Hey-O! Hello, all. I know it has been awhile since I last wrote a sad blog about the state of the movie industry but sometimes my real sad life interferes and I need to try to sew 9 pillows together to make a bed. But I digress.
So anyway, my good pal Chris suggested I watch this movie, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990) starring the etiological myth Andrew Dice Clay. After about 20 minutes into the film I alerted Chris to the fact that I hate him and he is no longer my good pal. I believe his exact response was, “Andrew Dice Clay vs Wayne Newton. It writes itself. You’re welcome.” So I endured the next hour and 40 minutes of Dice and the other washed-up stars that accompany him in this farce.
Here’s a breakdown of the movie:
First, we are regaled with Dice bon mots like, “Suck my Dick … Tracy. OH!” Don’t forget the “OH!” According to my scratch-the-surface understanding of film tropes, the bad boy detective, women in red dresses and Dick Tracy jokes are trying to set this film up as some sort of noir.
Ten minutes later the appearance of Gilbert Gottfried told me that this film is NOT taking itself seriously. In the least. Actually, I knew this movie was a joke from the beginning, because the plot is built around a hair band singer who dies. Aware that I should know who this guy is (Vince Neil) I turn on my computer to imdb him. When choosing my wireless network to connect I see the neighbors and their locked network named, “FUCK YOU.” Yes, fuck me indeed. I believe I needed to see that in order to mentally prepare for the film.
Back to the film. It sets itself up as some kind of meta-narrative, which is interesting, because it feels the need to establish this multiple times throughout the film. For instance, at a dance club, Dice runs into a pair of sisters he screwed over. When confronted by one he gives a fake number to call him later and she responds, “555 isn’t a real number!” He glances at the camera and replies, “What do you think this is, real life?” Gawd.
Also, at the beginning of the movie he is paid for his rock-and-roll detective services with a koala bear from the now-defunct INXS (they’re from Australia – get it?!) and later in the film the audience is made to believe that it was hanged from a fan in Dice’s living room by some thugs Dice pissed off. But at the end of the film the koala bear is found on the beach, chillin with a neck brace and sipping a Sambuca Shake along with Dice, his girlfriend Jaz, and some kid they pseudo-adopted. Dice addresses the camera with, “You didn’t think we’d kill the koala, did ya?” Ha, ha, NO, you silly rockabilly wannabe, we were instead hoping you would get killed off like that car whose namesake you have.
So this is an attempt at noir-comedy that tries to identify with the audience, letting them know it is in on the joke (that is, itself). Some of the time. It sort of gets it done.
As stated before, there are many washed-up actors in this film. The first we run into (besides VinceNeil) is Morris Day of Morris Day and the Time, wearing almost exactly what he wore in Purple Rain and I assume most of the 80s. He’s a good character actor and I am sure he had a lot of cachet in this cameo role in 1990. But as New York Magazine points out, by now we think that movie cameos are boring – we have cameo overkill.
The next cough*cough bigstar cough*cough that appears is Ms. Priscilla Presley, pre-industrial grade silicone injection.
The last major cameo is Ed O’Neill as Dice’s adversary in the police force. He is Charlie Brown to Dice’s Lucy, if you will. I can’t pick on Ed because I heart Modern Family. Rather, I may just heart Sofia Vergara and Ed is getting a proximity-interest love, but either way.
Oh, I almost forgot Robert Englund as the evil S&M guy who somehow hides in yacht medicine cabinets. No, not like Dice laid down in a yacht and was dreaming and Robert Englund attacked him from the opposite side of the mirror. Like, literally, Dice opened up the medicine cabinet in Gilbert Gottfried’s yacht and Englund was standing behind it/in it (through the magic of cheap movie sets).
After our introduction to Englund he pops up over and over (and OVER and OVER) again like an emaciated Chucky doll to kill off Dice. At one point Englund jumps a limo over a series of gravestones in a cemetery in an attempt to run over the rock-n-roll dick. I mean detective.
Unfortunately he misses and rolls the limo.
The plot unravels about midway through the film. It just gets convoluted and confused as to whether Dice is supposed to figure out who killed the lead singer of Black Plague, find Zuzu Petals, find some little kid’s dad, or bust Wayne Newton’s plot to make money through some weird embezzlement scheme. It’s confusing almost on a Memento scale but without the intereste in re-watching it when it is over. One wonders if by listening to Dice’s dick jokes for 2 hours then the intricacies of a plot line become difficult to comprehend. In other words, you get dumber.
I mean, he says stuff like “Terrifical” and “You see what I’m saying to you? That’s what I’m sayin. What am I sayin? I don’t know.” He is the equivalent of a night spent drinking boxed wine.
But Dice does have some charisma and I appreciate how he goes into hiding now and then to give us all a break. At least he doesn’t do any nursery rhymes in the flick.
Example of Andrew Dice Clay stand-up
Hickory Dickory Dock
Some chick was sucking my cock
Kelli tries her hand at it (OH!)
Hickory Dickory Dock
Dice’s act is schlock
He had a good run
Now his career’s done
Hickory Dickory Dock
Written by Kelli