The last sound you will ever hear is that of her high heel shoes hitting the floor as she walks away from your soon to be rotting corpse. Oh, and before you start accusing her of murder, remember this, she simply told you to kill yourself, which you did, without hesitation. Okay, maybe there was some hesitation, but not a lot. Either way, there's very little you can do once you have come face-to-face with the intoxicating allure of the platinum blonde demon goddess at the centre of Necropolis, the epic supernatural thriller from writer-director Bruce Hickey and producer Tim Kincaid (Riot on 42nd Street) about a three hundred year-old witch, one who, get this, uses her long, alabaster legs, which, of course, are sheathed in the blackest pair of black fully fashioned stockings money can buy, to persuade big haired and regular haired New Yorkers alike to do things they wouldn't normally do. Watching her slowly develop as an actress, a cameo in Bad Girls Dormitory, a bit part in Psychos in Love, and, who could forget, her scene-stealing turn as the forthright pleasure droid in Mutant Hunt, this is the film that proves once and for all that LeeAnne Baker is one of the greatest B-movie actresses of all-time. Hold up. Did you just say, "B-movie actresses"? Fuck that noise, LeeAnne Baker is simply one of the greatest actresses of all-time, period. At least from my unique perspective she is, and why wouldn't she be? You know how some people have shoe fetishes, or how some are obsessed with opera gloves? Well, I have a LeeAnne Baker fetish. Now, I know what you're thinking. What exactly does a LeeAnne Baker fetish entail? Excellent question. First things first, you'll need to watch all her movies. And you don't merely watch a LeeAnne Baker movie, you inject yourself into the film like a heroin user shoots up with a syringe. Except, in this case, LeeAnne Baker is the drug and your eyes are the addict.
Okay, now that I've cleared that up. What you need to do next is take what you have seen in her movies (it doesn't matter if she's in the movie for five seconds or is in it from start to finish), and write overlong passages that describe in exhaustive detail what Miss Baker did in each movie. And I'm talking about everything: the style of her hair (since LeeAnne only worked as an actress between years 1986 and 1987, her hair is usually short), the type of clothes she wore, the way she moves, the quality of her acting, etc.
Stealing individual scenes is one thing, but carrying an entire movie squarely on your creamy shoulders is quite a different story. And that's exactly what LeeAnne Baker has to do in Necropolis; a film that not only requires her to be the star (it's the first film where her character appears on the poster), she has to ride a motorcycle along the West Side Highway, grow four additional breasts right underneath her already existing pair, and dance in front of a pentagram in 17th century New Amsterdam.
History majors will probably notice right off the bat that the opening title "New Amsterdam, 1686" is somewhat erroneous (the name "New Amsterdam" was changed to New York in 1664). But don't let a minor detail like that ruin your appreciation for the scope of the storytelling employed throughout this classic tale of good vs. fabulous; I know I sure I didn't.
Speaking of things that are erroneous in nature, did they have "jazz hands" in 1686? I wonder. Anyway, in a misty forest on the outskirts of New Amsterdam circa 1686, a white woman is being followed by a mysterious black man. Why is a mysterious black man following a white woman? Judging by her long, platinum-coloured hair and equally long, black cloak, I'd say the woman in question likes to dabble in Satanism.
Dabble, you say?!? Hardly, she's the leader of a Satanic cult. And not only that, she's the leader of a Satanic cult during a time when being the leader of a Satanic cult actually meant something. Tell someone nowadays you're the leader of anything, let alone a Satanic cult, and they'll probably laugh in your face while they calmly call in a drone strike using the airstrike application on their smartphone. But back then, any extracurricular activities that didn't involve the Bible were usually greeted with an angry mob wielding torches.
My instincts regarding the white woman with the white hair were right on the money, as we see her standing in front of giant pentagram (the official symbol of Satan). While it looks like she could be the opening act for a Ratt tribute band, don't be fooled, she's up to some seriously evil shit. After wowing the shifty-eyed rabble in attendance with her erotic, well, erotic for 1693, dance moves, she summons a bride away from a nearby wedding using her Satan-approved brand of telekinesis. The plan is to kill the virgin bride with a special knife in order to please her master. Unfortunately, the mysterious black man, and, not to mention, the entire wedding party, show up to ruin her ritual. Swearing to avenge this injustice, the cult leader vows to return.
When and where do you think she will return? Please return to New York City in the mid-to-late 1980s; I don't ask for much.
Panning up a leg encased in lace nylons that is attached to a torso sitting on a red motorcycle to the sound of "Rock & Rock" (yep, the same song used in both Valet Girls and Killer Workout), the next twenty minutes are easily the finest twenty minutes ever to be captured on film. Don't get me wrong, the stuff that happens after the twenty minutes are up is just as awesome. I'm just saying, this particular chunk of celluloid represents my aesthetic point of view like no other chunk has done before.
While that's great and all, let's get back to the camera panning up that leg. Sitting atop a red Yamaha XJ 400 Seca (thanks, IMCDb) motorcycle is a figure in lace and black leather. And you know what that means? That's right, Satan's girlfriend is back, baby! Removing her helmet, the first thing we notice is that her the long locks have been replaced with a shorter hairdo (the kind that would make Lois Ayres and Sharon Mitchell nod approvingly with a snotty grace). Looking around at her new surroundings, Eva (LeeAnne Baker), her eyes smeared with about five cans of black eye makeup, flashes a sly smile, and hits the road.
A close-up shot of her left hand revving her motorcycle's engine, her red fingernails juxtaposed nicely with her black, stud-covered leather fingerless gloves, is the epitome of cinematic cool as far as I'm concerned.
The first stop on her journey is an occult pawn shop run by a guy named Rudy (Gy Milano), a beer-drinking asthmatic who lost his hearing for a week when he was six years old. How do you know all that? Ah, yes. The thing about Necropolis that sets it apart from other films in the genre is that it takes the time to flesh out each character's backstory. You see, if Eva wants you to do something, but you, unwisely, decide to resist her, she'll poke around your subconscious until she finds a traumatic event from your past and use what she found to bend your will. In the case of Rudy the pawnbroker, she wants him to tell her who he sold "The Devil's Ring" to, as it possesses great power. And when he won't tell her (LeeAnne Baker's New York accent really shines through when she says, "You're Lying'!" in response to his floundering), Eva reminds him of the time when he lost his hearing as a child. The ringing sound in his ears drives Rudy mad, eventually kills him. But as he's dying, he tells Eva what she wanted to hear. And that is, the location of the ring.
Making her way to the youth outreach centre run by the Reverend Henry James (William K. Reed), who strangely looks exactly like the black man from the 1680s. It's during this scene when we get our first taste of Eva's menacing-sounding footsteps. Pretending to be a troubled teen, Eva confronts the reverend in the men's room. On top of being the first instance where we get a clear shot of the star earring dangling from Eva's left earlobe, it's also the scene I would submit to anyone out there who wants to learn a thing or two about the art of acting, as LeeAnne Baker is remarkable. Trading in her tough chick persona for a more vulnerable one, LeeAnne will melt your tear ducts with the range of emotions she displays during this particular scene.
Since her meeting with the reverend didn't get her any closer to her precious devil ring, Eva decides to use a different approach; one that involves psychological persuasion, and, of course, her raw sex appeal. When we hear a beat pumping, we know it's time for Eva to slip on her black stockings and attach them to the garter belt, which is no doubt lurking seductively somewhere underneath her short-as-can-be black leather skirt. Using the back room of Rudy's occult pawn shop as her temporary base of operations, Eva takes her black stockings for a test drive by dancing up a storm as "Say You Do" by Zoom Zoom throbs on the soundtrack.
Choreographed by Taunie Vrenon (Elaine from Mutant Hunt), what takes place next is probably the most alluringly staged dance number in film history. After she's done making sure there are no creases in her stockings (she does so by running hands, her black, stud-covered black fingerless glove-covered hands, over the surface of the stockings multiple times), and she finishes applying some more makeup, Eva dances erotically in front of the makeshift Satanic altar she has set up.
Hopping on her motorcycle, Eva arrives at the youth outreach centre just as a reporter in a red turtleneck dress named Dawn Phillips (Jacquie Fitz), a woman who looks like the virgin bride from the 1680s, is about to interview The Reverend and a troubled youth named Philly (George Anthony-Rayza) for some hard hitting piece for NPR. In order to break things up, Eva manipulates Philly (she's outside the centre) by causing him to go into withdrawal (he's a recovering drug addict). Since everyone with the exception one volunteer has gone to the hospital with Philly, Eva can get the key for the safe that contains the ring without as much hassle.
All that stands in her way is a guy named Tony (Andrew Bausili), a man who looks like the preacher from Dawn's botched 1686 wedding. Luckily for Eva, Tony is no longer a puritan era preacher. He's now a man who is easily swayed by the sight of the exposed thigh skin languishing between two distinctly different textile realms.
Starting off with a close-up shot of the seams that run up and down the back of her stockings, Eva enters the youth outreach centre with a certain swagger.
Asking if he can help her, Eva replies, "Sure, Tony," even though they have never met (well, at least not in a couple of hundred years). Resting one of her legs on a chair, which purposely exposes a generous helping of ashen flesh thanks to the leg's placement and the zipper slit on her leather skirt, Eva toys with Tony in a way that can best be described as "cat and mouse."
The sound of her footsteps echo through the office, as she circles his desk in a predatory manner.
Audible footsteps, brilliant streaks of rouge makeup, a dangling star-shaped earring, and exposed thigh skin inundate my psyche as Eva slowly approaches Tony's desk.
Grabbing a switchblade from one of Tony's drawers, Eva places it on his desk and tells him to kill himself. Using his suicidal tendencies against him, while, at same time, making sure his eyes remain focused on the first-rate absolute territory she was putting out there, Eva eggs him on by saying, "Do it," over and over again.
You have to wonder why Eva needed keys to open a safe in the first place. I mean, don't most safes use combination locks? And secondly, why couldn't she just zap it open using her witch powers like she did the lock on the fence? Well, to be fair, she did open the fence lock after she acquired the ring, so, she might not have had access to that witch function yet. At any rate, with the ring on her finger, Eva drives to her necropolis, a dilapidated warehouse up in The Bronx, which still contain the bodies of her long dead Satanic cult. After some great leggy shots of LeeAnne Baker walking through the warehouse are implemented, Eva summons her followers to arise.
Meanwhile, a no-nonsense cop named Billy (Michael Conte), a dead ringer for Alan Vega from Suicide ("America, America is killing its youth"), is trying to investigate Tony's death. What do you mean, "trying"? Well, even though Benny the medical examiner (Paul Ruben), a man who's on friendly terms with Dorothy, tells him, "it's a suicide, honey," Dawn and Reverend James are convinced that there's something strange going on in Tribeca tonight.
While Alan Vega's twin brother and the neck sensitive Dawn (seriously, don't touch her neck) make goo goo eyes with one another (the latter invites the former over to her Japanese themed apartment to drink wine and talk about reincarnation), Eva is out collecting souls in a pair of animal print leather pants with a matching bustier. The first soul she grabs belongs to a guy from Queens named Snake (Jett Julian), then she targets his big haired girlfriend Cat (Jennifer Stahl). Their souls are consumed as ectoplasm, which she later expels through her nipples so that her minions may grow stronger. Whoa, how is she supposed to feed an army of minions with only two nipples? Um, she develops four more breasts. Duh.
A rare instance where everything seems to be in perfect harmony with one another in terms of cohesion, Necropolis is a movie that works on so many levels, that it's not even funny. It's got homemade crosses used as weapons, a skeptical red meat advocate who looks like Alan Vega (a man who gets to fondle Eva's stockings at one point), it uses "On the Run From Whistler" from the Trancers soundtrack not once but twice, has a flamboyant M.E. ("That's 'Dr. Parker' to you, honey"), features scenes where a tall (LeeAnne Baker must be at least 5'10) blonde who looks like Anne Carlisle from every angle harasses a hooker named Candy (Nadine Hartstein), and sports a lead character whose clothes are styled by none other than Celeste Hines. Okay, I don't know who that is (Nancy Arons and Jeffrey Wallach are credited as the film's costume designers, and probably deserve most of the credit for Eva's many stunning ensembles), but I like the idea that LeeAnne Baker had her own stylist on this film. Anyway, capturing the nervous energy of New York City after dark, Necropolis is what cinema should be: A steaming wad of diaphanous nectar dripping from the nipples of a soul-sucking witch from the Lower East Side.
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