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**SPOILERS** Movie about a Love Canal like town, Landry Texas, thats
about to explode with long buried toxins seeping out of the ground and
effecting everyone there, man and animal alike,through the water supply
as well as the air itself.
After a young boy was found dead at the bottom of a shaft on the Buckhurst Industries site the owners of the company went all out to prevent the truth from coming out. The Buckhurst bigwigs going to meet in secret at a hotel room in L.A to plan their next move are spied on and their talk tape recorded by electricians Mike Newman and his partner Doug, Dale Robinette & Kane Holiday.
Thinking that their getting the goods on some guy cheating on his wife, for a defective agency that they have a contract with, the two electricians instead overhear a plan by the businessmen to cover up their unsavory actions over the years. They plan in having the entire town of Landry blown up by staging an accident for a tractor-trailer loaded with the deadly chemical agent 10-45T. The deadly chemical was a secret agent that was used by the US military in Vietnam and at the same time was buried in and around Landry by the truckload, as they drove by the Brockhurst factory site.
With dozens of people in the and around Landry starting to come down with fatal illnesses it's only a matter of time when it's discovered that that chemical was buried there and those responsible, Brockhurst Industries, will be sued into bankruptcy. The conspirators accidentally, through a glass of red wine where they can see the electricians laser, find out that there's some kind of laser device being beamed on the hotel room. The Brockhurst group then get two of their paid hit men out to find where the beam is coming from, and to shut up those responsible for it for good, and retrieve the audio tape.
After a half hour car chase through the city the hit men track down Mike and Doug to Mike's home where they murder Doug and, after a ferocious fight, finish off Mike but they can't find the incriminating tape of their boss' conversation at the hotel.
The Buckhurst gang now get after the late Mike Newman's wife singer Brooke Newman, Lynda Carter,who hid with her young daughter in terror from them in a closet and who they think has the tape. The fact is that Brooke does know about the tape but she doesn't know just where it is and it's a lot closer to her then to the hit men now looking for it.
Standered plot about corruption and murder in corporate America, circa 1980, with leggy and frisky, not to mention beautiful, Lynda Carter as singer housewife private investigator and now action hero, or heroine. Lynda not only plays detective to break the case wide open but also flies up and down the friendly, and unfriendly, skies of Texas with helicopter pilot Sid Pachanski, Ronny Fox. Lynda & Sid try to get the jump on the bad guys before they turn Lawery Texas, by causing a tractor-trailer truck loaded with the deadly 10-45T to explode, into what Chernobyl in the Ukraine turned out to be some six years later in 1986: uninhabitable.
Besides being the reluctant heroine, at first all Brooke wanted to do is get out of town with her young daughter, Brooke also had a chance to sing the title song "The Last Song" in the film.
Ron Samuels, who was Lynda Carter's husband at the time, helped to
produce "The Last Song", starring the multi-talented Ms. Carter. The
beauteous Carter was Miss World in 1972 before her subsequent fame
playing Wonder Woman. She also has been a singer-songwriter and a
hard-working actress in demand.
In "The Last Song" (1980), which is a thriller neo-noir done in the style of that time, she plays a country western singer whose husband is murdered when two thugs who work for a corporate conspiracy led by Don Porter are attempting to recover a tape recording that reveals that the company is planning to explode a truck conveying a deadly chemical (used in the Vietnam War) upon a small town in Texas that they have used to dispose of other chemical wastes. The idea is to cover their tracks with an even worse chemical that renders the whole area uninhabitable.
Carter, not knowing of the tape or where her husband has hidden it, narrowly escapes the attack on her husband and saves her daughter too. Subsequently, Nicholas Pryor, impersonating a priest but working for the company, tortures and almost kills her with a scary device that switches on either oxygen or gas through a respirator. Carter and daughter go into hiding, discover the tape thinking it's a music tape, leading Carter to look more deeply into its content, which affords only a partial glimpse of what the company is planning to do. Carter finds an ally in Ronny Cox, a helicopter pilot, providing a background for extended flying sequences involving several helicopters.
Toxic waste villainy was a popular theme in the 80s and 90s and still appears in movies today. "The Last Song" was ahead of the pack in featuring it. The story opens with a sequence that clearly shows a conspiracy swinging into action when a little boy is murdered to cover up the malfeasance of the company's officials. There is a very good scene in which Carter meets the mother (Jenny O'Hara) of the dead child. Carter's screen persona here is that of a sincere woman, strong through her tears and grief, a loving parent, courageous but not above fear and attacks of nerves, and a faithful Catholic wondering why evil struck her family. The movie takes the time to show the impact of her husband's death on the lives of her and her daughter.
"The Last Song" has a number of harrowing sequences: the death of the boy at the outset, the discovery by the company of Carter's husband and chase after him, the home invasion, Pryor's graphic attack on Carter, and the helicopter chase. This is quite a lot, but the movie cannot shake its TV-movie origin, budget, production schedule and directing. The tone is on the uneven side. Tension sometimes drains away. Sequences that should be very tense are not built up and milked as much as they should be. If this movie were redone in the later neo-noir style, its look would be much darker.Still, the picture is an unmistakable neo-noir that is worth checking out. It's a precursor of the darker and more sombre style that lay ahead.
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