Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Sunday, April 4, 2010

B-movie makers spoof themselves

Hollywood Boulevard (1976)
Starring: Candice Rialson, Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, and Rita George
Directors: Joe Dante and Allan Arkush
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

When Candy (Rialson) arrives in Hollywood with dreams of being an actress, she falls in with the crazy low-budget filmmakers at Miracle Studios. It soon turns out that one is more crazy than the rest, and Miracle Pictures' starlets keep getting murdered. Will Candy die before she achieves stardom?

"Hollywood Boulevard" is a messy picture that, by the admission of the directors themselves, was cobbled together, rushed and generally made up as they went along. In other words, this Roger Corman-funded tribute/send-up of Roger Corman filmmaking techniques was produced exactly like many of the films it was poking fun at. (And the cast and crew of this picture were all employees of Corman's company, or friends of him and people who were.)

This film is fun to watch, despite its flaws, because it is such a send-up of itself. It also helps that every actor is putting on fun and energetic performances, and the way that everyone seems to be enjoying themselves is infecteous. In many ways, this movie feels like a backyard produciton, but pretty much everyone appearing in major parts were seasoned professionals with dozens of B-movies behind them.

"Hollywood Boulevard" isn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it is fun to watch. Miller's performance as a bottom-run talent agent, the sci-fi production and the Mario Bava send-up portions of the film are particularly funny. It's not something to go out of your way for (in fact, it barely makes it to the Six Tomato mark), but if you enjoy movies about making movies--and if you enjoy the type of movies being made fun of in this film--I think you'll have fun watching it.

For reviews of the kind of movies this film spoofs, visit The Charles Band Collection, Terror Titans and Movies to Die Before Seeing.

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