Lou Arkoff

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Reform School Girl Review


Unbearable
Rarely have I longed for the hours lost watching a terrible movie than after (and during) a screening of the atrocious Reform School Girl, a picture released 11 years after its making on DVD (and a remake of an oldie), thanks to a shortish appearance in it by Joey star Matt LeBlanc -- who, no, does not play one of the girls.

B-lister Aimee Graham gets a rare starring role here as a good girl who gets caught up in a random and dumbass crime (with LeBlanc), then gets sent to reform school where she spends her time swabbing floors, inciting food fights, exploring lesbian love (natch!), and throwing the big race at the "school" track meet.

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Dragstrip Girl Review


Terrible
You could make a worse movie than Dragstrip Girl, but you'd really have to try awful hard. The story: Bad Hispanic boy (Raymond Cruz) falls for good rich white girl (Natasha Gregson Wagner), with tragic consequences that play out over a backdrop of 1950s amateur drag racing. Will their love be able to overcome the enormous obstacles -- namely, that he's a car thief and she's a cheerleader -- or will society crush their budding romance?

Who cares!? This movie is so bad that the ending (which, by the way, is just about the worst part of the film) slips out of mind as soon as the disc pops out of your DVD player. Made for TV way back in 1994 and only now getting its DVD and home video release because Wagner and Cruz have become minor stars, you won't see any hint of the performing ability you might find from them today, simply because the story is so poorly written it couldn't have been saved by Cary Grant. Just about the only joy to be found in the film is from a grizzled Traci Lords, playing the hooker next door whom our scruffy hero likes to spy on through the enormous hole in the wall.

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Jailbreakers Review


Unbearable
What's this??? William Friedkin (renowned director of The French Connection and The Exorcist) directing a new film with Shannen Doherty (now 30 years old) playing a highschool cheerleader who isn't even old enough to drive????? A little digging gets to the truth -- Jailbreakers was made directly for Showtime back in 1994. How Friedkin got involved and why Dimension is releasing it on video and DVD now will have to remain a mystery.

Doherty's "Angel" plays a 1950s rising-star student/actress/cheerleader who suddenly falls in love with a wrong-side-of-the-tracks type named Tony (Antonio Sabato Jr.). Trouble inevitably strikes when she and Tony go on a crime spree, landing him in jail again and forcing her family to split town. A daring (read: incomprehensibly stupid) escape courtesy of Tony's pal (Adrien Brody) gets him out of jail... so he can track down Angel in her new life!

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Cool And The Crazy Review


Unbearable
Bleargh.

Ever wonder what became of Ralph Bakshi -- who made those weird Lord of the Rings videos in the '70s along with Fritz the Cat? Well, among other atrocities he's responsible for this film, Jared Leto's first film and one of Alicia Silverstone's earlier appearances, too.

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Shake, Rattle & Rock! Review


Grim
Now that Renée Zellweger is a big big star, what better time than the present to release a seven year-old dud with Renée in the starring role? (See also The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which was also released in 1994 with the aid of Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey.)

A virtually identical film to John Waters' Hairspray, Shake, Rattle & Rock! Tells us of teens obsessed with a 50's-era dance show, the parents that disapprove, and the struggle of minority chanteuses to get through the door. Unfortunately, Shake doesn't bear nearly the pleasures of a Waters' movie. While director Allan Arkbush is wise in casting the charming Patricia Childress and Max Perlich into supporting roles as Renée's friends (and later bandmates as she starts her own rockin' group), the movie is just plain dull and invariably predictable, an after-school special at best. And there's so much slow-motion nonsense that film comes off as padded and lifeless, despite a spare 83-minute running time.

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Runaway Daughters Review


Unbearable
Looking at the talent lined up for Runaway Daughters, I can only assume the whole affair is an elaborate joke that no one ever got.

This is a bad movie, folks, and here's why.

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She Creature Review


Weak
Where did this very strange movie come from? Certainly it was never in theaters... which might be explained by its plot oddity, about a couple (Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino) who encounters a captive mermaid and figures she might be their ticket out of the land of low-rent carnies. Oh, and it's a period piece and a psychological thriller of sorts. Utterly baffling, it's still oddly watchable if for no other reason than to try to figure out what accent that is that Gugino is trying to emulate during her many monologues.

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Teenage Caveman Review


Unbearable
What the hell? Post-apocalyptic teens wander out of the forest and into a bombed out Seattle, enounter a solar-powered house, and start having lots of sex. After that comes something about an immortality serum which has the unfortunate side effect of blowing up some of its users. This isn't Skinemax exploitation: It's meant as a half-jokie farce by auteur Larry Clark, best known as the man behind such gritty reality-inspired movies like Bully. Larry, what are you doing slumming it with non-material like this?
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