, , ,


“Less talk, more movement.”

Sidehackers. An infamous episode for what the SOL didn’t show. I’ve been shocked by a few things cut from the SOL versions; The rape in Red Zone Cuba and Tor Johnson strangling a woman to start The Unearthly come to mind, but those aren’t discussed by SOL fans. It is an important episode in the development of the show, not for the riffing and such, but for how they chose films. Or maybe a better way of phrasing that, in light of the RZC and Unearthly examples, how the SOL chose to frame their films.

As I get ready to start, it is almost like the movie has become secondary. I almost feel like I’m just going to be waiting for Rita to die. Trying not to get into that mind space, but it is hard too with this one ready for play.

It is nice we get some actual racing, instead of the implied racing of Hellcats. We get two racing sequences and the goofing off scene. We do get plenty of racing action. At last, a biker film with biker action! Of course, it’s pretty much all done by the 23 minute mark.

Did you know director Gus Trikonis was Goldie Hawn’s first husband? According to IMDB, Goldie can be seen watching the end of the first race and auditioned for Paisely. Or Ross Hagen and Trikonis did a comedy called Supercock about cock fighting? Nancy Kwan was in Supercock, a name that means something to men of a certain age.

AKA title Five the Hard Way. The title song makes more sense now.

Frolicking in movies never looks honest or remotely real. And Ross, he isn’t a natural romantic, let us say that. “Love is Good,” well said Ross.

Yeah. It is almost like the F-bombs in Scarface.

So, Ross and Luke play grab ass around the shop when no one is looking?

That brings us to JC’s big entrance. One of the Club MST3K members put forth the proposition JC was the most loathsome character in all the experiments because there are actually real JCs out there. Among the many reasons JC stands out is he is a much better actor than anyone else in this movie. Michael Pataki has quite a ‘that guy’ resume on IMDB. Pataki also portrayed the infamous George Liquor from Ren and Stimpy.

Diane McBain (Rita) has a decent IMBD too. But I can’t say she was given much to work with as a character. I think this may be the biggest crime about what happens to Rita. She isn’t a character, she is a plot device. She exist just to die, so our ‘hero’ has a reason to go on his crusade.

Not like anyone else is developed as a character. With the exception of JC. He is the only real in this movie, and that is not a good thing. Wouldn’t you like to know what kind of trouble Rommel had in his past to be able to go a crusading like that?

Another movie shot over several weekends.

JC calls Nero the N-Word. He beats up Paisley. What piece of work.

Paisley (Claire Polan) and Ross were married from 1963 to her death in 2003. Maybe that’s why Rita and Rommel had no spark. Hard to get romantic with the missus around.

Button your shirt Ross. At least it isn’t Alan Hale Jr.

Lovely collection of 60s era centerfolds in the shop washroom. Much clearer versions than the SOL. All tastefully done I’m sure.

And now we’re back to waiting for Rita to die.

Hitting pause. Taking a moment. Like I’m trying to not to watch what I know is next.

Restarting. Feel free to skip the next bit.

Ross wakes up beat to hell. Rita hanging by her arms from rafters, dead, clothes tattered. Ross finds his car engine destroyed. Starts to run, payphone—no change (Call collect or Operator didn’t occur). Car won’t stop for him. When Rommel gets to the friend’s house, that’s when it gets bad. The scene cuts from the friend’s children (a boy and a girl) wrestling to a shaky cam, quick cut flashback of Rita’s rape and death. (For what it’s worth, her death was accidental, she fell and broke her neck or something) The cutting in of the children was at the start of the flashback was really uncalled for. The whole thing was uncalled for.

And back on task.

That’s how I mourn, having a smoke. Walking by oil rigs.

Single person frolicking is even more unnatural.

Ross Hagan’s biblical philosophy. Barely more coherent than anything put forth in Wild Rebels.

He did hit Big Jake!

That is two Ross Hagen movies with women with paint on them.

One thing I’ve never really understood about this movie and the SOL attitude towards its content. I get why they cut Rita’s rape and death. Even if you could write a riff for that scene, the term ‘tasteless’ would barely scratch the surface. But it is ok to show Paisley get slugged in the gut and strangled? And riff it too? I’m just saying.

One of the biggest missed opportunities: the raising cash/building a team sequence. That could have really created characters we could care about when they die. No, Trikonis and Ross would rather have a camp out and tell an old joke. Until we get to the death match at the end, this movie hits a brick wall and stops there.

Blew their squib budget on Gooch.

I’m glad Nero got out of there alive. Wouldn’t you love to know his score he wanted to settle with JC was? I’m actually getting a little ticked at what a good movie they could have had. Instead, they aimed low and missed.

Was this the first example of MST3K showing “no moral” theater?

Watchability: 1 of 5. Take away the scenes of Rita’s death and I would go 2.

Missing the Riffs: 1 of 5. Was not an experiment I was looking forward to, I’m glad it is over.