|Copyright 1980 El Pico S.A.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 18 October 2008
- Officer Dave Speed - "Hi, I'm a nice guy with super powers."
- Sergeant Willy Dunlop - Ernest Borgnine! Hater of rookie cops and connoisseur of the dogs (and I do mean ugly women). He is also Fred Astair's (fraternal) twin brother.
- Evelyn - It is sad that some women are born without a last name, and are forced to marry so that they can finally be complete. Quite fortunately, there are always dozens of bachelors available who have very attractive last names. How does "Evelyn Speed" sound to you?
- Silvius - A local drunk who immediately grasps the extent of Officer Speed's power, along with the inherent weakness. Where would the world be without sots suffering from epiphanies? Back in the Stone Age, that is where! I bet that the hairy little brute who figured out how to make fire was blitzed out of his mind on fermented berry juice when he started rubbing sticks together.
- Tony Torpedo - What an original name for a crook whose criminal operation is based aboard a fishing boat.
- Paradise - One of Torpedo's goons.
- Rosy Labouche - Aging movie star who has been put out to pasture and fallen in with Tony. Be glad that the pair did not get married. "Rosy Torpedo" sounds like a porn star's name, and the only people interested in watching a woman of her age engaging in that sort of activity is the Germans (German porn constantly causes me to ask, "WTF?").
|Officer Dave Speed is on Death Row, serenely awaiting his next appointment with the Grim Reaper. Outside, protestors wave signs, reporters interview people who have no personal connection or knowledge of the events that led Dave to be sentenced to death, and Rosy Labouche asks that a big bouquet of red flowers be placed in the same room where Speed is going to ride the lightning. Officer Speed is eating plate after plate of beans. A priest comes in to take the condemned man's final confession - for the fourth time. The State of Florida has attempted to execute Dave before, but poison gas, a hangman's noose, and even a firing squad all failed to dispatch the fallen angel of justice.
I tell you, something very funny is going on here. Dave is far too good natured to be guilty of murdering his friend, Sergeant Dunlop.
Before some of you start thinking that Officer Speed's miraculous survival, despite the best attempts of the Florida penal system, is a case of divine intervention, I should explain the movie. Dave is exposed to red plutonium (or something like that) by a secret government missile test while trying to serve a parking summons to a member of a remote Everglades-dwelling American Indian tribe. The bad thing about the whole mess is that Officer Speed does not get a chance to deliver his summons. The wigwam residents are all absent when he arrives at the community. The good thing about Speed's exposure to red plutonium is that he gains super powers.
See? A completely plausible reason for Florida not being able to execute Officer Dave Speed. He has super powers that were caused by a freak red plutonium accident in the middle of the Everglades. If that still screams "divine intervention" to you...you are not a Baptist, and I could have sworn you were going to turn out to be a Baptist.
What does Officer Speed do with his newfound abilities? Well, he catches a few crooks, and completely confounds Sergeant Dunlop. The older officer is not too fond of the rookie. By that, I mean in the way old cops can be cantankerous without being genuinely malicious. You know how crusty old men are like that, right? Imagine just such an old man who was forced to work with a younger officer, especially somebody like Dave. The inexperienced, but earnest, younger cop displays ESP, telekinesis, nigh invulnerability, and a bright and happy demeanor. If that is not enough to get a geezer's blood pressure up, I do not know what will.
"You cut out that durn nonsense about seeing through walls and making coffee cups float through the air! You hear me! I ain't ever met nobody in my life who could spin a tall tale like that, an' expect me to believe it. 'Super powers!' Catching bullets in your teeth! Blech!"
Man, I used to love tormenting old people.
Something to ponder about Dave's super powers is that a police officer with all of those abilities is a terrifying prospect, even to the average citizen. His x-ray vision does reveal an illegal gambling parlor in the back of a truck, his invulnerability helps him survive nabbing a pair of robbers, and the telekinesis removes a truck blocking traffic, but can you imagine someone with less boyish enthusiasm and innocence (than Officer Speed) with that sort of omnipotence? It scares me. Anyone with that kind of power, who is not worthy to be a Lensman, would be a bane upon civilization.
What would I do, if I had Officer Speed's powers? I would avoid driving entirely. It seems like every time I get in the car, I encounter some random idiot who is doing something they should not be doing, and annoying me by doing it. With telekinesis, I would be extremely dangerous to tailgating trolls, weaving through heavy traffic morons, and people who just pull out in front of me without looking. These meetings leave me with one desire: to be able to rip distributor caps apart with my mind.
Enough about my frustration with the lack of common courtesy on this nation's highways.
The one thing that Officer Speed cannot figure out about his super powers is why he suddenly loses them sometimes. Quite perplexing, that problem. One minute he can run faster than a car, but the next minute he stumbles off the road and crashes into a building. Even a romantic beach encounter with Evelyn that ends badly when she reveals a bright red swimsuit does not clue the super fuzz to what his particular version of kryptonite might be. Dave does make the mistake of using his powers on Evelyn at one point; the moment she snaps out of the boyfriend-induced paralysis she delivers a ringing slap to his grinning mug. That will teach him! In fact, let it be a lesson to all of us. Young women want to be restrained with furry handcuffs and silk ropes, not your mind.
In Dave's defense, Evelyn was in the process of storming off in a huff when he "freeze framed" her, and the only thing he did while she was paralyzed was to express his feelings in a polite manner.
The real king of crime in Miami is Mr. Torpedo. His operation puts all of the other nefarious activities afoot in the city to shame. Mr. Torpedo is producing counterfeit $1 bills. Egad! Why not print fake $20 bills? Do you know how much more time and effort it is going to take for Mr. Torpedo to become a millionaire? Twenty times more! Yes, really. Do the math. Twenty times more work. If Tony likes doing things the hard way, why doesn't he just print fake Korean won?
Searching (without a warrant, might I add) Torpedo's ship, the Barracuda, turns up a whole pile of phony bills, along with the equipment used to make them. Sergeant Dunlop stays aboard the ship while Officer Speed returns to the station to summon more officers. Sadly, Willy is knocked unconscious by Torpedo's goons and locked in the freezer. The counterfeiters scuttle the Barracuda to cover their tracks. When he gets back to the station, Dave discovers that he is under arrest for the murder of his partner. Rosy Labouche helps to frame the astonished young officer. She wants Torpedo's forgery business to flourish.
So that is why Dave is on Death Row, and also why Labouche delivered a bouquet of red flowers for the execution. The evil ploy fails utterly, because Speed is able to talk the priest into removing the bouquet. Instead of becoming another victim of Edison's competition against Westinghouse, Dave breaks out, dives into the ocean, talks to a fish, and swims to the sunken Barracuda, where he retrieves his frozen friend Willy from the meat locker (note: not a euphemism), and blows a huge chewing bubble that rises to the surface; it then drifts over the city, with the two policemen on top.
I swear that I do not understand what people were thinking during the late '70s / early '80s.
In spite of the fact that Sergeant Dunlop must have been frozen and submerged for at least fifteen years while Officer Speed exhausted his options for appeal, the older cop is ready for action. The crime fighting pair brings in Torpedo and Labouche in no time flat. There is time for a happy ending and one more spin of the theme song, then the movie is over. Not a bad way to spend ninety-seven minutes, and I do enjoy the catchy theme song, but they might play it just a little too often.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Florida's Death Row features an "all you can eat" beans bar.
- The .38 special was originally developed during the Cold War to be used as an anti-missile system.
- Charlie the Tuna used to be a cop.
- CPR is a form of foreplay.
- Jesus was a cop, not a carpenter.
- Bottled water used to come in one gallon steel containers.
- Police departments should discourage their officers from watching too much of the "Three Stooges."
- Improperly using a pool cue may cause kidney failure.
- Be glad that William Castle never designed an electric chair.
- 1 min - This reminds me of our old television set. That thing sucked.
- 12 mins - Man, when it rains, it pours.
- 18 mins - That was incredibly evil. Funny, but evil.
- 26 mins - Either my color vision or the television tint is off, because I see red in this scene - yet Dave seems to be unaffected.
- 37 mins - Is that kitchen left over from the early '70s?
- 39 mins - Not to worry, the old, all steel construction automobile broke his fall.
- 51 mins - No. No, no, no, no, NO!
- 57 mins - Which is a job for the Secret Service...
- 64 mins - So, your weakness is "Plutonium Red." How common is that?
- 72 mins - That is some of the most god-awful wallpaper I have ever seen. What is really scary is that it seems to match Ernest Borgnine.
- 84 mins - What about any flotsam or jetsam from a ship sinking? I would imagine there would be a little bit of that.
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Dave: "Why are you getting so mad? It sounds like you're sorry I'm still alive." |
Dunlop: "Well, what do you expect? If a man gets caught in the middle of an atomic blast, the least he can do is drop dead!"
Dave: "But I told you, Sarge: everything turned bright red, there was this roaring sound, and the next thing I knew I came to under a mountain of sand."
||Dunlop: "You had everybody disappear? You want me to believe that?" |
Dave: "It's the truth!"
Dunlop: "Now look, you - you stop this nonsense, or so help me...you're going to be driving a garbage truck! You got it?"
Dave: "Got it."
||Dunlop: "Listen, you - I want you over here right away, so you can tell the Chief exactly what you've been telling me about all that 'super power' stuff. You got it? And you've got five minutes to get here! You understand?" |
Chief: "Five minutes, Sergeant? He lives on the other side of town."
(Dave walks in.)
Dave: "Reporting for duty, Sir."
Dunlop: "You see that, Chief? You see that? Those are the cute little tricks I've got to put up with every single day. Well, I've had it! I've had it right up to here!"
||Dave: "I've finally found out why my powers come and go. It's the color red." |
Dunlop: "Red? What are you talking about?"
Dave: "Whenever I see red, I lose my powers."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Dave accidentally dove out a window, but, thanks to his super powers, he was unhurt and able to dash up twenty flights of stairs to save the day. |
Holy hallucinogenic donuts, that is a catchy theme song!
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