of Interest is enjoyably ridiculous.  Conflict of Interest may have been made in 1993 but it is an 80s film all the way through, the type of movie where almost every chase ends with someone’s car exploding.  Even Gideon’s nightclubs are “heavy metal clubs,” which are populated by people who would not have been out of place in Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

And then there’s the Judd power stare:

As we saw in Shattered If Your Kid’s On Drugs, the Judd power stare has the Burt Reynolds seal of approval:

Fun in the Sun: BEACH BLANKET BINGO (AIP 1965)

cracked rear viewer

You’d think by the fourth entry in American-International’s ‘Beach Party’ series, 1965’s BEACH BLANKET BINGO, the formula would be wearing a bit thin. Frankie and Annette are still trying to make each other jealous, Eric Von Zipper and his Rats are still comic menaces, and the gang’s into yet another new kick (skydiving this time around). But thanks to a top-notch supporting cast of characters, a sweet subplot involving a mermaid, and the genius of comedy legend Buster Keaton , BEACH BLANKET BINGO is loads of fun!

Aspiring singer Sugar Kane skydives from a plan into the middle of the ocean and is “rescued” by surfer Frankie. But not really… it’s all been a publicity stunt by her PR agent ‘Bullets’. Sugar is played by lovely Linda Evans, right before she landed on TV’s THE BIG VALLEY, and ‘Bullets’ is none other than the fantastically sarcastic Paul Lynde. But wait… Eric Von Zipper…

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Music Video of the Day: Run Runaway by Slade (1984, dir. Tim Pope)

If you’ve ever heard of Slade, then it’s likely because their songs Cum On Feel The Noize and Mama Weer All Crazee Now were covered by Quiet Riot and The Runaways. I’m not sure what led me to find them, but I’ve enjoyed their music ever since. I had no idea they made it out of the 1970s in order to have music videos like this one out there.

The reason we have it is that Quiet Riot’s cover re-popularized Cum On Feel The Noize. This created attention in America for their music. Thus, we got Run Runaway, among other songs, which did well in the States. And we got this video to go with it.

If the Wikipedia article on the band is to be believed, then they are cited as an influence on just about everyone from the late-70s onward. I can understand that. For me, they fall into the same category as Sweet–ahead of their time, underrated, and influential.

Surprisingly, there is a fair amount of info about the video over on the Wikipedia page on the song:

A music video was filmed to promote the single, which was directed by Tim Pope for GLO Productions and cost £16,000 to make. It was shot at Eastnor Castle in Ledbury, Herefordshire. In keeping with the song’s celtic/jig sound, the video featured the band performing the song in front of an audience dressed in tartan. Other sequences showed a marching bagpipe band and a kilted Scot grappling with a caber.

The video was a big success in America, where it reached the top of the playlist charts. Its constant showing on MTV helped “Run Runaway” become Slade’s biggest American hit. Despite its success, the band were disappointed that the video did not feature any direct shots of Powell. In a 1986 interview, Lea said that the band’s only requirement in their music videos is that each band member is featured, however in the “Run Runaway” video, Powell is only seen in the background. In a 1986 fan club opinion poll, fans voted the video was the band’s best music video.

In 2011, the coat guitarist Dave Hill wore in the video sold on eBay for £295. The seller had bought the coat many years ago from the Slade Fan Club where Hill auctioned off a few items to raise money to build a home recording studio.

The only thing I would add is that I like that it captures the goofiness of the band. I especially love the part near the end when the camera is looking up at them. You keep thinking it’s going to cut away from them, but it doesn’t. They just keep going.