Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Getting Lucky (1990)

Directed by Michael Paul Girard
Starring Steven Cooke, Lezley Z McCraw, Rick McDowell
Rated R

"Some stupid nerd threw puke water on me and Tony. This is Tony, by the way."

One of the more amateurish bits of teensploitation flotsam out there, Getting Lucky is a very low-level Troma pick-up about a nerdy high school kid named Bill (Steven Cooke), who is in love with a terminally depressed cheerleader named Krissi (Lezley Z McCraw), and is constantly menaced by a possibly gay bully/rapist/big man on campus named Tony (Rick McDowell). Like all nerds, Bill's always thinking ahead, so he looks for a part-time job to help pay for his college tuition, and that's where the trouble/story/wonderfulness starts.

Bill snags a job as the football team's towel boy, a job no one's held for more than a week. Bill finds out why pretty quickly. In a scene that is looking more and more like a gay gang rape, Tony drops his towel and demands that Bill pick it up - with his teeth.
"I think my hand would be more effective," he stammers.
"Yeah well, I bet I've got something your hand would be pretty effective on," Tony says, grabbing his crotch.
Where the fuck are we going with this, Mr. Girard?
Tony takes a thermos full of spoiled milk he found in his locker and pours it on the floor. That's got to be some sort of semen reference. Anyway, he makes Bill clean it up while the other dudes crowd around him screaming "Towel boy!" like it's some sort of slur. I fully expected Tony to pull out his angry penis next and hit Bill in the eye with it, but instead, he manages to pull himself away from the man-on-towel-boy hijinks long enough to meet Krissi at the back of the school. She's got the hots for him, for some reason. Masochistic tendencies, maybe. Or brain damage.
"I thought you were going to stand me up," pouts Krissi.
"Hey, it would take a real dildo-brain to stand up a babe as hot looking as you," Tony says, planting a wet one on her.
"Oh Tony, you know how to say just the right things," says Krissi.

The two start rolling around on the grass. Tony manages to get Krissi's panties off. She tells him she's a virgin and isn't sure she wants to go through with it - perhaps getting fucked on the ground by the school asshole wasn't exactly how she envisioned her first time - but Tony keeps up a steady stream of bullshit ("It'll be like the greatest wave you've ever felt crashing down on you"), so she decides to just let 'em at it. But before he can penetrate this ripe young beauty, Bill comes bounding out of the locker room and accidentally douses the two lovers with his bucketful of bad milk. And so ends his career as a towel boy.

Later on, Bill's wandering around picking up trash (it's his thing, recycling) when he finds a leprechaun, Lepkey (Garry Kluger), in a beer bottle. I know, who hasn't, right? So, as they are wont to do, the tiny man in the bottle (that's actually a genie, but whatever) grants him three wishes. By the way, if you're envisioning a Warwick Davis-type Leprechaun, sadly, that's not the case here. Our magical midget is just a regular dude in a costume-shop Robin Hood outfit. Bill first asks for world peace, but Lepkey admits he's not a very good leprechaun, so that's probably thinking too big. His next wish is a date with Krissi. Lepkey thinks he can handle that one. Or can he? At that exact moment, Tony and Krissi are scheming on the phone about how to hook up away from the prying eyes of Krissi's overprotective mom. The plan is for Krissi to ask nerd-boy Bill out, and then bail on him to fuck Tony. And so, just when Lepkey claims to have granted Bill's wish, the phone rings.

Dopey Bill accepts the date, of course. He takes Krissi to the drive-in. They're showing Princess Warrior, which looks way more interesting than this. She asks Bill to get her some popcorn, and then sneaks away to Tony's car. After fumbling around with condoms forever, he settles on a handjob, but is rudely interrupted by Bill, who taps on the glass and tells his date that it's time to go home. They drive home in silence.

You may be wondering, at this point, where the laughs are. Well, me too. If Getting Lucky is actually some sort of existential horror film, then it's doing a bang-up job, because this is one of the most depressing, soul-sucking movies I think I've ever seen. If it's supposed to be a comedy, holy smokes, things are going badly.

Having failed at the date, Lepkey grants Bill a wish for a car (he asks for a Ferrari, but gets a Pinto), and when he's getting bullied by Tony, the leprechaun causes the asshole to beat himself with his own tennis racket, and then to shove it up his own ass. He gets carried away by paramedics, the racket tucked firmly but safely between his thighs.

A word, if I may, about Lezlie Z McCraw. You get used to bad, amateurish acting in these kinds of movies, but our girl Lezlie goes way beyond bad into this somnambulant non-acting fugue state. Her delivery is so distant, so eerily not-there-at-all that you start to wonder just what drugs she's on. My guess is a Nyquil/Valium cocktail. Also, in three-quarters of her scenes, she's being mauled by Tony. He almost always has his fingers jammed deep into her crotch. And yet, she never shows any signs of discomfort, even when the scene calls for it. Almost as if she's used to such brutish behavior. She's just fuckin' bizarre, man. Just what is your game, Lezlie Z? Please let me know, because you are freaking me out.

Anyway, Krissi has a change of heart and starts dating Bill. He takes her out for a round of miniature golf, and things go pretty swell. Afterward, however, he starts to wonder if she's really over Tony. Lepkey turns him into a cat, so he can spy on her. So, there he is, in cat form, getting stroked by Krissi, when Tony barges in.
"When I was in the hospital this afternoon and they were pulling the tennis racket out, all I could think of was you."
He actually says that. She rebuffs him and he tries to rape her while Bill-the-cat watches. Does any of this sound funny yet? Well, just wait until you hear what's next.

The next day, after the attempted rape hubbub dies down, Bill and Krissi are going to ride their bicycles to school together. Bill wants to adjust her brakes or something first, and his wrench is the wrong size. He asks Lepkey to change it for him, and the drunken little moron screws it up and shrinks Bill down to microscopic size. So he's stuck on Krissi's bike seat. She thinks he bailed on her, so she jumps on her bike and heads to school, while tiny Bill holds on for dear life inside her underwear. This effect is achieved by what looks like two sheets slung from the ceiling and some dyed rope to represent her vagina hair. The fake Supertramp song on the soundtrack during all of this goes "We can't get much closer, we can't get much closer..." Krissi goes to class, and in his attempts to climb his way out of her panties, Bill stimulates Krissi with such fervor that she has a screamy orgasm right at her desk.

After class, Krissi has cheerleader practice, and then she hits the showers. So there's a shower scene, at least. At some point, Bill falls out of her vagina and lands on the shower floor. Then he rolls around in bubbles for awhile. Lepkey finally figures out how to get Bill back to normal size, but he realizes he left his glasses and wrench in Krissi's vagina. This could prove fatal, but luckily, the offending objects just materialize in her underwear.

I don't know how/why this happens, but in the next scene, Bill's getting paddled by the principal. It's shot like man-on-manPOV porn. Halfway through, Lepkey gives the principal a heart attack. And then we move on.


I'll give Getting Lucky this much: the last half-hour is so loony, there's just no way you could predict any of it. It's incredibly random. Horse fights? Shish Kebab duels? It's pretty nuts. It's also pretty tedious. Clearly, Girard tried his damnedest to bash out an entertaining film on a shoestring, but there are so many things wrong with this film that it's just a lost cause, really. Still, the film has developed a fervent cult of badfilm enthusiasts who will gush with Troll 2-esque passion about the panty debacle or Bill's playin'-the-sax-while-skateboardin' buddy, or the barbarian (spoiler alert!), but the whole mess just gave me a headache.

That being said, I'm still going to dig up some of Girard's post-Lucky films. Bikini Med School has got to be awesome. Right?

PS: If you never want to see any of these actors again, then your wish - wink, wink - is granted. Most of them never acted again.

Availability: Getting Lucky is available on DVD.

- Ken McIntyre

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