Sunday, March 13, 2011

Try B-A-D-M-O-V-I-E

Access Code  (Prism Entertainment, 1984)

A crappy reproduction of a crappy poster for a crappy movie.

Before the Camera:

Martin Landau  (TV's Mission Impossible)
Michael Ansara  (TV's Broken Arrow)
Macdonald Carey  (TV's Days of Our Lives)
Michael Durrell
The Only Other Actor in the Cast Still Working

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Mark Sobel

Produced by Jerome Applefield, Sandy Cobe, Sharyon Reis Cobe, Lawrence Rotunno, Mark Sobel, and Steven D. Strauss

Written by Stanley Richards

Now here's a find. An obscure-beyond-obscure direct-to-video 80's "thriller" with three aging name stars popping in and out often enough (the filmmakers hope) to keep you from realizing they only worked a couple of days and are only in 20% of the movie. Then there's the other 80%. But you gotta love MGM/HD! And interestingly, this is the first movie I've watched on that fine cable channel that was not widescreen! The story here is....well, it's...I mean it's kind of...okay, it's frigging incoherent, is what it is! Some guy works for a government agency.

"Make it out to the Barbara Bain Alimony Fund..."

The Agency Head is Martin Landau, in the latter stages of his "I'll be in anything if you'll write a check" phase that had started the previous decade after TV's Space: 1999 ended and continued through Tucker: The Man and his Dream a couple of years after this. The Agency Head is such a nondescript part that "Agency Head" is his name. *sigh* Agency Head sits in on a meeting with two U.S. senators (Ansara - wearing a toupee that needed to be taken out and shot; and Carey - happy to be away from appearing ineffectually and sporadically on the soap opera he'd been on for about 165 years by this point.)

The name actors have a conversation that is as heavy on sinister overtones as it is light on understandable meaning. Elsewhere - that guy (Durrell) discovers that a mysterious group can watch him in his home through his television. When he starts to dig in to that - the same group briefly seizes control of America's nuclear arsenal, scaring the bejesus out of all of the personnel at the sites before relinquishing their hold. So far so good. The movie's not too bad at this point.

Hey, is that Martin Landau? Is he in this?

Don't look now - but I think we've gone and gotten ourselves
into a belly dancing situation...
Then other ill defined characters come in; assassinations are attempted; another guy and a blonde - he's a reporter (I think) and she's the first guy's ex-wife (or something like that) go on the run - now, they meet with the first guy briefly, and he had one scene with the name actors - but that's as close as this duo gets to any of the three character actors; some bad guys show up wherever they are every ten minutes or so - and one point in their favor - they have a helicopter, so there's at least some production values on display; people are shot; more atomic doom is threatened. While this may all sound exciting and wonderful, it plays out in a static and monotonic way - that somehow slides into total incomprehensibility at around the twenty minute mark. Finally, the movie comes down to an ending that not only made no sense, but had no production value, no scope, no scale; nothing that would make it stand out as the climax of the movie. No real spoiler - but it involves a man, a phone booth, a couple of electronic sound effects, and some crazy cliched camera tricks, like putting the picture in negative. And of course there's a tacked on tag that shows it's not over - wow, hope springs eternal indeed if these guys thought they were going to get a sequel out of this mess!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Somewhere in the 37:00 area, that guy in the picture up there is either tired of the belly dancer, or the guy with the machine gun.

Eye Candy ?

Of course, the one full on picture I could
find of her on the entire internet does
not show her to good advantage...*sigh*
But you know, she's kinda 80's cute, and in her one and only movie gets in one scene in a tiny white t-shirt and panties, so I'm going to say yes to Marcia Muller!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says "The world should be password protected
from movies like Access Code!"

It should indeed, Mr. Man. Til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. HAHAHA bejesus HAHAHA

  2. So confused but I do know the tv watching me creeps me out! And I had just started liking that thing!