HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ciambra, The
Reflection of Fear, A
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
   
 
Newest Articles
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
   
 
  Die Laughing Rockin' RobbyBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Jeff Werner
Stars: Robby Benson, Linda Grovenor, Charles Durning, Elsa Lanchester, Bud Cort, Rita Taggart, Marty Zagon, Larry Hankin, Sam Krachmalnick, Michael David Lee, Peter Coyote, Charles Fleischer, Charles Harwood, Melanie Henderson, Carel Struycken, O-Lan Jones
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Romance, Adventure, Music
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pinsky (Robby Benson) works as a cab driver, but what he would really like to be is a singer-songwriter and feels his big break may be around the corner with this audition competition being held currently. But there's always a spanner someone will throw in the works, and so it is he is taking fares when a middle-aged gentleman enters his taxi carrying a fairly large case; what Pinsky doesn't know is that this man is fleeing for his life from assassins who want to kill him and get their hands on the case, or rather its contents. When he is shot by one of the gunmen, it takes a short while for Pinsky to realise what has happened, but when he does, he's in trouble up to his neck...

Die Laughing was something of a pet project for Benson, that teenage dream of the nineteen-seventies in the David Cassidy mould who saw his career begin to wane in the eighties, mostly thanks to choices like this. He produced and co-wrote the screenplay, plus the songs his character performed, and evidently felt this was a more than adequate showcase for his talents, though the moviegoing public failed to agree, or if they did agree, it was because he was living down to his teen idol status, always a difficult position to shake off in transition to more mature roles. It wasn't all bad for Robby, however, he was the lead voice in Disney's Beauty and the Beast cartoon, for instance.

And he had a successful second career directing television, moving on from his attempts at auterism in the movies. But if you liked to recall Benson as the sensitive young man from such cloying dramas as Jeremy, you might find something to enjoy as he tried his hand at comedy thrillers in the Alfred Hitchcock style as he did here. 1980 was the year the Master of Suspense passed away, and funnily enough nobody thought of passing his mantle onto Benson after this, well, not so funny, as its endeavours to evoke the breezy excitements of The 39 Steps or North by Northwest were more weird than amusing, and the star's tries at a music career with his anachronistic songs were dubious prospects.

When the other bands we see auditioning were at least contemporary to the year of production, as disco and punk respectively, Pinsky's drippy, folksy and MOR efforts were not going to get anyone excited, especially the tune that opens the film, titled Mr Weinstein's Barber's which now sounds like an establishment to be avoided by women as best they can. Fortunately there was that other aspect to the story, where our hero had to go on the run with a cheeky monkey - that's what was in the case and Pinsky has escaped with it, winding up at his girlfriend's apartment to be greeted by her tomboyish flatmate, Amy (Linda Grovenor). They join forces when he is claimed by the police to be the murderer of the passenger and those back at his laboratory where the primate came from, and the bad guys are after him as well.

This led to adventures more randomly plotted than coherent, the chief villain being a sub-James Bond mastermind on a budget, Julius, played by Bud Cort who was filming this when he had his near-career-ending car accident. It's a little uncomfortable to see him behaving so strangely here, all right it was probably in the script, but he was adding quirks a-plenty to his performance which coupled with the very visible scars on his head made you sorry for the actor more than menaced by a maniac who wants to use the monkey for a formula to turn nuclear waste into nuclear weapons. He plans to hold the world to ransom, but you just knew the storyline was not going to get that far judging by the expense spent on the rest of the movie, the most seemingly going on hiring a big top for the circus scenes (yes, there were circus scenes, of course there were circus scenes). Charles Durning showed up as Pinsky's boss, Elsa Lanchester was his foster mother in her final role, and it deserved marks for effort, but was a mess overall. Music by Craig Safan.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 680 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: