Friday, February 27, 2015

Scorchy (1976)

          Confusing, dull, and ugly, the crime thriller Scorchy stars sexy actress/singer Connie Stevens as an FBI agent who works undercover as an international smuggler. The general thrust of the story is that the heroine's life becomes complicated once she learns that a wealthy acquaintance has become a smuggler, meaning that to catch a criminal she must betray a friend. Not exactly the freshest story. In fact, the only things separating Scorchy from the average TV movie of the same era are gory kills and topless shots. That said, lurid action movies have their low pleasures, so it's not as if a film of this type needs to accomplish much. Yet meeting even minimal expectations is more than the folks behind Scorchy can manage. The storyline is needlessly convoluted, as evidenced by the presence of at least three major villains; character development and recognizable human emotion are as absent from the script as basic logic; and the stop-and-start pacing makes Scorchy feel disorganized, episodic, and repetitive.
          For example, the movie stops dead halfway through its running time for an epic chase scene that involves characters pursing each other on foot, in a commuter train, on dune buggies, and finally on motorcycles, suggesting the filmmakers wrongly assumed that a big jolt of action would generate a few moments of interest. Alas, because the action is staged as clumsily as everything else in Scorchy, the chase scene does not have the desired effect. The movie’s banter is just as bad. After Stevens' character tells her supervisor that he should relax by saying, "You need a good blowjob," he cheerfully replies, "You're a fruitcake, you bitch." Stevens, who found her biggest success as a Las Vegas entertainer, is attractive but vapid, and the caliber of the supporting cast is reflected by the inclusion of future small-screen player Greg Evigan (BJ and the Bear), who made his big-screen debut with Scorchy. Only B-movie veteran William Smith, playing one of the many villains, delivers the kind of teeth-gnashing intensity one expects from this sort of slop. Adding insult to injury, some available prints of Scorchy feature a godawful synthesizer score that was added to the movie for its VHS release in the 1980s.

Scorchy: LAME

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