Hollywood Boulevard (1976) from Tuna

Hollywood Boulevard (1976) is not a 4 star/perfect 10/top 250 film. It is a send-up of exploitation film-making, especially Roger Corman and New World Cinema, and it is a very good one. For a send-up to work, it should accurately parody its target, have lots of funny moments, and have a very high nipple count.  Hollywood Boulevard does all three. Two New World editors went to Corman with a project they claimed could be made for $60,000.00 in 10 days. They convinced him, and the project was green-lighted. They came in on schedule and within budget, and the directorial careers of Joe Dante and Allan Arkush began. The film is about Miracle Pictures (if the picture is any good, it's a miracle), who make no budget grade Z exploitation films.

Lets set some of the characters. Mary Woronov plays Mary McQueen, established B bimbo with a huge ego. Candice Rialson plays Candy Hope, who arrives in Hollywood to become a star. Tara Strohmeier is Jill McBain, who gets steady work with Miracle pictures because she shows her breasts when asked. Rita George is Bobbi Quackenbush, friend of Jill and roller derby star who is tired of the men she shacks up with complaining about her bruises. She has been "throwing roller derby matches for years, and is not in jail yet," so is sure she can act. We also have cameo appearances by Robbie the Robot, and Godzilla (see the color images). All of the women show their breasts except Mary Woronov, but even she has a possible nipple slip.
The director (Paul Bartel as Eich Von Leppe) believes in dramatic motivation (Godzilla is told that his motivation is to step on as many people as possible). When Woronov tries to enlarge her part, saying that it will let her better express the social condition, the director says, "This is not about the social condition, it's about tits and ass.  


refer to the main text
Wait a minute -- something is wrong -- someone is killing starlets at Miracle Pictures. The first is a stunt woman whose chute fails to open, and
becomes a smoking hole in the ground (see color 1). Who is the killer? Will Candy become a star? Will Miracle pictures survive?

One of the main reasons Dante and Arkush were able to come in under budget was that they "borrowed" scenes from dozens of Corman films, including The Hot Box, Big Bad Mama, and many more. Some of my favorite moments include: 

1) Candy's first casting call. She enters the building, and immediately comes back out with her blouse torn half off.

2) Candy is given a part by someone on the street. He tells her she will play the getaway driver in a bank robbery film. The only catch is that she will have to provide the car. Of course it is a real hold-up, not a movie.

3) Casting an actress for the nude scene. They line up all of the actresses in t-shirts, then spray them with a hose to save the time of undressing. The writer then takes his two favorites to the van which contains his casting couch.

4) The world premier of Candy's first film. It is at a drive-in. A very drunk Candy goes off to complain to the projectionist about the rape scene
that she was told would be cut from the film. He tries to rape her.

5) Candy's agent (Dick Miller as Walter Paisley). In their first meeting, he says, "I know, it's hard, you can't get a part without an agent, you
can't get an agent without experience ... well, you have an agent now. Go get a part." He drives her to her world premiere. When she comments on his car, he tells her that it is a Rolls Canardly. It rolls down one hill, then canardly get up the next one.

6) After the credits role, they are shooting a scene with Candy and Godzilla (see color 4). Godzilla is playing with her crotch the entire time, obviously an homage to King Kong.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterbox

  • Full-length director commentary by both men

  • Making-of featurette

  • The trailer and a music video

Scoop's notes:

These two co-directors generated a lot of funny films in their time.

Arkush went on to direct about a few really bad movies (Heartbeeps, e.g.), and 11 bazillion TV episodes. His best film is probably the offbeat rock concert parody Get Crazy, which was written by the same guy who wrote Hollywood Boulevard.

Dante went on to direct a few pretty good movies. My favorite, one of my favorites of the 90's, was Matinee. He also did The Howling, Gremlins, and Amazon Women on the Moon. Most recently, he did Small Soldiers.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.8 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description,  I will score this a C+, but strongly advise any exploitation fans to buy this little-known film.

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