Monday, January 5, 2009

Glitch! (1988)

Directed by Nico Mastorakis
Starring Ted Lange, Teri Weigel, Wil Egan, Steve Donmyer
Rated R
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Despite having enough caffeine coursing through my veins to keep a corpse alert, I kept graying out during this seemingly endless 88 minute screening. Perhaps my brain, sensing imminent damage, kept shutting itself down. The upside is that you'll only have to endure a truncated review, since I was asleep for most of it.

TC (Wil Egan) and Bo (Steve Donmeyer) are a couple of criminal-minded stooges who stake out a sleazy film producer's mansion. When he drives off (he actually says, on the phone, "Hello, babe? It is 'Babe', isn't it?"), they swoop in to steal his TV. On the way out, a gay ninja shows up. He's been hired by the producer as a bodyguard, but having never seen the dude, he just assumes it's TC's house. For whatever reason, this makes them decide to call a casting agent and pretend that they're making a movie. I may have been sleeping during the explanation.

A word, before we proceed, about the character of Bo. He's supposed to be an idiot, so he's wearing one of those beer hats, the ones with the straw, but since he's a childlike idiot, he's got cans of coke in them. Also, his pants are too short. And he wears dirty sneakers.

There's a go-nowhere subplot with an African hypnotist named Mookie (Ji-Tu Cumbuka) who makes him smart again for a goof, but regardless, the actor they chose - Steve Donmyer, a muscle-bound jock-type with feathered hair - is just completely and utterly wrong for the role. If I may speak for all the Eddie Deezens and Stephen Fursts of the world, it is insulting to real nerds, blunderers and goofballs to have some alpha-jerk playing a spazz.

Ok, on to the show. So, the mansion is soon flooded with women seeking parts in whatever movie they think is being made, providing us with ample (ahem) opportunity to peep some nubile girl-flesh. There's a montage of auditions with boobie flashers, overwrought would-be thespians, and a few weirdoes, including a fire-breather, a girl who eats flowers, and a psychotic woman named Chernobyl who has some kind of sex-with-vegetables act. Oh, and the girl from the A- Ha video (Bunty Bailey) is there, too!

Out of all the actresses that show up, the fake producer and fake director choose two as their fake starlets. Bo goes with the sexually aggressive Lydia (Penthouse pet/burgeoning porn star Teri Weigel), while TC opts for Asian beauty Michelle Wong (Julia Nickson-Soul), which is odd, because he was such a racist asshole to her during the audition that she stormed out:

TC: "Is your sister also here, Miss Wong?"
Michelle: "What? I don't have a sister."
TC: "That's ok. Two Wongs don't make a white."
Michelle: "What?"
TC: "Take it easy, we're not shooting Chinatown, lady."

Meanwhile, white-suited gangster Dubois (Love Boat bartender Ted Lange) shows up to collect a million-dollar debt from Mr. Lazar, the real owner of the house. But since he's not home, he's quite willing to take it out of TC's hide.

So, that's the set up. I blacked out around there, and when I woke up, everybody was happy and there were fireworks going off. So you figure it out.

Glitch! director Nico Mastorakis is known mostly for low-budget action movies like Death Street USA (1988) and Hired to Kill (1990). He is clearly more comfortable with ninjas and toppling buildings and people getting shot in the face than he is with gags. The film looks fine on a technical level, but the story is barely there and the humor is strained and awkward. Sure, Weigel is a joy to ogle, but there are many, many other superior places to do that. In conclusion: I can really only recommend Glitch! If you are unconscious. The parts I saw while I was awake were deplorable.

PS: Every once in awhile, a porn starlet will get lucky and cross over into the mainstream, like Traci Lords, and, uh...Ginger Lynn, if you count Satan's Storybook as mainstream, and Jenna Jameson, if you count Zombie Strippers. Snotty Sasha Grey appears to be making in-roads as well. But going the other way, from mainstream Hollywood to the sordid world of hardcore porn? Only Teri Weigel had the balls for that.

Her acting career began with 1987's (ahem) camp classic Cheerleader Camp and spent the next few years doing steady b-movie work in everything from this piece of junk to Predator 2 (1990), but in 1991 she strolled right on over to the dark side and she's been there ever since. As of this writing, she's still going strong, appearing in 'mature' titles like American MILF(2007) and Seasoned Players (2008).

I'm not saying this headache-maker of a movie motivated her to choose a less embarrassing vocation like gobbling penises on camera but, you know, it probably helped.

Availability: Masochists and Love Boat completists should be happy to know that Glitch! is available on DVD from Simitar Entertainment.
Buy Glitch at Amazon.
-Ken McIntyre

Link: Teri Wiegel
Link: Book TV's Ted Lange at your next function!

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