Apparently the world is conspiring to force Kim Richards back into my life.
Now Kim Richards' name may not be instantly recognizable to many, but I think just about any straight male or bi-curious/lesbian female who hit the magical age of ten years old between the years 1975 and 1990 probably had a crush on her, even if her name does not ring a bell.
For those who may need a reminder, Kim Richards was Tia in the original Witch Mountain series and starred in a slew of Disney movies in the mid-to-late-70s and branched out into other work like the original The Assault on Precinct 13 and The Car. She also landed the role of Ruthie Adler in the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off "Hello, Larry".
While you might think that it was the new Witch Mountain movie that has stirred up memories of a childhood crush, it actually is almost entirely coincidental. About a week and a half ago, Chad and I went to The Legend of Billie Jean (which I've actually been meaning to post about) at the Alamo downtown and before the movie they showed a bunch of Youth in Revolt trailers one of which was for Tuff Turf, which was more or less an 80s re-imagining of Rebel Without a Cause starring James Spader. Since seeing the trailer, we have been itching to see the movie. Well, last night Meatballs II was on and this was the first film in which Kim Richards looks like this:
Well, I saw Tuff Turf tonight with Chad, Mark, and Jack Attack, and it was pretty damn awesome. When I first saw the trailer a little while back, Spader's love interest looked very familiar, but the film was very of its day, and Richards was made up in such a way that I did not immediately recognize her. She spends the entire film being pretty damn hot. And the film--aside from its somewhat unconventional usage of performed music in the film (songs performed in their entirety--and that is plural songs)--is honestly pretty badass. While Spader certainly seems to have suffered from Campbell Scott Syndrome* as a young man, he is about 1,000 times cooler than Campbell Scott could ever have dreamed of being and quite successfully pulls off the semi-aloof rebel character--complete with leather jacket and a sidekick (although I don't think anyone would ever say Robert Downey, Jr. was lame, while the same can not be said about Sal Mineo).
*As I think I have stated in this space before while talking about Singles, I think, Campbell Scott seems to have been born as a 35-year-old man. I think it is safe to say that James Spader sort of suffers the same affliction. While he certainly was age-appropriate to play the part of a high schooler (under 25), he still didn't look it.
But back to Kim Richards, she looked really great in the film, which led me to begin wondering what ever happened to her? Well, Tuff Turf was essentially the last movie she did before having kids. She did one more movie five years later, Escape, but after that left acting for the next decade-plus. Well, while I was trying to find out what happened to her I discovered perhaps the weirdest part of her story. Her sister? Paris Hilton's mother.
I can't say I have ever liked listening to Paris Hilton talk because she is, quite frankly, a bit on the vapid side. That being said, I have always found her kind of oddly attractive. I mean, she repulses me with her actions and demeanor, but there was always something about her that kind of appealed to me. Finding out that on some level, there is a bit of Kim Richards in her DNA makes me feel a whole lot better about that.
Now to get back to it, here is a clip from Tuff Turf:
The credits only list Jonathan Elias as a songwriter on the soundtrack listing, so I have to hope that Spader was singing there. Here is the real reason that you would want to watch this movie, though.
The weirdest thing about both of those clips is that the music is kind of out of sync, tonally, with the true nature of the film, which is actually quite a bit darker than the Jack Mack and the Heart Attack in the trailer, too.