Friday, September 4, 2009

Rediscovering the Past: Lord of Illusions and the Undeniable Star Power of Scott Bakula

It's weird how random conversations can will movies to be on television. Yesterday, while in the throes of a Mark Harmon*-driven chat, the subject matter inevitably turned to Scott Bakula. Over the course of the Bakula turn, the stranger to me in the group mentioned In the Mouth of Madness**.

*During the course of this conversation, Mark Harmon was obviously called "Summer School", and the fact that he was People's Sexiest Man Alive (in 1986, although I thought it was 1989 or 1990, for some odd reason) was thrown into the mix.

**The fucking scene in the car in the fog where they keep passing the same old man on the bicycle totally trips me out. Past that, I remember very little of this film other than the fact that Ryan and I rented it with Gordo and Else back in high school. I seem to remember Ryan and I being the only ones even remotely interested by the one-hour mark or so.

I didn't really get the connection at the time, and then I realized that he really meant Lord of Illusions, but it was far too late to correct him, which is a shame because the whole conversation was kind of revolving around him hitting on this girl, which I've got no problem with in theory, but in reality there is always this incredibly awkward energy that then looms over the flow of conversation. It would have been nice to bust that up, if only a little.

Anyway, this conversation in which the words 'lord', 'of', and 'illusions' were never uttered in succession but the allusion to the film was there in spirit and in my mind clearly set the gears in motion over at HBO because I'm sitting here watching it right now.

Let me tell you, I had forgotten just what this film really was since we rented it and watched it one afternoon right before Dazed and Confused (odd twin-bill, I know) at Stein's house.

Just off the top of my head, I'm hard-pressed to think of many movies that combine the worlds of film noir, horror, and desert acid movies, but Clive Barker elected to do it here. It was a bold move, I guess, but not one that ever completely works.

What does work is R-rated Scott Bakula as a private investigator. Why no one decided that Dr. Sam Beckett needed more work in the hard-boiled world of noir (and real, stylized film noir, not this amalgamation) is beyond my comprehension. Let me say right now that these short-sighted producers/casting directors can go screw.

What I can say is that watching this makes me want to watch Necessary Roughness again, but I guess that could be said on just about any day of the week...

Now, for your Bakula treat, something I totally forgot existed. Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing this goddamn internet.

And to bring it full circle:

Now if only I could find video of Bakula in his starring role in the TV series adaptation of Gung Ho. I guess this will have to do...


Weibel said...

I know you don't care for Sunspot, but they do have a nice tribute song to Mr. Quantum Leap.

Weibel said...

How did Gung Ho never make it...I me just look at the supporting cast, Clint Howard, Patti Yasutake (nurse Ogawa from SNG)

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