Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Click: The Calendar Girl Killer (1990)

You've heard the expression: Don't judge a book by its cover, right? Well, in the case of Click: The Calendar Girl Killer, it's more like: Don't judge a movie by its screencaps. If you were, you would no doubt conclude that Click was the greatest film ever made. Let me tell you right off the bat, it's definitely not the greatest film ever made. In fact, it's barely a film. Oh, sure, it's got images that move and human actors can be heard reciting scripted dialogue every now and then. But make no mistake, it repeatedly teeters on the brink of non-existence. I know, you're thinking to yourself: How can a movie that has six different writers and two directors not exist? It's quite simple, really. You can't have so many disparate ideas floating around at one time and somehow expect the results to be coherent. I mean, six writers?!? It's a nonstarter. In a shocking twist, however, this film is the place to go to see what is hands down the best performance of Dona Speir's career. Yep, the same actress who stunk up the joint in so many Andy Sidaris films gives a rich and nuanced performance as a fashion model named Nancy Johnson. And get this, she looks better than ever. If you remember correctly, I thought Dona looked tired and slightly mannish in the Andy Sidaris films. Not here, though. In this film, directed by actor Ross Hagen and stuntman John Stewart, she looks fresh, feminine and fabulous.

I'll admit, though, I was, to not put it mildly, horrified when I found out Dona Speir was in this film. Appearing in the opening credits sequence, one that features bikini-clad models wielding various weapons for a photo shoot, Dona can be seen aiming a bow and arrow in a yellow bikini. When I saw her I was like: Noooo! Anyone but her. But, as the film progressed, I slowly began to realize that it was her character in the Andy Sidaris films that I disliked so much, not Dona Speir.

The Dona Speir who appears in this film, even though she's only in a handful of scenes, is quite different than the humour-challenged Special Agent Donna Hamilton from, let's say, Savage Beach. No, this Dona Speir sits like a lady, gets pushed into hot tubs, sports more than one facial expression, is spurned by her boyfriend (played by Andy Sidaris regular Michael J. Shane), drinks booze straight from the bottle and participates in two fashion photo shoots. In other words, things Donna Hamilton would never do.

It's true, I could sit here and gush about the new and improved Dona Speir all day long. But that doesn't change the fact that this movie still sucks some serious ass.

Did you know that you will have to wait an entire hour for someone to get killed? Yeah, bet you didn't know that. And this has nothing to do with some misguided bloodlust on my part. The fact that no one is killed for so long actually dragged the story to a complete halt. What I mean is, with no real threat, there's no real tension, and with no real tension, you haven't got yourself much of a thriller.

What did you expect? It was obvious right from the get-go that Ross Hagen and John Stewart have no idea how to make a horror movie.

When the so-called "calendar girl killer" does finally show up, I was so disinterested, that I actually nearly dozed off at one point. Which is rare for me, as I hardly ever fall asleep while watching movies. In fact, I don't think I have ever fallen asleep during a movie. So, kudos, Click: The Calendar Girl Killer, you caused me to nearly break my no sleeping during movies streak.

In fairness, after the bikini chicks wielding guns and knives photo shoot is over, we do get a quick origin story pertaining to why the little kid sitting on the floor in a flashback sequence became the calendar girl killer. Which is something. However, to have to wait a whole hour for someone to die is unacceptable. In fairness again, after the flashback origin story is over we do see a faceless man, one wearing lipstick and a nurse's uniform, stab a mirror in anger. Which, I have to say, is also something.

(Hold on, it sounds like you're starting to like this film.) No, I'm just pointing some of the things that didn't annoy me. (Nah, I know you, you're trying to somehow spin this into a positive review.) So what if I am? Is it a crime to like this movie? I mean, the photo shoots are pretty fucking amazing. (Pretty fucking amazing, eh? Can you hear yourself? You sound like a dumbass.) I don't care, this movie is staring to grow on me.

Does anyone know the name of the goth-metal all-girl band who play the patio party? I didn't think so. Anyway, Dona Speir's Nancy Johnson, who's dressed in all-white, and her date arrive at said patio party. Introduced to Alan (Troy Donahue), the assistant to a big shot photographer, it doesn't take long for Nancy to piss him off. Like I said, this version of Dona Speir doesn't take crap from anyone, as she puts this "assistant" in his place in record time.

Sitting alone by the hot tub, Nancy notices that her date is flirting with another woman. Due to faulty heels, the woman he's flirting with slips out of her shoes and knocks Nancy into the hot tub. In a strange twist, Dona's character seems angry that she was pushed into a hot tub. How is that strange, you ask? Well, in the Andy Sidaris films, Dona spends most of her time happily submerged in hot tubs. So, to see her upset to be in a hot tub was somewhat atypical.

Humiliated by the hot tub incident, Nancy allows Alan to comfort her. This leads to Nancy getting a private photo shoot with Jack Akerman (Ross Hagen), one of the most sought after photographers in the business. Starting off in a fur coat, the shoot gradually leads to Nancy taking off all her clothes to saxophone music. My favourite points of the shoot was when Dona Speir is wearing nothing but a gold lamé top and when Jack tells her to "burn my camera."

In the next scene, we see Jack cruising Chinatown for models. I guess he needed one more, cause the woman he picked in Chinatown can be seen in participating in an elaborate photo shoot involving guns.

If this is all beginning to sound a little like Eyes of Laura Mars, you're absolutely right, it is. Interviewing a model named Cindy (Keely Sims), Jack tells her his latest project is a calendar called "Deadly Weapons," and that he wants her to be a part of it. "Is there any nudity," she asks him reluctantly. To which he responds, "Only your legs." I dig this guy's style.

The plan is to make a calendar the world will never forget. And who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Shit! Here comes Johnny (Gregory Scott Cummins) right on time. (Who's Johnny?) Oh, you know, he's the boyfriend who disapproves that is his girlfriend is a model. (Ewww, he's one of those?) Yeah, and get this, he rides a motorbike. In other words, there's no way he'll understand Jack's work, which he basically dismisses as trashy pornography.

I don't think Johnny deserves a girlfriend like Cindy, especially one who wears an orange skirt with a white belt and a baggy jean jacket. I'm just saying.

The three minute long scene where Cindy poses for Jack wielding a chainsaw is actually better than the entirety of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. (Okay, now you're talking crazy.) You're right, that was crazy-talk. But still, the sight of Keely Sims with a chainsaw is quite the show-stopper.

Does anyone know what happened to Dona Speir's character? She disappears after the fur coat/gold lamé top photo shoot. Was she killed? Did she quit modeling? Land a role on All My Children? Where is she?

At any rate, Johnny follows Jack and Cindy to a super-secret photo shoot out in the sticks. This, of course, causes some friction between Johnny and Cindy, and not the fun kind. Actually, that's not entirely true; Johnny and Cindy do engage in some angry, split-second make up sex at one point. Friction or not, Johnny seems determined to ruin Cindy's modeling career. Realizing this, Jack decides to use Johnny's expertise when it comes to motorcycles to his advantage by asking to participate in the photo shoots. Yawn.

As Jack doing a private shoot with Cindy (one that includes a heavy metal wig and a shotgun), fellow models Rhonda (an uncredited Juliette Cummins) and Lisa (Susan Jennifer Sullivan) are fighting over Johnny by the pool. If the names of the actresses who play the other models sound familiar, that's because Juliette's in Slumber Party Massacre II and Susan's in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. In an out of left field plot development, Lisa pussyblocks Rhonda big time. That's right, just as Rhonda, utilizing her amazing legs, was about to seal the deal with Johnny, Lisa swoops in and bungles her chances. In other words, no cock for Rhonda.

Instead, Rhonda will have to contend with being mock raped by a couple of cavemen. (Huh?) The photo shoot Jack has planned for the day involves all sorts of violent acts. And one of them features Rhonda dressed as a cavegirl being violated by a couple of cavemen. Other motifs include: Big haired blonde with a pistol, Asian model with a sword, Lisa in a zebra-print leotard, a flamenco dancer, and a pirate.

The next day's photo shoot is even wilder, as it takes place outdoors and involves wrecked cars and large machine guns.

If you look carefully, you'll see Juliette Cummins sitting by the pool drinking a can of Coors beer at one point. So, you say? Well, the expression on her face during this particular sequence, one that involves a jealous boyfriend getting in a fight with a male model, pretty much sums up my attitude toward this film. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally down with the premise, it's just that the execution leaves little to be desired.

Warning: When the killing finally gets underway, there's a murder sequence that takes place in a bedroom that employs a strobe light for an extended period of time. You might want to shield your eyes or fast-forward past this scene as it could cause unwanted seizures,


  1. This is one I was going to post stills from but never got around to it. For all of its faults, it would make an AWESOME metal video.

    1. Yeah, the cavegirl fashion shoot motif reeks of Helix.