Monday, May 4, 2009

"Best Friends"(1975)d/Noel Nosseck

Here sits longtime TV star Richard Hatch's first big screen venture,and though it stands as a moderately groovy drive-in drama,in which I'd guess the majority of outdoor theatergoers had already migrated to the backseat by the opening credits,there's strangely enough within to keep the viewer interested until the final reel,not least of which is a decent performance by ol' Cap'n Apollo-turned-Tom Zarek himself,gods damn it.Director Nosseck is responsible for a gaggle of forgettable made-for-television movies,and truth be told,he doesn't altogether suck here,either.Personally,I like my drive-in fare with more zombies,cannibals,big breasted sapphites,and a coked-out Giovanni Lombardo Radice doesn't hurt,but for a mid-week time waster,I wasn't too disappointed with it,despite the promise of rape-crazy injuns in the original one-sheet(spoiler:there is none.).I'll chalk it up as another example of your humble N's all too familiar obsession with all things seventies.
Why don't you just kiss him already,Jesse(Richard Hatch).
Jesse(Richard Hatch) and Pat(Doug Chapin,producer of 1979's When a Stranger Calls,hmmm...)have been best buddies a long time,as the staged photos(that appear to have been taken all in the same week,Photoshop would've helped) that accompany the main titles suggest.Though Jesse plans to change his womanizing ways and settle down with Kathy(Susanne Benton,who we last saw in "The Last Horror Film"(1982)),he decides to gather up Pat and his girlfriend Jo Ella(Ann Noland) at the airport with the promise of an outta sight trip across the southwest in a rented motor home to catch up and forge some new phony Kodak moments,as well.As they rack up miles,the buddies reminisce on old times,share some new yuks,and sleep with their respective women.So far,so good.When the two couples hit a strip bar chock full o' injuns,with a live band and an over-the-hill pasty-sporting hag flopping her saggy glad bags to and fro on the stage,Pat encourages an aniebriated Jo Ella to get up there and show the old floozy how it's done.After Cochise and Sitting Bull suckerpunch Jesse in a post-titties altercation,Pat sneaks out later that night and with a two-by-four,exacts paleface justice on the most stereotypical of the natives,with a huge feathered hat in a back alley.Best friends do that sort of thing for each other.
Now this is what I call "renting a motor home and driving carefree through the southwest with a couple of chicks".
At this point,Pat starts acting a little squirrelly.Maybe it's the scarrified mitt,maybe it's the long stretch of road,but he starts panicking at the prospect of losing his best pal to this...this WOMAN.He brings Jo Ella to tears with the announcement that he isn't really serious about her,maaaan.Then he takes Kathy to the store on the nifty new motorcycle he's bought,allowing Jo Ella the time to seduce ol' Jesse on a blanket in the grass,while informing Kathy that his buddy could NEVER settle down with ANYBODY,being a flesh-hound from way back.Even after Kathy discovers Jesse's tryst with Pat's girlfriend,she forgives him,leading Pat to more extreme tactics;trying to get her bitten by a rattlesnake among the rocks,then later trying to rape her in the motor home,leading to a punch-up between the two friends on the beach,with a bloody Pat wailing desperately,"She's had her eyes on me the whole trip,maaaan!"When Jesse refuses to allow his pal to cunt-punt his own girl,Pat rides off on his motorcycle.Jesse later finds his bruised buddy putting the moves on two high school sophomore girls in a bar(!),but refuses to partake in the underage goodness,further enfuriating his friend.That night,Jesse and the two girls are awoken by the sounds of Pat's motorcycle revving outside in the darkness,and when Jesse discovers Pat has flattened the tires and destroyed the engine,he runs out into the blackness,pistol in tow,vowing to kill him.He mistakenly shoots Jo Ella in the head instead.Oops.The next morning,both friends tearfully reminisce old times on the beach,with the girl's blanket-covered corpse to bear witness.The end.
These Indians don't wanna give you a complimentary drink with your poker chips.
Nobody involved here really went on to any semblance of a big screen career,with Hatch the most notably successful of the frakkin' lot.Ann Noland didn't even work in film after the end of 1975.I've been on a sort of drive-in drama kick as of late,and you'll be seeing that for yourself in the days to come.Despite the harsh cinematic gavel-banging I'm giving this little forgotten number,you might be inclined to search it out.Give it a screening when you have absolutely nothing better to do,and you might come away with a chuckle or two.If you're into broken bottle-wielding indians,groovy road trips,buddy movies,or A cup titties,you may just enjoy it.I sort of did,which is uncharacteristic for a guy like me.
The best groovy 70's outdoor blanket-fuck scene I've seen all week.


Samuel Wilson said...

Welcome back, Bee. I have this film on an eight-movie Cult Classics set, and considering that I paid little more than a dollar per film, Best Friends sounds like it'll probably be worth it when I get around to it.

beedubelhue said...

Nice to be back,Uncle Sam.Yeah that Cult Classics set has all kinds of little golden oddities going for it,well worth the asking price.Thanks for stopping by!

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The next morning,both friends tearfully reminisce old times on the beach,with the girl's blanket-covered corpse to bear witness.The end.

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