Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Repo Jake (1990)

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Tagline:

Jake was ready to lead a quiet life... but things just keep hotting up.

Back of DVD:

Jake Baxter takes a job as a repo-man with hopes of living the quiet life. Plans go sour when he's whipped into supersonic action involving a vicious crime lord, a mob of angry car owners, a sadistic porno ring and lastly a brutal, illegal and very lethal car race known throughout L.A.'s underworld as the "Slam Track".

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Movie Review:

Dan Haggerty (famous for being Grizzly Adams) stars in this earlier production from PM Entertainment and it's a seriously mixed bag. It starts off brilliantly. Jake is this loveable, huggable lumberjack type who is moving to LA to earn the big bucks as a repo man. Swinging harmonica blues plays in the background as Jake shuffles off his coach and walks down the street carrying a portable TV. He's such a nice guy he pays the first busker he sees. Right in front of him a woman is mugged by some thug and Jake is immediately to the rescue, catching the guy and throwing him through the window of a pizza shop multiple times. This heroic display pleases the woman, Jenny (Dana Bentley), who suggests Jake rents a room in the same building she is in. His landlord looks like Elvira in a wedding dress.

So Jake starts his job repossessing cars and we meet the most cliched team you could possibly find in 1990. You get the tall guy with long blonde hair - called Blondie I might add - that looks like Dave Mustaine from Megadeth, the wiry old man that's been in the job since ought six, the accountant-type of guy that's never managed to successfully repossess a single car, the "ethnic" guy with a heavy New York Italian accent they refer to as a spick and the morbidly obese black guy that writes impromptu rap songs. They all work for an irritable guy called Bulldog. I'm not making this shit up.

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Jake goes on many repo jobs and they all end in various "hilarious" ways. The first one he gets chased by the owner and pinned to the windscreen while the car does donuts. Hysterical! The next one he uses his past military training (I forgot to mention, he's an ex marine! This guy that could push a tree down, an ex marine!) to repossess a helicopter which he can't fly properly and the owner hangs onto the side of when in mid air. Amazing! He goes after a car at night owned by a huge ex-con type who he calls Tiny and get's thrashed around the parking lot, until Jake grabs him by the balls and won't let go. Side-splitting comedy! All the while the worst, absolute worst, Casio keyboard demo music is playing.

There are some serious random scenes in this, but none more so than the scene where Jake goes back to his apartment, switches on his black and white TV and watches some cowboy movie while drinking soup and eating half a loaf of bread. This goes on for a minute. THAT'S IT. It went absolutely nowhere! Jake and his new neighbour Jenny also try developing a romantic relationship which is so funny to watch, especially when during a reading for a play she is auditioning for - again, I'm not making this up - she leans in and kisses his walrus face. I burst out laughing. I'm sure bearded guys need love too but man did it make me laugh.

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Ultimately Jake gets involved in a derby race by one of his colleagues who has a muscle car that "can't lose". They even managed to make the race scenes tiresome unfortunately, and it gets worse when the local pimp puts a 50K bet on Jake to win and uses his new girlfriend Jenny as collateral. The pimp has a sidekick that has the best flattop hair I've ever seen though.

There are also boobs. Not only do we get to watch Jake try to repossess cars, but we see some of his colleagues too. One of them falls for the old "maybe we can work something out" routine and has ridiculous sex with a bimbo girl in an RV. There's more boobs when we see the bad guy pimp filming a porno movie. The scene was purely there so they could say they had boobs in the movie.

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You would think this all sounds awesome, a veritable goldmine of craptacular entertainment. And you'd be right for the first twenty minutes. I thought this was going to be the best movie ever based on the start. Then it just gets tiring. The jokes aren't funny, the bad guy is rubbish and there are far too many secondary characters you don't give a shit about. There's a whole scene where some of the guys put lipstick on the cheeks of another guy and send him on a repo job. This is the kind of comedy you expect in an after-school special, not something that has a picture of a lumberjack with a shotgun on the cover. Incidentally, that photo must have been taken especially for the cover as I don't remember Jake ever holding a gun once in this movie.

I'm disappointed that the premise of a repo man with a shotgun kicking arse was not explored. Instead they went for the PG action comedy with bad 'dads jokes' and added softcore sex scenes to get the R rating, with only ONE explosion. Worth a watch with friends who are already drunk and on a high from a Billy Blanks movie and need some light entertainment, but warn them first. You might want to fast forward through the tedium and laugh at the highlights - smashing through the window, breaking Tiny's nuts, kissing the girl, guy with the flat top, etc. The movie ends with the fat guy rapping over the credits, which you can see in the trailer below. It sums the movie up nicely I think.

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The Video:

Soft but representative of the source material and generally quite clear. The audio was fine but the low budget is evident when interior shots are filmed with a bad microphone causing echoes. Still, for this film the presentation is fine. Runtime 86 minutes. NOTE the following screenshots were located elsewhere, my DVD wouldn't read in the Mac for some reason.

Sourced From:

eBay on a double disc with Forced to Kill for a couple of bucks.

Trailer:

More Screens:

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10 comments:

  1. Excellent Review! Dan Haggerty is the man! One of these days, i will have to purchase this. Love old PM flicks!

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  2. This certainly sounds, "interesting" to say the least! Anyways if you want a better Haggerty film, you chould really check out Chance or Love And Dynamite.

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  3. Thanks guys. Like venom has said in the past, PM movies are hit or miss. This was in the middle, leaning towards 'miss', but not on the scale of an Anna Nicole-Smith miss.

    Love and Dynamite looks rather obsucre venom, not even five votes on IMDB yet.

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  4. Yeah, I can't find a single review of that film anywhere,(though it is availible on Ebay pretty cheap, BTW it really sucks Amazon isn't availible in Australia)which is why I wanted to see you review it.

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  5. Thanks for the heads up venom. While we don't have Amazon here in Australia, they are happy to ship to us, only some of the market place sellers won't. Our dollar has hit parity with the US so I've been buying large from Amazon recently! I see a VHS of Love and Dynamite for 99c on there, what a cheeseball cover!

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  6. Oh, that's good to know, but there is one PM film in particular that you should exercise caution with as it's pretty damn dull except for the first and last 10 minutes(even those few minutes aren't great, just tolerable compared to the rest of the film)-the film in question being Coldfire, next to that film, the Anna Nicole Smith film To The Limit looks like a masterpiece by comparison!

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  7. Haha, duly noted! I will make that one of the last PM's to check out. I've still got plenty to get to.

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  8. I was considering hitting this one myself a while back, but after I reviewed Cold Fire and didn't get much of a reaction, I set it aside in favor of other films. I'll probably have to review it myself eventually just to say I did, but it's disappointing to hear it wasn't so hot. I'm sure you were basing your expectations on the too sweet trailer, because I know when I saw it, I was like "this looks great!" Classic PM, the film doesn't live up to the promise of the trailer.

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  9. It is pretty typical of PM isn't it, though on occasion they get it right. This wasn't bad when considered as a funny bad movie to poke fun at, but it certainly isn't the rollercoaster of action the cover alludes to.

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  10. Been reading the site for a little while, and repo jake would be probably my fav trashy b grade film. I find it a lot of fun.

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