A Movie A Day #247: Play Nice (1992, directed by Terri Treas)

Homicide Detective Jake “Mouth” Penucci (Ed O’Ross) is the most hated man on the police force.  His partners hate him.  His ex-wife hates him.  His daughter will hate him once she is old enough.  Penucci is obnoxious, tells terrible jokes, and is haunted by his abusive childhood.  The only person that does not hate Penucci is Jill (Robey), who works in the records office.  Jill and Penucci are soon an item but it turns out that Jill has some kinky tastes, which make even Penucci nervous.  She wants him to beat her during sex and sometimes ask him to pretend that she’s a little girl.  At the same time that Penucci is trying to figure out how to have a normal relationship with Jill, he has been assigned to catch Rapunzel, a female serial killer who only targets men who have been accused of sexually abusing their daughters.  Could it all be connected?

Play Nice is a standard 1990s Skinemax neo-noir, distinguished by a few surreal dream sequences and performances that are better than what’s typically found in films like this.  The mystery would be interesting except that there is only one possible suspect so it is not at all surprising when that suspect is eventually revealed to be Rapunzel.  For many Skinemax watchers, the film’s main appeal was probably the beautiful Robey appearing in several nude scenes but Play Nice is also memorable for giving character actor Ed O’Ross a rare starring role.  O’Ross has spent almost his entire movie career playing corrupt cops and psychotic gangster but he does a pretty good job as Penucci, even if Penucci is not a typical hero.  Every good character actor should get at least one chance to play a lead and O’Ross makes the most of it in Play Nice.

Music Video of the Day: (No More) Love At Your Convenience by Alice Cooper (1977, dir. ???)

Oh. Apparently this isn’t the most well-liked Alice Cooper song out there with comments on YouTube saying things like “Pure crap!!!” and “Didn’t Alice claim he was too drunk to even recall recording this song?” I wouldn’t be surprised about the second one seeing as, according to Wikipedia, he hospitalized himself for alcoholism himself after the album tour.

I guess for a short period in the late-70s, Alice Cooper decided to take a break from the usual persona, and try out a character named Maurice Escargot–a drinking PI you can see at the start of the video.

The song may not be good, but I like that it exists. It’s a reminder to me that behind the band named Alice Cooper is a guy who also goes by the name Alice Cooper who plays a persona while in real life he is a golfer and was friends with Glen Campbell. About a month ago, after Campbell passed away, Alice gave a short interview about his relationship with him.

The video is a different matter. I love it.

While two totally different songs, it has that same grainy 1970s looking insanity that makes the video for Elected so good.

Talking about the video in detail would be like talking about the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band–yes, he was in that movie. I’m just gonna show a few thing that caught my eye.

You’ve got The Man Who Laughs (1928).

A very judgmental James Cagney.

Little Red Riding Hood.

Alice Cooper getting flashed.

I have no idea what to make of this guy.

Ah, honey. You didn’t have to bring home a Funkadelic music video with you.

Cosmic Slop by Funkadelic (1973)

I wonder how many more of these every-thing-and-the-kitchen-sink-pre-MTV music videos are out there? I ask since those were popular at the start of MTV. Yet, most of the videos from the 1960s and 1970s that I’ve spotlighted so far, aren’t that type of video.

If you’re interested in the album this song is from, Lace And Whiskey, then there’s an article over on Ultimate Classic Rock.