A Movie A Day #236: Bad Blood (1994, directed by Tibor Takacs)

Though it is sometimes hard to remember, there more on late night Cinemax than just Shannon Tweed films like Scorned and Body Chemistry 3.  There were also Lorenzo Lamas action films, movies like the Snake Eater trilogy.  Though Lamas was a terrible actor, his direct-to-video efforts were always a hundred times more violent than everyone else’s and, for male viewers of a certain age, it did not hurt that his then-wife, Kathleen Kinmont, often showed up in various states of undress.

Kathleen Kinmont did not appear in Bad Blood but the movie made up for her absence by being so violent that it was originally given an NC-17 rating.  As a result, there are actually two versions of this movie floating around: the slightly cut R-rated Bad Blood and an unrated version called Viper.  (Interestingly, the violence in both Bad Blood and Viper is really no more graphic than the violence that was featured in a lot of mainstream films released in the mid-90s.)

In this one, Lorenzo Lamas is Travis Blackstone, a former cop who was kicked off the force after he destroyed evidence to protect his smarmy brother, Franklin (Hank Cheyne).  Travis was sent to prison but now that he is out, he is working in a shipping yard and coaching little league baseball.  (I do not know many parents that would be happy with an ex-con as their child’s little league coach but that is the power of Lorenzo Lamas.)  Unfortunately, Franklin has gotten in trouble again, embezzling millions from the mafia.  Not only does Travis have to find the money to repay the mob but he also has to keep Franklin safe.  Unfortunately, since Franklin is now involved with Travis’s ex, Rhonda (Frankie Thorn), Travis’s new girlfriend (Kimberly Kates) assumes that he is cheating on her and tells the mob where they can track down the Blackstone brothers.

The main bad guy, Chang, is played by Joe Son.  (The unrated version begins with Chang giving a little girl a lollipop and then shooting her dead.)  Joe Son was a UFC fighter who was later revealed to be just as bad a guy in real life as he was in the movies.  After being convicted on rape in 2011, Son was sentenced to seven years to life.  As soon as he arrived in prison, he beat his cellmate to death and received an additional sentence of 27 years for voluntary manslaughter.

As for Bad Blood, by the standards of the typical Lorenzo Lamas action movie, it’s not bad.  The action is constant and fierce, with Travis gunning down a seemingly endless number of gangsters in designer suits.  Tibor Takacs was a better filmmaker than most of the directors that Lamas worked with and it appears that he managed to keep Lorenzo Lamas’s ego under control, the result being far less shots of Lamas posing than in any of the other movies that Lamas made during this period.  The production values of Bad Blood are also consistently better than what was on display in the Snake Eater films.  There is even a scene where Lamas not only flips over a speeding car but he shoots the driver while he is doing it.  Let’s see Steven Seagal or even Dolph Lundgren do that!

Familiar Faces #5: She’s Like A Rainbeaux!

cracked rear viewer

I’ve got a confession to make: I’ve had an insane crush on 70’s exploitation queen Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith ever since I first saw her brighten the screen in Jack Hill’s 1974 THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS. Never a big star by any stretch of the imagination, the delightful, delectable blonde graced us with her presence throughout the 70’s and 80’s, making even the tiniest of parts memorable. This girl was just soooo damn cute!

Cheryl Lynn Smith was born on June 6, 1955. A typical California girl with blonde hair and freckles, Cheryl used to hang out on the Sunset Strip, a fixture at all the rock clubs: The Whiskey A-Go-Go, The Roxy, The Rainbow. She allegedly got the nickname “Rainbeaux” from the owner of these venues, the legendary rock impresario Mario Maglieri. Cheryl was well-known in the LA rock scene, and later in life played drums in an incarnation of The Runaways featuring…

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Music Video of the Day: The Shuttered Palace by Ellen Foley (1981, dir. ???)

A few months ago I came across this music video. I liked it immediately. I became hooked on her when I listened to some of her previous stuff, such as a cover of The Rolling Stones’ Stupid Girl.

I thought this was the first time I had come across Foley. Hardly.

If you’ve listened to the Bat Out Of Hell album by Meat Loaf, then her vocals should sound familiar. She’s the one who sang on songs like Paradise By The Dashboard Light. Karla DeVito is the one in the video lip-syncing Foley’s vocals.

There’s another place I already knew her from that reached back to my childhood: Night Court. She played Billie. The one-season defense attorney till they got Markie Post.

Night Court

I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but I love that the first outfit she wore on the show looks like one she wore in this video.

I can understand why they replaced her. Even if they hadn’t been looking for Post to begin with, I don’t remember her character being well-written, funny, or her being properly cast in the role to begin with. None of which are her fault. She just seemed out of place.

Along those lines, the album this song is on–her second–doesn’t appear to have done well. Having listened to other songs on the album…well, she’s not Kate Bush despite the songs trying to present her such. I like this particular video, but again, she’s not the Kate Bush-type no matter what outfits they have her wear.

Looking around, the Ellen Foley below during a live performance of Stupid Girl is more representative of her than this video.

I included that last one because I can’t be the only one thinks the lady in green looks an awful lot like Rena Riffel from Showgirls 1 & 2. She would’ve had to have been 11 there, so I’m sure it isn’t her.

Despite this song and music video not being the best of introductions to her material in general, along with the fact that I have no idea what the lyrics Joe Strummer and Mick Jones wrote for her mean, it strikes a chord with me.

At the time, she was dating Mick Jones, and The Clash backed her on all the songs off the album.

I couldn’t find out who directed this video. I have a guess though. Foley sang backup vocals in 1984 on Joe Jackson’s album Body & Soul. This one screams the videos Steve Barron did for Jackson: Real Men, Steppin’ Out, and Breaking Us In Two.

I’ll do other, more Ellen Foley, Ellen Foley music videos in the future. But I wanted to start with my introduction.