Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Getting Lucky Directed By Michael Paul Girard, Starring Garry Kluger (1990).  

Reviewed By Max Meehan 

Given the opportunity of complete exoneration, I’d gladly throw the back of a boot heel into the weed-stained teeth of any goddamn Grace Slick-loving hippie. I can’t fucking stand them. Fuck them, fuck their culture, and fuck their stupid little head bands and their fucking love beads. Patooey! However, I will give them some back-handed credit for one thing: they also made up the most irresponsible generation of parents ever. See, a lot of the people who were raised in the eighties had parents who were either human tire fires, still partying or too selfish to give a shit about whatever rotting crotch fruit they pushed out, or they were super liberal and let their kids have all the room they needed to run amok, because they didn’t want to be “uncool.” Me, I come from the former, and by god, what a glorious, lawless, latchkey-guarded childhood I did have. To be raised at my own discretion was glorious. Granted, I’m not the healthiest person in any sense, but I’m not a fan of the norm, so that’s okay. I basically did what I wanted as a preteen because nobody was around. I’d occasionally find tithings of guilt left by absentee guardians, which I’d blow entirely on Jolt Cola and VHS Rentals. The 7-11 was my combined grocer and library, and the video store was my church.

gimme a taquito, a slurpee and that flick where aliens help old people have sex

Most of my time as a kid was spent in a caffeinated haze, sitting through octuple features, duping tapes, and sending packages to pen pals I’d met in the back of Monster Magazines. Life was miserable, and drugs never interested me, but I did have a salve. My painkillers consisted of punk rock, comic books, and cult movies. Any ephemera that was less accepted by a society I didn’t care for, the better. This was the age before the internet. There were no torrents, or email. If you truly wanted something, you had to apply the time and the effort to digging, which made it that much more special. The weirdo network of Morlocks I’d been welcomed into was connected through the mighty VCR. We’d all dupe stuff off local late night TV, and for those of us who could afford two decks, tapes from our local video store. A lot of us were separated by several states, and tastes varied, but there was one thing most of us hailed as a prevailing signal of righteousness. Of course, I speak of USA Network’s late night weekend program known as Up All Night. For the friends I did have locally, what we were able to stay awake for was as close to water cooler talk as I’ll ever get.

Doink and Rhonda say stay off the drugs kiddies

I’ve often been asked to explain the allure of the crop of entertainment featured on Up All Night. Most people discard the vast majority of films they featured as total and utter crap. However, standards are subjective. The best and only way I can explain these movies to anybody is that to enjoy Up All Night, one had to approach it with a sense of abandon. You had to ditch your pretention and any sort of normal human standard. So many people approach film in general with an unfortunate juror’s mentality. They judge rather than simply experience. Some people watch for whatever might be considered “the best” by conventional standards. I guess I view movies in the same way that I do other human beings. The well-adjusted ones are usually the most boring to me. I prefer my movies to be similar to the people I keep company with. I like them slightly damaged and imperfect. Those are the ones who usually have the best and most interesting stories, plus the most heart. That said, I always viewed Up All Night as a sort of orphanage for underdogs. These were the babies nobody wanted or loved because they had “problems.” Up All Night really trained me to approach movies in the most human fashion possible. Imperfection is characteristic, and there is very little that is beyond some redeeming point.

Years later, I would fondly look back on some of the radical things I’d seen during those wild no-doze weekends. I would sometimes find myself questioning my recollections of the films I’d seen, even asking myself if a lot of it was real, or just some weird distortion of a composite made up of many films. In fact, I mainly got into collecting VHS tapes in some attempt to chase down some really bizarre memories. When you’re a kid, you’re less inclined to really appreciate the insanity of certain things. When you’re brand new, you basically accept whatever they put in front of you as normal. As you grow older, you gain experience and perspective, and you sometimes start to realize how batshit a lot of the stuff you encountered as a kid might have been. Through VHS collecting, I can now verify as an adult that many of the films which Up All Night featured were gloriously real and just as absurd as I remember most of them being.

Of all the movies I saw on Up All Night, there were two in particular that burned themselves into my brain, and I spent years describing them to other people before I was able to nail the titles down, one of which was the Umberto Lenzi-related “Welcome to Spring Break.” (read last years review here, .ed) The other was softcore porn vet Paul Michael Girard’s 1990 boner jam known as “Getting Lucky.”

 photo giphy-1.gif
hit the "Welcome to Spring Break" extra crispy button

Now, the term “auteur” is generally reserved for highbrow directors who make really great films, and rarely for people who make sloppy fuck movies. I don’t necessarily think you have to be a technical master to earn the title. I think a lot of auteurs are simply forced into existence because it’s the only way their shit would get done. There’s a guy by the name of David Heavener, best known for the incredible “Outlaw Force.” Heavener essentially started out as a guy who wanted to write songs for movies. When he couldn’t break into the soundtrack game, he decided he’d write a film vehicle for his music. When no one would produce it, he became the producer. When no one would direct it, he pulled up that chair. When no one would star in it, the man stepped in front of the camera. By virtue of necessity, Heavener became an auteur. Now, whether his films are technically good is debatable, but I happen to find them very entertaining. Girard is an auteur of a similar rank, and “Getting Lucky,” the story of a dumbass kid who finds a drunk leprechaun at the bottom of a beer bottle, is probably his magnum opus. If you have ever wondered what sort of movie an auteur who lives in a van would make, then you need to see this movie. I’m dead serious, too. He was actually living in a van at the time this film was produced.

I'm not trapped in a brown condom it's a "beer bottle".

I’m sure most people might be automatically compelled to hit the stop button after only a few minutes into “Getting Lucky.” It’s sleeves are soaked with flaws. This is a truly awkward film. The pacing is horrible, the editing is god awful, and there are moments that refuse to show mercy. Steven Cook is the homeless man’s Patrick Dempsey in what is essentially your typical spineless, nice guy fantasy, where some nerd usurps the jock and wins the popular cheerleader over by being “the nice guy.” And the protagonist’s romantic interest is naturally vapid and awful, and her only redeeming trait seems to be the fact that she’s not bad to look at, this confirming that the guy that you’re supposed to be rooting for is a shallow dickhead. It’s all pretty passe and full of holes at this point, but Girard takes this putrid formula and shoe horns a fucking LEPRECHAUN into the equation.

Would Patrick Demsey have this many hats and a Pee Wee Herman doll, Pushaw!

The plot is pretty basic: Bill is your typical geek from the wrong side of the tracks, collecting redeemable vain hope that he'll pay for med school with a sack full of dimes. One day, he finds a bottle he can’t seem to get rid of, try as he may. Fed up, Bill is poised to destroy the boomeranging Michelob empty when a squeaky Irish brogue pleads for mercy. Low and behold, Bill finds Lepkey the Leprechaun at the bottom of the bottle. The back story as to how he got there isn’t even worth explaining. All you need to know is that Lepkey agrees to grant Bill three wishes – one of which is to go out with cheerleader Krissi. He gets his wish, but it’s a bit distorted, as he winds up being used by Krissi as cover so she can go schtupp ultimo jock Tony. However, Bill’s sweetness resonates while Tony’s aggressive horniness turns her way off. What’s really strange is that the leprechaun angle exists to divert this from being a mundane drama. And even though Lepkey does stuff like force Tony to sodomize himself with a tennis racket, it doesn’t prevent it from taking a bafflingly dark and dramatic turn when Tony tries to rape Krissi and winds up in jail. Seriously, it’s like a soft-core porn parody of Degrassi on five Klonopin.

this is just like that Degrassi where Spike is pregnant only the teacher wants to abort-punch it.

Of course, the one thing this movie is perhaps best remembered for is “the shrinking scene.” It is excruciatingly janky in its execution, but forgivably imaginative. At some point, a Lepkey bungle leaves Bill shrunk down to the size of a bug on Krissi’s bicycle seat, and he winds up trapped in her underwear. While struggling to crawl out of her pubic forest, he inadvertently causes her to orgasm in the middle of her history class. It must be seen to be believed, and then it will never be forgotten.

awash in a sea of Michelob and pubes

The last quarter of the movie shifts from “what the fuck” to “what the fuck ever,” as Bill and Krissi are wed, Tony breaks out of prison to derail the honeymoon, and a fucking Barbarian with a horse for each foot shows up.

can you direct me to the set of Circle of Iron pleaaazzze

The movie is relentlessly cheap, but it’s not even a factor because it exists within the own pocket of what its finances could afford. In fact, I couldn’t picture this being done for more money. A great portion of this film’s charm is the movie’s surreal, dream-like feel, which is largely a byproduct of its cheapness. Some of the visuals are strikingly artful, such as the scene where Bill is forced to sop up milk from the floor of the locker room as the basketball team jeers and abuses him. The fake film within the film being shown at the drive-in is strangely pretty amazing. The film score is just straight-up killer. While the plot seems sort of thrown together, everything is oddly connected with a really warped logic. Most compelling, though, is that this is a boner comedy that is completely anti-erotic with some downright tense-to-gross foreplay. There is little that I find more entertaining than the failure of anything trying to be overtly sexual. And finally, the incredible songs of Michael Paul Girard are the Pele-kick that sends this one way over the top. In particular, “Hole In One” is amazing.

It’s not perfect in any sense, but it’s utterly compelling in every sense, and will refuse to leave your eyeballs until you die. Find a fucking copy!

(Erok aka Crankenstein here, Alright that's it folks the end of USA UP ALL NIGHT WEEK which we got an overwhelming response from, thanks to everyone who contributed, don't forget to pick up your complimentary tchotche from the TOG clubhouse like a Rhonda Shear emergency Rub-one-out rag or a pair of industrial strength Gottfried ear plugs. See you in a few weeks, I'll be recuperating from all the arthritis this finger pummeling week has given me). 


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