Saturday, January 18, 2014

TOMBOY (1985)

Directed by Herb Freed
Written by Ben Zelig
Starring Betsy Russell, Gerard Christopher, Kristi Somers, Richard Erdman, Philip Sterling, Eric Douglas & Paul Gunning

TOMBOY lets us know where we are from the beginning. A flashback to our lead Tommy (Betsy Russell) winning at a baseball game with her proud, astronaut father in attendance.
Then a long crawl of credits as we pan over everything in her bedroom. The alarm goes off, her dog wakes her up and we see she has grown into a woman. She is also the best mechanic in the city, maybe even the world.
She also has a secret crush for professional race car driver Randy Starr (Gerard Christopher) who is being sponsored by local rich kid, Ernie Leeds Jr., or Junior for short (Eric Douglas).
Thanks to her outgoing friend Seville (Kristi Somers) Tommy is dragged up to Juniors’ mansion where she falls hard for Randy. But, Randy treats her like a girl and she knows she can beat him with her hand built race car so, the gauntlet if thrown!
This is a classic 80’s teen comedy that Crown International is known for. Sprinkled with ample nudity, long, drawn out sex scenes of the R variety and musical numbers and montages throughout the film. In fact, this one had so many songs in it I made an attempt to track down any of the bands that contributed to the film.
Yeah, I couldn’t find one of them. Anyone else interested in trying their hand at this, here is the list of performers;

SOUVENIR (Not the 1999 band. They wouldn’t have been around for this.)

Good luck and if you do find something substantial I will include it in the book and give you credit as well.

Now, back to the movie. Tommy’s friend, Seville while energetic just comes across as a dumb blonde. When I first saw Eric Douglas I thought he was the lead singer of Wang Chung, not the dead son of Kirk Douglas. Who knew? Yeah, I know everyone except for me.
In the credits on IMDB and other places they say that Tommy’s actual name is Tomasina. It’s like they don’t read the credits in a movie. It just says Tomboy so Tommy would be a natural progression.
With the exception of the awful hairdo, Betsy Russell is gorgeous in the film and I like that she has renewed interest as Jill Tuck, the ex wife of Jigsaw from the SAW film franchise.
The film JUST ONE OF THE GUYS was released the same year so it may have been an influence on this film while sharing nothing in common plot wise, but seems like something Crown International would do to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the higher budget flick.
TOMBOY is a classic formula flick for 80’s teen comedies. This being the third one I’ve watched in the last few days I can see that there is a specific formula for the ones coming from Crown International. They all have a slow motion love making scene that goes longer than anyone wants. They all have a minimum of two music montage scenes, probably because nothing pads out that 90 minutes running time like a montage.
While I prefer MY CHAUFFEUR over this primarily for the presence of Deborah Foreman, this is still a great flick of its time.
And all the cars are cool. Tommy’s car has this weird control panel that is reminiscent of Knight Rider and has a weird intake scoop in the back.
A fun flick with an overdose of 80’s pop music that no one 

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