Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Terrible Tuesday Movie of the Week

 From 1976 comes Hollywood Man, a truly horrible movie about making a movie.  With the exception of The Stuntman, I usually hate movies about making movies and after seeing this film, I'm not about to change my mind.

This Z grade turkey stars William Smith.
Yeah you've seen him in a thousand movies and TV shows, usually playing the heavy.  In this film he's the lead. He plays a movie star of a sort who's sunk $125,000 of his own money in a movie about biker gangs.  He needs another $300,000 to finish it so he goes to the head of a studio.  The studio head turns him down but he's nice enough to give him the phone number of some gangsters in Florida who will give him the money, for a price.

Quick as a wink he's off in Florida with his girlfriend, who is also his co-star in his biker film.  She's played by the lovely Mary Woronov, who unbelievably doesn't get top female billing in the credits of this movie.  
 Anyhoo, our hero agrees to the terms the gangsters lay out and he sets off to shoot his picture.  Since he had to put up his house and his residuals from his past films and TV appearances as collateral the gangsters decide they are going to make it impossible for Smith to finish his low budget epic on time, thereby giving them the deed to his Hollywood home and all his income.

The gangsters hire a motorcycle gang to make trouble for the film crew and this gang is led by the least menacing biker ever.  His name is Harvey and he looks like he's a warehouse manager or a shoe salesman or a gastroenterologist.  His gang is made up of one woman who is covered in sweat no matter what time of day it is, some dudes who wear denim jackets that are covered in patches and who's sleeves have been torn off, and one super strong but dim witted guy who is ultra loyal to Harvey.  We know he's dimwitted because he kills people really quickly after he meets them and he repeats his dialogue all the time, for instance he'll say, "Harvey, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry Harvey."  And then he looks all puppy dog innocent and shit.

The biker gang menaces the movie set and so does a local sheriff in the small Florida town they're shooting in.  He hates the bikers and the movie crew but turns out he hates the bikers more.  In between getting harassed by the bikers, the sheriff, and the mob, Smith and Woronov make some time for a sweet sweet '70's sex scene.  They come in to their lovely motel room after a long day and they have a sip or two of Harvey's Bristol Cream or some other '70's drink, she rubs his feet, he leers at her, and then she jumps up and straddles him while the both of them stay fully clothed.  They both leer at one another and then as she opens her blouse, they cut to another scene.

The bikers and the sheriff and all their hasslin' cost our film crew time and money so Smith goes to see the head mob guy to ask for another loan.  He asks for another hundred grand but gets only half that and on top of that Harvey and his goon come in and try to take most of that.  But our hero kicks both their asses in the parking lot which means Harvey must have his revenge.  It stands to reason then that Harvey will then murder most all his gang, including his sweaty would be girlfriend.  And after gunning them all down on a remote beach he and his goon head to the film set to shoot Smith.

On the set they shoot the wrong man, they shoot Smith's stunt double and so Smith must now have his vengeance, so he goes after Harvey and his goon.  He kills the goon in hand to hand fighting and then just as he's about to give Harvey some two fisted justice, the sheriff shoots Harvey.  So all would be well then, right?

Not so fast, this is the 1970's after all.  Smith decides he's got to salvage his film and his dignity from the mob so he calls them and tells them he wants to buy them out so he can release his film.   They agree to meet him in a cafe.  Cut to Smith and Woronov in a cafe waiting and she's bitching about wanting to leave.  He gets all manly and says they are staying because he wants his movie rights.  Next thing you know a couple of mob thugs bust in and shoot our hero and his lady dead.

Yeah.  It's as bad as it sounds.  The acting is wooden, except for Ms. Woronov, who was apparently the only one who could act on this whole production.  The fights  were laughable and the villains were about as scary as a three year old with a baseball bat.  If I wasn't rolling my eyes in disgust I was thinking that there were professionals setting up and shooting the shots of the fake film crew setting up and shooting the shitty movie they were making in this movie.  If I wasn't groaning from the bad dialogue delivery, I was using my Roku remote to see how much time there was left on the film.  I can't recommend this on, not even for the 1970's cheese factor.  The only redeeming thing about this turd is the ever lovely and wildly sexy Mary Woronov.


jadedj said...

Yeah, I recognize that guy. Worse actor ever. I guess somebody's got to do it for these turkeys, that is. Thanks.

Margaret Benbow said...

William Smith--didn't he play the really nasty villain in Rich Man Poor Man, all those years ago (70's)? He was evil right off the charts. Haven't seen him from then until now (in your review.)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a perfect (perfectly horrible) distillation of the 1970's.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's quite an impressive mustache on that woman!

gmb said...

Well, the movie may have sucked, but your review was delightful. Thanks, Dr. Monkey.