Upon picking up this movie from the hold shelf at my local library, the friendly librarian took it from me squealed, "Oh, Mannequin, you're gonna love this." Incredulous, I responded, "You've actually seen it?" "Of course, I was a child of the 80s," was her quick reply. Slightly dumbfounded, I took the now properly scanned out DVD from her white hand and bid her adieu. Upon stepping outside into the mid-afternoon sun, I took another look at the film I would soon set upon myself. As it turns out, I had rented a DVD containing not only Mannequin 2: On the Move, as I had previously thought, but the original Mannequin, starring 80's heartthrobs Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall, as well. I opted against watching the original, believing no man should ever watch more than one movie in his lifetime that contains the word "mannequin" in the title. The opening of this movie made me question whether someone had played me for a fool. A horse? Ancient Britannia? What trickery has caused me to be thus beguiled? But alas, I was not fortunate enough that someone had copied over the movie with a bootlegged copy of Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, oh no, I was in store for the fate that had been set upon me.
Through a "comical" (if you have the brain power of a child) series of events including our hero cutting off the helmet horns of a guard and proceeding to stab the same guard in the foot (poor guy, he was just trying to do his job), the fair maiden is captured and "frozen" so to speak, for 1,000 years or until her true love finds her and removes a cursed amulet. But never fret, dear reader, because almost exactly 1,000 years from now, people with the same faces still exist! Yeah, bunch of inbreds we seem to have here. I'm going to spare you the rest, because I would rather eat my hands than give the exposition any more of my time.
In a good light, and if you squint real hard, the film is a tacky, 80s (despite being released in 1991) romp about that classic storyline: boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, ancient sorcerer/count tries to steal girl, boy defeats ancient sorcerer/count. In normal light, where the wrinkles and cellulite are plainly visible, the film is a pile of trash, on fire. The dialogue is bogus. The characters defy the rules of society and events occur simply because the movie has to move along, not because of how reality works.
Things I saw: -The lead actor's car kinda reminds me of the jeeps from Jurassic Park -"Look, your mother gave me all these people's lives" was uttered by the mannequin while watching a movie, which made me genuinely chuckle. Point, Mannequin 2. -At one point, the lead actor opens the door to a women's restroom and looks around. Didn't even knock, the pervert. -For a good portion of the movie, the lead actor's mother believes our hero is in love with a sex doll; she sees him make breakfast for it, then walks in on him banging it. -The villain shoots someone with a gun and cuts a boy with a sword, with police officers a mere 25ft away, yet they don't do anything. -Only two black characters have speaking roles, though the same actor plays both roles.
During each scene, passersby and supposed extras seemed oblivious to the "comical" happenings around them. I eventually began to realize the sad truth. The makers of this film didn't obtain permits for filming. Those were all real reactions of real people who just happened to be around. You see a 21 year old on a go cart speeding through a mall? I'd hustle out of the way too, but otherwise go about my day. Crazy kids. Someone says they don't have any "silver" to pay for furniture, well, slang is a thing. This movie had to have been shot on a couple of hand-held camcorders and taped together by a pair of coked out interns in an abandoned studio back lot.
Yet, this piece of garbage boasted an estimated budget of $13 million. Even more incredibly, it actually made $3.8 million in theaters. You know what movie was also made for $13 million? Black Swan. Nearly 20 years later. I would love to see the line item budget for Mannequin 2: On the Move. The amount of coke that could have been purchased is unthinkable. In fact, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, you could purchase a kilogram of cocaine for between $50,000 and $65,000 in 1991. I'm surprised you couldn't see the cocaine spilling onto the set during scenes. Seriously, whoever did the editing deserves a kilo of coke themselves, ah, you know what, they probably got it. I hope they used it in good health.
You know, on second thought, I bet the $13 million was actually used as punitive and royalty payments to both the city of New York and the people who did not realize they were being filmed during the making of this movie.
Finally, I'm going to take a moment here to spill some ink about Gladden Entertainment, who financed this motion picture. In fact, per IMDb, this was the final picture produced by Gladden Entertainment, a company founded by David Begelman, a man most famous for a studio embezzlement/fraud scandal he led and who committed suicide in 1995. Sad story, of course, but still, given the fact that I have yet to wash my eyes hard enough to unsee this piece of filth, a fitting story nonetheless.