enjoy or simply tolerate Uli
Lommel's REVENGE OF THE STOLEN STARS requires
a couple things.
One, you have to check
out the back story on the production
from Barry Hickey, the flick's "star."
After failing to secure the talents of Tony
Curtis and Ernest Borgnine, director/writer
Lommel forked over a handsome sum for our
boy Klaus Kinski to handle the role of Duncan
McBride, Hickey's on-screen uncle.
Two, grab yourself something
to do during the film's many long, dull,
stupid stretches. A magazine. A video game.
A laptop with internet access.
Third, crack open your favorite
adult beverage. For me, any 80s Klaus flick
goes better with a little Vitamin Y. (Read
that Yuengling Lager for you non-Pennsylvania
You are now ready to enjoy,
appreciate, or tolerate REVENGE OF THE STOLEN
Right off the bat, one has
to ask the question: Could Klaus look any
LESS like a guy named Duncan McBride? But
that question goes flying out of your head
when you realize that K2 is the only person
within a hundred miles of this thing doing
anything that resembles "acting."
Oh sure, there are some performances
that rival some of the regional dinner theatre
I've seen through the years. And the villainous
couple chasing our hero and heroine (Lommell's
semi-cute-but-not-quite-hot wife Suzanna
Love) would've been right at home during
the heyday of the old Carol Burnett show.
But the overall acting in this makes ISLAND
CLAWS look like THE PIANIST.
After a run-in with what he
believes to be a traitorous worker, Klaus
ends up on the short end of a knife. But,
like old adage goes, never bring a knife
to a gun fight and Klaus takes his opponent
with him. Cue establishing shot of San Francisco
where Klaus's nephew Gene (Hickey) gets
a telegram that he's inherited his uncle's
estate in the country of Sindanao.
Hickey has the bland good
looks of a reality show contestant. Not
really handsome but with the wide-eyed innocence
you need in a flick where every other character
is wearing a fedora, pith helmet or dinner
tux and monocle!
As the ghost of Uncle Duncan
(whom Gene calls "Donald" numerous
times), Kinski is in full 80s overdrive.
He's a powder blue t-shirt wearing, linen
suit sleeve rolling, whispering, drinking
ghost with the most. Talent that is.
Kinski and Hickey engage in
a wacky sequence with Kinski appearing and
disappearing around the room, delivering
his lines in a stage whisper that's barely
audible one moment, indecipherable the next.
In the interview I did with
Hickey, he explained that Klaus thought:
"No, no, no, he's a ghost... he doesn't
yell anymore. He's a dead man and he's living
with the dead. And when you live with the
dead you whisper because voices have no
Riiiiiiiiight. Once Klaus
makes his exit (taking his $75,000 for two
days' work with him) the flick slides into
a Z-grade INDIANA JONES wannabe with Gene
and Kelly trying to find all of the hidden
rubies while Max and Lupe shadow their every
move. Complete with pith helmet, safari
outfit, monocle and dinner tuxedo.
Weird but not unwatchable,
REVENGE OF THE STOLEN STARS is strictly
for Kinski Kompletists only.