Squanderers aka Money to Burn (1994 or '95 0r '97) from Brainscan

I can just picture the meeting now. A producer wannabe walks into the studio head's office and says, "I want to make a movie just like Dumb and Dumber."

Studio guy asks, "You mean a prequel?"

And the wannabe replies, "Are you kidding me? No one is that fucking stupid. This is a movie that takes off from the last half of D & D, when the boys finally reach Aspen and they find all that money and go out and spend it on things like cars and hotel rooms and stuff."

"Sounds pretty funny to me," says studio guy.

"Well, it won't be a comedy. It's a gritty drama of the mean streets and what money can buy."

"The mean streets? Of Aspen?"

"No, we'll move it to L. A. and have the boys go to clubs and boff a bunch of chicks and buy a lot of cars. Like twin Porsches and a muscle Mustang. But the money is the Mafia's and they come to collect. So what do you think?"

"Doesn't sound like much to me."

"Well we already contacted McQueen and Swayze and they said they'd do it for scale."

"In that case, go for it. Here's a couple mil to get you going. Call it "Money to Burn" or "The Squanderers." Oh hell, use both."

Of course what the wannabe didn't make clear is that the protagonists are played by CHAD McQueen, Steve's son, and DON Swayze, Patrick's brother. Don looks just like Patrick... if Patrick had been born and raised in a trailer park on the outskirts of Bug Tussle, Arkansas. He's got the mullet, the cheesy goatee, the pencil neck... all the required equipment. Chad, on the other hand, looks nothing like Steve, acts nothing like Steve, does nothing like Steve. He is to Steve McQueen and his acting what Ted Williams' son was to Ted and his hitting. We're not talkin' the same ballpark, not the same league, not even the same mofo-ing game.

The story, as you might surmise, blows.

It blows so badly that when it was clear the nekkid babe quotient had been filled (see notes to the right), I turned off this toxic waste dump. Didn't care what happened to the boys. Hoped, in fact, the mafia dudes caught 'em and did a Braveheart on 'em.

Not the characters... the actors.

In the end you would just have to say that someone got taken with this movie. A few someones, in fact. The studio head, for one, and anyone who has paid to watch it, for two or maybe three.


  • There is Julie Strain in a full-frontal performance. This is pretty early in Julie's career and she looks darn nice (not clear how early, though. IMDB says 1996, Bare Facts says 1994, but the credits say 1997... pick one, pick em all).
  • Ashlie Rhey is topless in the bath tub.
  • Melanie Good is sorta topless.
  • Kymberly Herrin (Hefmate for March 1981) gives good face and a bit of cleavage. Kymberly is famous for her face, having been the Dream Ghost in Ghostbusters and the woman at the beginning of Romancing the Stone, as the story written by Kathleen Turner's character is played out on-screen.

Scoop's notes:

Director John Sjogren is one of our Movie House favorites, possibly my second favorite independent no-budget director after Tony Zarindast. Zarindast is hard to top, having accounted for a MST3000 favorite (Arizona Werewolf), and my personal favorite bad movie (Hardcase and Fist), but Sjogren challenges him simply on the basis of volume. He has made more really bad movies than anyone I can name. Not even Ed Wood and John Derek turned out so many stinkers. Sjogren has directed ten movies, and the highest-ranking one at IMDb is currently scored 3.16. This one is rated 2.0. To put those scores into perspective and let you picture the neighborhood, Plan 9 from Outer Space is rated 3.4, and John Derek's Bolero is 2.6. In addition to Squanderers, we have also talked about other Sjogren screen classics, like The Thief and the Stripper (2.9) and Redline (3.0). Check those two reviews for complete in-depth notes.

  • Sjogren uses a repertory cast concept, and some of the people Brainscan mentioned are in other Sjogren films. Chad McQueen stars, for example in the aforementioned Redline, and 6'2" Julie Strain is on hand to perform a sex scene in that same film  - with Corey Feldman, who is about a foot shorter! And they do it standing up, to emphasize the height differential!

  • Chad McQueen and Don Swayze are not the only celebrity relatives to appear in Sjogren films. The ubiquitous grade-B star Joe Estevez is often on hand, and he counts triple, since he's related not to one, but three guys who make or have made real movies (Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez).

  • If you look at the Squanderers cast in detail, you'll see that Sjogren is into hiring his own relatives as well as the relatives of stars. Two people in the cast have a last name which looks surprisingly similar to "Sjogren", so similar that it is spelled the same.

The Critics Vote ...

  • Surprisingly, I was unable to find any comments on this film from Pauline Kael or Roger Ebert, and James Agee died before he could see it.

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

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