Hard to Die

Director: Jim Wynorski

USA - 1993

    Hoff! Hoff! Hoff! Hoff!

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America has a fascination with breasts.

It’s true. We love ‘em. Men gawk at them. Women wear clothes to accentuate them. Now, this doesn’t necessarily apply to everybody, so all you PC fascists My sentiments exactlycan relax. But I will venture to say that a good majority of the general public partake in this fascination. As a matter of fact, "fascination" may not be a strong enough word – "obsession" is a bit more like it.

I like to consider myself a somewhat normal male. Sure, I’m not too crazy about most sports, but I’ve been known to catch the occasional hockey game every once in a while. Granted, I’d rather eat my shoe than down a glass of beer, but I have nothing against alcohol in and of itself. And I’ll admit, sporting a wife-beater and spending an afternoon chucking horseshoes doesn’t sound so appealing, but I do have an ample supply of the popular undershirt, and on any given day I may be found sporting one while playing Donkey Kong on my Super Nintendo. So yes, I don’t indulge in many testosterone-charged activitiLadies and Gentleman: The Bangles!es, but I am a fairly normal guy. And with that in mind I can admit, I too enjoy the aforementioned body part as much as the next Neanderthal; but as we all know, true beauty is on the inside. It is!

So, we’ve established that there is, in fact, an obsession; but even said infatuation doesn’t justify an entire film based solely on breasts alone. You need some semblance of plot; something that slightly resembles a story. You must make the audience feel for the characters, understand their plight, and care about the consequences of their actions. After one has firmly established these crucial elements of sound filmmaking, then you whip out the boobs. Jim Wynorski thought he could concoLadies and Gentleman: Forry!ct some half-baked movie and assumed that the popularity of breasts would overshadow the film’s many inconsistencies. Jim Wynorski, I’m afraid, was gravely mistaken.

Three temps check into their new assignment downtown. Their mission? Sift through boxes of the company’s receipts, then categorize and file them. So, they check in with their boss, Mr. Plympton, who had just finished "interviewing" a fourth temp (he’s introduced while zipping up his pants). He then gives the job’s specifics and leaves, stating he’ll be checking back in with them later.

Soon thereafter the mail is delivered, and even though the parcels "If there is any justice in this world, this box will be brimming with pizza rolls!"have nothing to do with our temps, the girls…

Oh wait, did I mention the temps are all female? Well, they are. And coincidentally (ha!), the actresses are also all former Playmates - a friend informed me of this. Really! If you are in need of specific months/years/editions, then you’re just going to have to talk to him.

So anyway, the girls decide to rummage through the day’s delivery (don’t they know that’s a federal crime?). Amidst the "Have You Seen Me?" pamphlets and the reminders from Publishers Clearing House to return your ballots, they discover a mysterious box. Upon opening this box, the room is suddenly soaked in a brilliant white light - then, just as suddenly, all is quiet again. We then come to find out that the box was shipped there by mistake, the proper recipient being one Dr. Newton (Forrest AckermWhy am I watching this movie again? Oh yeah.an) across town. When Newton discovers this grave error in postage handling, he realizes that the girls are in for a night of stark terror, and we, the viewers, are in for an hour and a half of sheer boredom.

Back on the job, the girls head down to the basement and begin moving boxes of receipts upstairs. Since the basement is so dirty, the girls, naturally, soon find themselves covered in dust and grime. After successfully moving a majority of the parcels, they decide to take a break, order some carryout, and utilize Mr. Plympton’s office shower (?!).

So, they all bathe (individually, you cads!), and then put on some lingerie. Oh, didn’t I mention that they’re working for Acme Lingerie? Convenient, no? Besides, we must perish the thought of putting dirty clothes on clean bodies, right?

Now donned in frills, lace and thongs, the girls separate – some head downstairs to continue moving, others take five in the office, and one makes her way to theMeanwhile, in an entirely different film... lobby to wait for the impending carryout. Sure as the day is long, the girls begin to get eliminated one-by-one by a shadowy figure with a hook.

Could it be Orville Ketchum - the lumbering custodian (that means janitor) with a dazed maniacal look in his eyes and the social skills of a dishrag? After all, he was involved in that incident a few years back when another bevy of beauties was killed by a maniac with a drill. Even though he was commended for actually trying to help the girls, he's still pretty creepy looking - so that alone places him pretty high on the suspect list.

Or could the murders be possibly connected to that cryptic box misdelivered earlier? Perhaps an evil spirit was inadvertently unleashed. Perhaps it's the spirit of Hocksetter, the maniac from the aforementioned drilling spree. Perhaps he Ladies and Gentleman: Bananarama!possessed one of the girls, and she is now being forced to carry out his bidding. Who knows? I’m just guessing here.

Folks, don’t even bother with this one. No gore. No story. Nothing particularly interesting. Sure, there are plenty of breasts, but sometimes that’s just not enough. (A good start, perhaps, but still not enough.) Before ogling another human being, the ogler must get to know that person – their feelings, their dreams – in essence, what makes them tick. A hot bod just isn’t as hot unless you know and respect that individual.

Aw hell, I don’t know what I’m talking about. Just don’t see the damn movie.

Acting!

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These are the times of which to cherish...

- Hey! Did those boobs just squeak?

- In one scene, we see four of the five temps in an elevator. When they reach their destination floor, five girls step out. (And this scene also served as another opportunity for the girls to bump into Ketchum – needless to say, after such comic consequences wackiness must surely ensue. Oy! My sides!)

- Flashbacks to an entirely different film – Slumber Party Massacre, to be exact. When a bad movie uses yet another bad movie to provide exposition, you know there’s gonna be trouble ahead.

- When discussing the tardiness of the carryout service (the carryout girl being played by Monique Gabrielle, by the way), one of the girls remarks that if the food doesn’t get here soon it’s "gonna get charbroiled." Now, I’ve heard about food getting cold when it’s delivered late, but food actually burning due to a time delay is an entirely new concept to me.

- Ending credits depicting scenes not featured in the movie.

- Ah, just as I thought – those breasts did, in fact, squeak.

 

-- Copyright 2000 by J. Bannerman

 

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