Lonely Lady, The
Reviewed by Ken Begg
Rating: 10 Beans
et's hear it for Pia Zadora. Not only did she become *the* Bad Movie Queen of the 1980s, but she accomplished this task with only two movies, ably beating out the more prolific Bo Derek. And as if her 'debut', BUTTERFLY, wasn't bad enough, here she teams up with the work of hack master Harold Robbins. Robbins' lousy, subplot laden novels had over the years been turned into the kind of lousy, subplot laden movies Bad Movie fans love (THE CARPETBAGGERS, THE BETSY, THE ADVENTURERS, etc.). However, while the other Robbins adaptations are are very long (2 1/2 - 3 hours), matching the books, THE LONELY LADY manages to cram all the typical Robbins sleeze and stupidity into a dense 90 minute mass. Watching this movie is like drinking concentrated orange juice without diluting it.
Pia is Jerilee Randall, attending "The Awards" (this universe's version of the Oscars). An 'artistic' flashback takes us back to her high school graduation, where she's won some kind of Literary Award. Next, she hooks up with a couple of no-good-niks heading for a party at the house of a famous author, Walter Thornton. One of the jerks (the film debut of GOODFELLAS star Ray Liotta!) eventually (I swear!) rapes Jerilee with a handy garden hose (!!). The recovering Jerilee is visited by the contrite Thornton, and although Jerilee's mother is jealous of the May/December romance that blossoms, Thornton and Jerilee fall in love and get married.
In case you've never seen a "Hollywood" movie before, it's soon A STAR IS BORN time. Sure enough, Thornton's career starts sliding just as Jerilee's takes off. The capper comes when Jerilee confronts the sexually insecure Thornton in their backyard. Thornton accuses her of cheating on him, and then gives one of the truly great Bad Movie lines ever. Bending down, he grabs what appears to be the exact same hose Jerilee was ravaged with earlier, stabs it at her, and shouts, "Or is THIS how you get your kicks?!" Pia's totally expressionless reaction to this is a classic of non-acting.
Jerilee has many more adventures, most requiring her to take her clothes off. Finally, having achieved success in Hollywood, Jerilee wins an Award (hey, just like in the beginning! Life's a big circle, I guess). Standing at the dias, she delivers another classic line: "I guess I'm not the only one who's had to f**k her way to the top!" Then she leaves, followed by the angry 'watermelon, watermelon' noises of The Awards audience. Pia, I love you!!
Highlights include some truly awful songs, including the title tune sung by an ersatz Tom Jones type; Thornton's hairy back (yuck!); the 'naked on the pool table' scene; the really bad 'romantic montage', wherein the lovers, yes, eat ice cream cones; the scene where Jerilee shrilly shouts, "If I write for anyone, I write for MEEE!"; Pia, Pia, Pia; watching Ray Liotta in the role that'll haunt him until the day he dies, including when he grabs Jerilee's award and notes that it "looks like a penis"; the all-time great 'breakdown' scene, complete with miniature spinning heads of her tormentors; and, well, each and every moment. If you can find this movie, watch it!
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