Tuesday, 1 November 2011

EAT AND RUN (1986) Ron Silver

Taking time off my legendary 'Prisoner Cell Block H' marathon (Ep 164 and counting) It's high time I reviewed this hugely' underrated comedy (and staple ITV 'Night-time' movie in the early 90's) starring the late (great) Ron Silver as bumbling detective Mickey McSorley. I won't bore anyone with my usual (would-be droll) intro shit, and just get straight down to facts.

Driving through a desert highway, an old man (named Aldo) hears a crash, followed by a blinding red light in the sky (probably the ONLY special effect in the entire movie) just before picking up a mono symbolic bald overweight hitch-hiker (Street Trash and Troma favourite R.L Ryan) who suddenly gets an attack of the munchies as Aldo announces that he's an Italian. Quicker than 'Gary Glitter on the next flight out to Vietnam' Aldo is eaten by the hitch-hiker (off screen off course) and all that is spat out are his buttons. The hitch-hiker is (in fact) an alien, and once he's eaten 'Italian' there's no shortage of ready meals as he (inexplicably) drives the stolen van towards Little Italy.

We cut to a police station (replete with cheesy sax music) and in the captains office, a voice-over informs us (in true Bogart-style) that here sits a broken down old slob of a man. All of this would be fine, except our hero (and humble narrator) Mickey McSorley is speaking his 'monologues' out loud...much to the displeasure of his foul-mouthed captain (who never stops eating) and seems more concerned that he (quote) "Ordered a Fudge the fish....and they sent me fucking Cookie-Face!" than the dozen of missing people in the Little Italy area. Like a toilet-less man (i.e. nothing to go on) McSorley decides to visit (Bleeding-heart) Judge Cohen, to see if she's let any homicidal maniacs out on bail this week.

Arriving at the courthouse, we see Judge Cohen picking out verdicts like lottery numbers. Despite her methods, McSorely has the hots for the foxy judge, and as she she starts to walk away, he laments over what to do, in this priceless scene:

McSorley: "Let her just walk out of my life like that? I had to do something and I had to do something fast, but what?...How? How could I tell her in a word or gesture, that she was the most elegant, most desirable woman I had ever seen in my life? There was only way...The universal language of love, I had to give it a try?" (He then shouts her) "YOUR HONOUR!"

She turns around (and true to his word) McSorley declares his passion with the following gesture:

Which obviously works, as we cut to them frolicking in the boudoir. Several positions later (a post-coital) McSorley opens his heart to his latest conquest:

McSorley: "How was it for you?"
Judge Cohen: "How was what for me?"
McSorley: "Forget it"

Judge Cohen: "What's the matter?"
McSorley: "I promised myself I would wouldn't fall in love again"
Judge Cohen: "Isn't that interesting, I did too"
McSorley: "Well, I guess I broke my promise"
Judge Cohen: "I didn't"

Judge Cohen: "You've been hurt haven't you?"
McSorley: "Who hasn't been?"
Judge Cohen: "Me"

It is then casually implied that Judge Cohen has also given our bumbling hero a dose of herpes for his troubles. With the Alien at large and the body-count rising, the Police Chief asks McSorley to guess how many people have gone missing (and also how many guesses one can have at guessing how many people have gone missing) which almost brings about a suspected connection between the names of the victims (which are: Cantonlli, Pucio, Gregagorio, Frederico, Ginelli, Impellateri, Leonardo, Martinelli, Robertero, Santini, Terasini and Sanbini) Neither he (or the Captain) see any link in the surnames.

McSorley hits the streets and questions an elderly road warden informs him that it may be down to the 'Norwegians', but it is our Heroes visit to Scarpettis Pizzeria' that brings him face to face with the Italian-eating Alien (who promptly eats Mr Scarpetti) However, McSorley has no bullets in his pistol (and despite vocalising the 'Bang' sound) the Alien flees the scene. Returning to the police station, McSorley informs the captain that a Alien is responsible for the murders, but his (dessert devouring) captain is more perplexed with "What to do with all these fucking Norwegians?" (....cue a shot of a family in viking hats, sat in the corner)

Back at home, McSorley is having more unmemorable sex with Judge Cohen (who he now refers to as "Your Honour Darling") Unmoved by any of McSorleys hang-ups, the Judge pleasures herself (off-screen) with a vibrator, as our ever grateful (and clearly, deaf) cop sings her praises for being so selfless. As her orgasmic screams become louder, McSorley is oblivious to it all.

McSorely (out of ideas) decides to visit his father, legendary sleuth Sorely McSorley (a Sherlock Holmes type English gent with an uncanny knack at deduction) hence his initial reaction to his sons visit:

Sorely McSorley: "He shifted his weight nervously. I could sense that he was troubled. The air had grown thicker, most likely from the dust on his shoes....That told me a lot. It was no ordinary dust, it was dust mixed with traces of soft coal emissions...the kind of soot common to only one area of Manhattan...South of 14th street. But it was a fine day and no-one would be firing a furnace...Unless it came from an are where there was a high concentration of pizza makers...Therefore I deduced that he had been spending a lot of time in Little Italy"

After also deducing that his son is clearly not capable of satisfying a women in bed, McSorley Snr concludes his findings on such slim clues:
"This was no ordinary killer he was after, otherwise he wouldn't be here?.........I had nothing to go on....only a hunch....But I felt it just might be a huge ugly creature from outer space"

Back at the station, the chief is busy grilling a cake delivery boy about a seven layered cake only containing six layers. And it's Dilemmas like this that force the chief to not only kick McSorley off the case, but also the police force. McSorley undeterred, has a plan, but it involves sneaking into the 'narcotics impound'...where he is sold a huge bag a morphine (but also forced into buying a complimentary steak-knife and designer patio furniture from the smart-ass desk-jockey) That night (after another round of bad sex) McSorley suggests that Judge Cohen release a known drug dealer into his custody (for rehabilitation purposes) when in fact, he plans to use the perp as bait for the alien. Judge Cohen agrees, and the next morning McSorley picks up his new charge. Our hero (foolishly) refers to the released criming as a "Pisher" resulting in the following exchange:

Dealer: "I'm a pusher not a pisher"
"What's the difference?"
Dealer: "Are you kidding...Pisher takes the wrap...A pusher passes to a pisher"
McSorley: "Who passes to a pusher?"
Dealer: "A pasher"
McSorley: "Where's that?"
Dealer: "In Persia"
McSorley: "Ahh...So the pasher is from Persia?"
Dealer: "Originally he was from Prussia"
McSorley: "I see"
Dealer: "He drives around putting the pressure on the pushers"
McSorley: "In what?"
Dealer: "A Porsche"
McSorley: "Just a plain Porsche?"
Dealer: "Nah, a plusher Porsche"
McSorley: "Let me get this straight...The Prussian Persian Pasher in his plusher Porsche, puts pressure on the pusher who passes to a pisher?"
Dealer: "Of course!"

McSorley straps four bags of morphine to the dealer has him dress up as an organ grinder (replete with toy monkey) as the worlds biggest tranquiliser to bait the Alien. Turning his back for a second, McSorley finds the alien suitably doped up after eating the dealer. However once under arrest, the alien soon beats the wrap (thanks to bleeding heart Judge Cohen, and noted Psychiatrist 'Hansel Gretal') on the grounds that he is a juvenile and unable to have understood the rights read to him. The alien is given a name (Murray) and Judge Cohen dumps McSorley, and moves the rotund eating machine into her home (not to mention her bed)

Off the force and out of love, a broken McSorley drowns his sorrows in a local bar. Retaining a shred of dignity, he chooses not to end it all on common cheap liquor, so instead sits at the bar downing an endless (slightly pathetic) array of exotic cocktails. Making a chance phone call to Cohens grandmother, McSorley discovers that his "Honour Darling" is in fact Italian (gasp!) Judge Cohen is due to introduce Murray to her grandmother at the family run 'Zepole' stand. Against the clock, McSorley visits his famous father once more, for advice.

Sorley McSorley comes up with the idea that his son must disguise the grandmother, to cover up her otherwise Italian appearance. Arriving at the Zepole stand, McSorley leaves the 'Standard Hasidic Disguise' kit with her wise-ass son (who's constantly frying his jewelry and swearing) One fucked-up plan later, and Murray whisks Cohen away to be eaten in private. Fearful for her life, Cohen has enough time to ask a Mime Artist to warn McSorley of her impending fate.

At her appartment, McSorley consoles an unconscious Cohen (a tongue-twister in it's own right) and explains to her the painstaking levels required to deduce that a mime had informed him of her predicament.
McSorley: "When I heard nothing but silence, I knew it must be a mime, so I traced the call, and found him at a pay phone"
Cohen: "And then he told you?"
McSorley: "It wasn't easy getting information from that guy"
Cohen: "The mime?"
McSorley: "Mo Mar"
Cohen: "Mo Mar?"
McSorley: "Mo Mar the mime wouldn't murmour"
Cohen: "What did you do?"
McSorley: "Called his mama"
Cohen: "His Mama?"
McSorley: "Mimi"
Cohen: "Mimi?"
McSorley: "But mo-mar was mum to mama mimi"
Cohen: "What did you do?"
McSorley: "I said m'am, must I maim mum mime Mo Mar to make a murmour, Mimi?"
Cohen: "You maimed Mimi's Mo Mar?"
McSorley: "Couldn't...They both secretly loved to go to France"
Cohen: "France?"
McSorley: "Montmarte"
Cohen: "Let me see if I have this straight....The unmaimed mum mime Mo Mar and his mama Mimi may meet in Montmare?"
McSorley: "That's what it means"
Cohen: "My-my"

Anyhow (to cut an already long review short) McSorley pops out for batteries for his sweethearts (unbeknown) vibrator. He returns to find Murray the alien about to eat Cohen. McSorley tosses a cabbage patch doll at the alien, who nurses it with compassion...until he spys the 'MADE IN ITALY' tag, and proceeds to chomp it. Luckily our (not-so) bumbling hero has laced the doll with hidden poison, thus killing the creature.

Back on the police force, McSorley is informed by the Police captain, that despite saving the day, Murray the alien hadn't (in fact) killed anyone since his acquittal, and that McSorley is going to indicted for manslaughter. Just as things look bleak for our intrepid detective, salvation appears in the shape of Judge Cohen, who bursts into the captains office and announces she'll be leading the prosecution....and will be seeking the death penalty for our luckless hero!

The End

EAT AND RUN is a deadpan classic. If you're a fan of the Leslie Neilson brand of humour (but with more profanity and adult content) then this is the movie for you. The fact it's played straight is the key. Ron Silver (a great actor in his own right) should have done more comedies. His timing, mannerisms and body language really put him up there with the all time greats. For a low-budget NEW WORLD cheapie, it certainly delivers the goods and is surprisingly well written (unlike this overlong rambling review)

It's movies like this that confirm my belief that Adam Sandler and Jim Carey are nothing but fucking talentless overpaid childrens entertainers. If you like ultra corny, low rent, Deadpan, gross comedy (think National Lampoons Class Reunion) mixed with some genuinely witty wordplay and sight-gags, then EAT AND RUN is a great way to kill 80 minutes (and a timely reminder that comedies didn't always have to rely on box-office oxygen-thieves and huge concepts, to make the punters chuckle)

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this in forever, but I love Ron Silver, and probably should hit this one again. I think you make a great point about actors like Silver who we don't associate with comedy but are really great at it, and your mentioning of Leslie Nielsen is an apt one, because he was the same way. I think because they're such great serious actors, they can do the deadpan aspect much better without trying to overdo it the way a comedic actor like Carey or Sandler would, and ultimately that's what makes the deadpan work for us.