Guns & Lipstick

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“V.I. Warshitski.”

gunslipstickI’m not saying this was a film made, The Producers-style, as a tax write-off. But if a movie was made for that purpose, it would probably look as slapdash and amateurish as this. I’ll just give you one example. Near the end, the heroine is seen by a corrupt cop and he gives chase. It starts in broad daylight, up in the mountains. One cut later, it’s the middle of the night and they’re by the docks. WTF? Whether the makers didn’t notice, or didn’t care, neither says much about the quality of the product. Then again, the entire concept of a cougarish, blonde PI with a smart mouth was clearly ripped off wholesale – minus the shoe obsession – from Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski, filmed four years before this came out in 1991.

Kirkland plays private detective Danielle Roberts, a former cop who was kicked off the force for having an affair with her boss. She has a job protecting Rose, a stripper who thinks someone is out to kill her – with good reason, because Rose turns up dead. As, in short order, do a lot of other people who cross Roberts’ path, and due to this she comes under the suspicions of her former colleagues. Turns out there Rose had come into possession of a jewel that an awful lot of people want to get their hands on, for one reason or another. These include crime boss Mr. Song (Hong), cop with a grudge Dimaggio (Forster), Rose’s brother, Andy (Lurie) and an albino, who can’t have been a “real” albino, because he doesn’t have pink eyes [Source: my numerical analysis professor at university was an albino] It’s a complete mess of a storyline, with little or no effort made to provide credible motivation, and the romance between Danielle and Andy is more creepy than anything, since Kirkland is literally double his age.

Things escalate to a ludicrous and entirely incoherent shoot-out at a ranch, where the bad guys prove they are literally incapable of shooting the broad side of a horse, before the time-challenged car-chase mentioned above. A potentially interesting B-movie cast, which also includes Wings Hauser for no readily apparent reason, is entirely wasted on this turgid mess of a script. Kirkland has been decent enough in other things, and gives it her best shot, but is woefully miscast here. Everyone involved with this should be very, very ashamed.

Dir: Jenö Hodi
Star: Sally Kirkland, Robert Forster, Evan Lurie, James Hong

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