Hollywood Boulevard (1976) from Tuna
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.||
|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.
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.
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