Endless Bummer: Lauderdale (1989)

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While this might not be the worst movie we’ll cover as part of our “Endless Bummer” feature, I’d very surprised if it’s not right at the bottom when all is said and done. It’s lazy, stupid, features subplots which are almost unbearable to watch, a swathe of deeply unlikeable characters, rotten acting, nothing approaching a joke and crumbles under even the most gentle scrutiny. Are you as excited as I am to go through this?

Yes, it’s on Youtube so you can join in with the fun. I’m not recommending you do, of course, but I’m going to spoil the hell out of it. You might be one of those people who is worried by a reviewer spoiling a 25 year old T&A movie, but if you are then I suggest taking a serious look at yourself. Or, never going on the internet ever again? Anyway, we’ve got some garbage to dissect!

 

It’s a rare movie that will have a full length music video, with basically no link to the rest of the movie, in the first five minutes. But “Lauderdale” is brave, some might say foolish, some might say shamefully cash-grabbing, so we get that music video, with a slightly out of tune singer, for no reason at all that I can tell. Both before and after, some dull-looking kid called Larry (Darrel Guilbeau, who does voice acting for English translations of anime these days) is discussing with his friend “Animal”, a very very poor man’s Bluto from “Animal House”, about how he can’t wait to go to Fort Lauderdale for spring break in order to bag himself a perfect ten. Oddly enough, one such woman strolls past him almost immediately (while he’s in Southern California, no travel involved), and he comes on to her and is rejected. Then, minutes later, another one walks past, and here the plot wheezes into action.

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I suppose this bit isn’t all that unusual for the movies of the time, but just this sort of thing is now a battleground for sexual equality. Women, for some reason, think they ought to be able to walk round without being constantly hassled by men. I know, right? Importantly, paying them a compliment isn’t enough of an excuse to stop them, because chances are you’re the tenth guy that day that’s said exactly the same thing, and it’s not as if they should be so delighted to be paid a compliment by some dull-looking idiot that they’d agree to sleep with them, or something. All “Lauderdale” does is provide a particularly ugly example of it. Here’s a tip for guys: no great relationship has ever started by stopping a woman on the street to tell her how beautiful she is.

 

The second woman is Heather, played by Janine Lindemulder. She went on to become a famous porn star (her acting in mainstream movies was, to put it mildly, awful); but that was a whole year in the future. Her performance, and the direction she presumably received, is utterly baffling – absolutely nothing fazes her, as she’s kidnapped maybe four times in the movie and as soon as she’s rescued just blithely goes on about her day, or rides off with her new boyfriend (who didn’t seem to be aware she’d been forcibly taken from wherever they both were).

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I’m slipping away from this movie again. Right, here’s the plot. Two guys who live a stone’s throw from the beautiful beaches of California decide, for some reason, to head all the way across country to Fort Lauderdale for spring break. So far, so good. They see Heather, Larry hits on her, she appears oblivious, then they see two guys kidnap her. Okay, plot! They rescue her and she takes Larry back to her hotel for thank-you sex…then starts perhaps the most interminable scene in this or any other movie, where she sends him out for Dom Perignon because it gets her horny. Room service don’t appear to know what champagne is; he goes to the liquor store across the road and meets “Beano”, who I’m confident was a local comedian who wrote all his own lines; then meets porn star Ron Jeremy as “Cycle Psycho”, who tries to rob the liquor store; then, for some reason, walks back to the (high end) hotel through a filthy alleyway, gets his bottle stolen and then buys another one from a tramp; and gets back to the hotel room to find Heather, who had another bottle in her luggage, a few seconds from passing out. And scene! Oh, they pull the “horny guy forgets super-willing woman’s hotel room number” gag, old as the hills even by this point.

 

The two guys, because they know where her hotel is, kidnap her again, but they’re so unbelievably stupid that Larry is able to outwit them (which he does on multiple occasions throughout the movie). My favourite is when, even though Heather has a full day’s head start on them and no-one knows where she is, the two dumbasses (names: Dick and Duke Dork) manage to kidnap her.

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Why do they keep kidnapping her? For some reason, she’s inherited a million shares of something or other, and needs to go to a meeting in New York to vote on…something? Trying to help her get there is…honestly, I’ve got no idea of the woman’s name, and IMDB is no help, so I’ll take a guess and say Rachel. She teams up with Larry, who ditched the spring break idea to go and help track down Heather, and the two of them track her down to somewhere else in California, then Texas, then two different places in Florida. She’s with surf legend “The Big Kahuna”, apparently, then she isn’t, then she sort of is again, by the end.

 

Larry and Rachel, even though they don’t like each other and don’t really share any nice moments during the movie, fall in love, “It Happened One Night” style; the baddie woman who’s in charge of the Dork brothers keeps leaving them alone with Heather, despite the fact that every time she does so it leads to an escape; and the evil woman’s boss…well, he has the best couple of scenes. We see him on the phone, with a couple of topless women just sort of dancing next to him, like the world’s most ennui-filled strip club. He presumably stands to benefit financially from Heather’s absence at the important board meeting – nothing like arcane business practices to get the blood pumping!

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What becomes apparent very quickly in this movie is how little care anyone put into making it remotely coherent. Animal shows up again at the end in Fort Lauderdale (although the movie barely spends any time there before going back to UCLA), with the two women who worked in the Texas lingerie shop that Larry and Rachel visited, perhaps because the movie ran out of money and needed a couple of hot women for a scene (one of them is Sherrie Rose from “Summer Job”, which is like Shakespeare compared to this movie). This is one example among many – there’s the time they track Heather down to an oil-wrestling bar in…Florida somewhere?…before having a quick oil wrestling match with three women (in a bar with a band), then Heather just leaving, finding clothes magically from somewhere and jumping on stage with another rotten 80s rock band in a different bar to do lead vocals on a song (which we see pretty much in its entirety). Ron Jeremy may well have played several different characters, as I’m not sure he’d have been thrilled to meet the guy who knocked him out and led to his arrest otherwise.

 

I don’t feel like I’ve peeled enough of the layers of this particular onion of stupidity, but you’d presumably get bored before I would. It’s rare to see a film as aggressively incompetent as this one, so if you’ve watched “Spring Break” and are in the mood for another movie which features someone going nuclear to win a belly-flop contest (presumably filmed at the same pool)m, or are doing some anthropological research on the real bars and bands of the Fort Lauderdale of the late 80s (a niche market, for sure), then pop it on. Otherwise, shoot anyone who suggests watching it.

 

Rating: thumbs down

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One thought on “Endless Bummer: Lauderdale (1989)

  1. Pingback: Youtube Film Club: The Silent Force (2001) |

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