Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stacey (1973)

Stacey occupies a (very) minor place in film history, because it’s the first example of low-budget director Andy Sidaris’ signature style. During the ’80s and ’90s, Sidaris made a slew of ridiculous action movies starring Penthouse and Playboy models, correctly assuming that the combination of guns and gazongas would score with the home-video crowd. All the elements of Sidaris’ exploitative formula can be found in his debut feature, Stacey. Presented as a hard-boiled detective story, complete with cynical past-tense narration, Stacey concerns Stacey Hanson (Anne Randall), a private eye who happens to be a buxom blonde. Hired by a rich old woman, Stacey is charged with investigating the woman’s potential heirs to see if any of them deserves an inheritance. Naturally, each of these folks is up to something. John (John Alderman) is gay but closeted, so his horny wife, Tish (Anitra Ford), finds pleasure in bed with a handyman, who takes pictures of their trysts for purposes of blackmail. Meanwhile, Pamela (Cristina Raines) is involved with a Manson-style sex cult. This being a Sidaris film, most scenes require Stacey to wear skimpy clothes—or nothing at all—in order to track down clues. Somewhat improbably, Stacey is also a racecar driver, which leads to the silly finale during which she steers a racecar down a rural road while being chased with a helicopter. Even more typical of the film (and of Sidaris’ juvenile aesthetic) is the scene in which a killer stalks Stacy while she showers—only to discover that she’s waiting for him behind the curtain with a gun. The ladies in Stacey are attractive, and the film contains a fair measure of action, so it’s no surprise to learn that Roger Corman’s New World Pictures released Stacey—Sidaris delivers the trashy goods. Nonetheless, Stacey is boring, episodic, and stupid, ideal only for the most lascivious of viewers.

Stacey: LAME

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