Sunday, July 8, 2012

LIE #25: In Brief: “Hollywood Boulevard,” Where Dante, Arkush and Davison Got Started

Hollywood Boulevard (1976; Joe Dante & Allan Arkush) is at best a curio—conceived as a bet between New World honcho Roger Corman and producer Jon Davison (who later produced Airplane, Robocop and Starship Troopers), that Davison and then-New World trailer editors Dante and Arkush couldn’t put together a flick in 10 days, using short ends and footage swiped from a dozen other New World action flicks.

At the beginning of the flick, there is some great location footage of downtown Hollywood at its seedy best (I wonder if Los Angeles Plays Itself used any of it?),
lots of boobs, and good swiped footage from various Filipino and Poor White Trash actioners previously released by Corman’s New World, but otherwise,
Hollywood Boulevard is a bad flick, honestly—not funny and quite slapdash.

The jokes here make Abbott & Costello seem like Noel Coward—and they are so dated, as if these people were beamed in from the 1930s.
Wackiness is okay, but when there wasn’t stock footage going on, the flick was a snoozer. Even Dick Miller and Mary Woronov seemed a little lost.

The movie is currently available via Netflix Streaming—if you’re curious about New World Pictures and the people who got their start there, Hollywood Boulevard is worth fast-forwarding through.
You can’t hate the flick, it’s too good-natured for that, but you can mock it—and then be grateful that the directors’ next individual film projects turned out to be such winners: 1978’s Piranha (Dante) and Rock & Roll High School (Arkush).

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