This Week’s “Peaks” : Part Fifteen (Spoilers Abound)

Trash Film Guru

There’s so much we could talk about when it comes to part fifteen of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks 2017/Twin Peaks : The Return/Twin Peaks season three —

We could, for isntance, talk about what I call “The Ballad Of Norma And Big Ed.” Nadine (played with an extra spring in her step by the great Wendy Robie) has finally given her long-suffering husband (Everett McGill) his freedom, and he heads right for the Double R and the woman he loves, the woman he’s always loved (Peggy Lipton) — only to have his heart broken one last time when cheeseball Walter (Grant Goodeve) puts in an appearance. Norma sends the slick operator and his franchise operation packing, though, and two minutes later she’s agreed to be Mrs. Big Ed Hurley. I’d like to talk about this. I’d like to talk about it a lot, in…

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The Day the Clowns All Cried: RIP Jerry Lewis

cracked rear viewer

Jerry Lewis is an acquired taste for many. His unique comic persona isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially among the highbrow set (except in France, where for decades he’s been hailed as a genius). He was zany, manic, childlike, and the last of the great slapstick comedians, his career spanning over eighty years. He was a comic, writer, director, actor, singer, businessman, innovator, and philanthropist. Jerry Lewis is a true American icon, and the embodiment of the American  dream.

Joseph Levitch was one of those “born in a trunk” kids referenced in many a classic movie. His father was a vaudevillean, his mom a piano player, and by the time he was five Lewis was appearing with his parents onstage at Catskill Mountain resorts. A high school dropout, Lewis did what was known as a “record act” as a teen, where he’d lipsynch popular tunes of the day with comic results. During…

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A Movie A Day #224: Armed and Dangerous (1986, directed by Mark L. Lester)

John Candy and Eugene Levy make a great team in the underrated comedy, Armed and Dangerous.

John Candy plays Frank Dooley, a member of the LAPD.  One of the first scenes of the movie is Frank climbing up a tree to save a little boy’s kitten and then getting stuck in the tree himself.  When Frank discovers two corrupt detectives stealing televisions, Frank is framed for the theft and kicked off the force.

Eugene Levy plays Norman Kane, a lawyer whose latest client is a Charles Manson-style cult leader who has a swastika carved into his head.  After being repeatedly threatened with murder, Norman asks for a sidebar and requests that the judge sentence his client to life in prison.  The judge agrees on the condition that Norman, whom he describes as being “the worst attorney to ever appear before me,” find a new line of work.

Frank and Norman end up taking a one day training course to act as security guards and are assigned to work together by their tough by sympathetic supervisor (Meg Ryan!).  Assigned to guard a pharmaceutical warehouse, Frank and Norman stumble across a robbery.  The robbery leads them to corruption inside their own union and, before you can say 80s cop movie, Frank and Norman are ignoring the orders of their supervisors and investigating a crime that nobody wants solved.

Armed and Dangerous was one of the many comedy/cop hybrid films of the 1980s.  Like Beverly Hills Cop, it features Jonathan Banks as a bad guy.  Like the recruits in Police Academy, all of Frank and Norman’s fellow security guards are societal misfits who are distinguished by one or two eccentricities.  There is nothing ground-breaking about Armed and Dangerous but Mark Lester did a good job directing the movie and the team of Candy and Levy (who has previously worked together on SCTV) made me laugh more than a few times.

Armed and Dangerous was originally written to be a vehicle for John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.  It’s easy to imagine Belushi and Aykroyd in the lead roles but I think the movie actually works better with Candy and Levy, whose comedic style was similar to but far less aggressive than that of Belushi and Aykroyd.  One of the reasons that Armed and Dangerous works is because John Candy and Eugene Levy seem like the two last people to ever find themselves in a shootout or a car chase.  With Belushi and Aykroyd, it would have been expected.  After all, everyone’s seen The Blues Brothers.


Music Video of the Day: Naughty Girls Need Love Too by Samantha Fox & Full Force (1988, dir. Scott Kalvert)

No, I was not looking to specifically feature this video just to share the story below. This is my favorite Fox music video, and that is the only story about her in the entire book. It’s one of the odder behind-the-scenes stories I’ve heard about the production of a music video. I feel I’d be remiss not mentioning it. The first part gives some insight about how they were planning on selling her, while the second paragraph is the odd part, which you can skip if you wish.

According to The Baltimore Sun on December 30th, 1988, this song “was not so much a song as a T-shirt with a rhythm section.”

Ann Carli, then senior vice president of artist development at Jive Records, said the following about the video in the book, I Want My MTV:

We signed Samantha Fox–she was one of the biggest Page Three Girls in England. Page Three Girls pose topless in the Sun. She was fairly young, and extremely buxom. RCA wanted to do pinup calendars and take a real skanky approach. I wanted her to be more of a girl next door, so that was a big fight.

Samantha would drink early in the day. She wanted champagne right from the beginning of the day. I made sure her drinks got watered down. At one video shoot, she was constipated. She was bloated and wearing a midriff costume. I had to get a doctor. This is kind of a disgusting story. I don’t want to know what the doctor did, but the problem was solved.

This must be the video Carli was speaking about because I can’t find another video where she was wearing a midriff.

I’m glad it appears that Carli only partially won that fight. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany had already cornered the girl-next-door market. Fox is a nice middle-ground between the way Carli described they wanted to sell her, and the actual way I’ve seen her presented in music videos.

I can’t imagine anyone else at the time being able to pull off wearing a Debbie Gibson hat…

Out Of The Blue (1988)

with a Tiffany-style dress…

I Think We're Alone Now (1987)

I Think We’re Alone Now (1987)

while holding a man’s head next to her breasts…

before pushing his head downward.

I think she did this kind of material well without looking “skanky.”

Cut to 30 years later, and now Gibson, Tiffany, and Fox have all been in SyFy movies. There’s something I’m sure none of them would have expected to happen in their future.

Fox played Ms. Moore in Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017).

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017, dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017, dir. Anthony C. Ferrante)

Below, I’ve embedded an interesting little interview she gave last year on Loose Women concerning her sexuality. It puts this video in a different light.

The people accompanying Fox are the group, Full Force. They have worked with numerous artists, such as Bob Dylan. Some, or all, of their members wrote the song.

Scott Kalvert directed the video. He’s done close to 100 music videos. The few that I have seen have this kind of late-80s/early-90s-street look to them. Outside of music videos, he is probably best known for directing The Basketball Diaries (1995).

Donyale McRae did makeup for the video. He seems to have worked on around 35 music videos. He’s worked on a lot of things from Doctor Who to The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)–which means that both him and Kalvert went on to work with DiCaprio.