Throwback: Leonard Part 6
I debated on whether I should attend the Los Angeles Film Festival this year, but decided against it–I need to save my scrilla as I am moving back down to LA after my lease is up at the end of July, then I will be in film fest heaven all year round.
I was slightly bummed about not going, so to appease myself I have immersed myself in watching movies all weekend, both Black and YT. Since this blog is only about the Black kind, I’ll share with you the gem *cough* I saw yesterday on cable, the 1987 film “Leonard Part 6”, starring the must-have-been-drugged-and-beaten-to-do-this-movie, Dr. William H. Cosby, Jr. aka Bill Cosby.
You can best believe that a movie is going to be beyond a complete and total disaster when the star of it goes on national TV to tell you not to waste your time or money to go see it, which I read he actually did at the time. Why he even considered doing this project for even 10 seconds during a time when he ruled the world with the “Cosby Show” is a mystery parallel to the alien crop circles; there is simply no rational or logical explanation. Maybe he was blackmailed by one of his many rumoured mistresses.
I read a review of it on DVD Verdict, which I will partially post here, because it sums up so very perfectly how I felt about this crapper of a movie–I guess Bill without Sidney Poitier in a film is like a Mercedes without an engine:
Leonard Parker (Bill Cosby, Ghost Dad) is a former CIA super-agent, now turned millionaire restaurateur. When he’s not in the kitchen of one of his mega-successful restaurants he’s languishing in his mansion, pining for his ex-wife.
Meanwhile, government agents are being systematically killed by seemingly harmless animals. The most recent death, that of a spy devoured by a maniacal rainbow trout, prompts the CIA to recruit Parker back into action.
Leonard resists, but when it’s made clear to him by his wife she hates his guts, he turns to his other love: tooling around his armored Porsche and causing large amounts of property damage. So he suits up and heads for the International Tuna corporation, a front for the evil Medusa Johnson (Gloria Foster) and her covert operation to convert the world’s population to vegetarians by using a device that turns harmless animals into bloodthirsty killers.
Chaos ensues, followed by lots of incoherent nonsense, then more chaos, probably immediately followed by the viewer place-kicking the DVD out the living room window, then falling to his or her knees and begging his or her Divinity to forgive him or her for wasting the past 85 minutes of his or her life.
The strongest part of the movie is the opening, where a rainbow trout consumes a CIA agent in his pool. And even that’s pretty stupid. The next 45 minutes or so are painfully slow and unfunny. Leonard meets with the CIA for some exposition. Goes home. Says hi to his daughter. Gets dressed up. And then has dinner with his ex-wife for an interminable amount of time. When he finally does suit up for action, we’re two thirds of the way done already. But the worst is yet to come. The Leonard-in-action sequences are not only unfunny and not the least bit entertaining, but nightmarishly surreal. He fights a bunch of guys in chicken costumes, then puts on some ballet slippers (?)—cut to obvious stunt legs—and next thing you know he’s shaving a chicken guy with an electric razor.
But wait, there’s plenty more to endure! There’s the whole incoherent, nefarious scheme that Medusa rattles off, the weird eunuch goons who cower before a piece of steak, the horrible special effects, the annoying butler/narrator, the ridiculous finale…look, the whole affair is a disjointed, nonsensical, unfunny rabbit punch to the spleen. I’d like to look for the silver lining, but I’m sorry, this a film that was better left locked in a vault filled with scorpions, lined with poison sumac, and launched into space. It’s not even in that “so-bad-it’s-amusing” category. It’s in the “so-bad-I-want-to-swallow-Liquid-Plumr” category.
From Rocky Horror: Word. If you are ever even remotely curious about this dogpile by seeing the listing on cable, remember you have been duly warned. Here is the trailer that they kept mega-short (30 seconds) so the viewer wouldn’t start to smell the stench of super flop:
And here is the infamous ballet/fight scene that says it all:
And here is the review from the mighty Siskel and Ebert; they are as baffled as I was: