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|Index||38 reviews in total|
I haven't been able to decide if this movie is so bad it's good, or, to quote Enid Coleslaw, "so bad it's gone past good and back to bad again." No matter, it forced me look much the same way a pile of weird coloured vomit might, and it offers up a number of scenes that you won't forget even if you want to. There's a sneering young Ray Liotta telling a pigtailed Pia that her creative writing trophy looks like a penis. A bit later, there's Ray again, molesting Pia, not with the appropriately shaped trophy but a garden hose. There's a firm chinned Pia telling her domineering Mom that she wants to go to bed with Ray's geezer father, Walter. There's the actress in the graveyard scene yowling the best line ever written by Pia or anyone else: "WWWWHHHYYYYYYY!" There's that garden hose again, as Walter waves it Pia's face and roars "Is this more to your liking!?" There's Pia and her date so turned on by closeups of each other masticating salad that they start tearing each other's clothes off. There's Pia showering but forgetting to remove her dress. Perhaps best of all, there's Pia's typewriter, but instead of keys there are the miniature talking heads of those who have tormented her the most (afterwards, I was afraid to open my laptop). And finally there's Pia at "The Awards" exposing Hollywood for the cesspool it is, spitting out the second best line ever, "I guess I'm not the only one who has ever had to **** her way to the top." I see I have already spent more time commenting on "The Lonely Lady" than I have on far better pictures, so I'll quit. Be forewarned, though, that once you start watching you probably won't be able to take your eyes off the screen until two hours of your life have vanished forever.
How bad is it? Well, I lived in central Pennsylvania during Hurricane
Agnes in 1970, the Great Blizzard of 1993, and was in northern Vermont
for the Ice Storm of 1998. Someday, my grandkids will ask, "Grandpa,
what was it like?" and I will say, "Well, it was bad. But not as bad as
watching 'The Lonely Lady!'"
I worry that someday the world will see a major nuclear war. And if it does, the survivors will say while digging out, "That was horrible. But come to think of it, it wasn't as horrible as 'The Lonely Lady!'"
Please folks, if you want to see an '80s flick with lots of skin, see "Summer Lovers." Do NOT see this film unless watching a dwarfish leading lady getting raped and spouting unendurable dialog to a bargain basement cast is your idea of an enjoyable movie experience.
Immediately after renting and watching this movie several years ago, a
friend and I decided that it defined the absolute zero on the movie scale.
There was nothing about the movie that could have been done worse than it
was. To this day we still rate movies, even very bad ones, by how much
better than "The Lonely Lady" they are.
A long time ago I saw an interview with Eleanor Perry, who wrote the screenplays for, among other things, "Last Summer" and "Diary of a Mad Housewife," and she related that she had been asked to write a screenplay for the Harold Robbins' book "The Lonely Lady." She said that she sent in a treatment and it was rejected because they didn't think she understood the difficulties of a female screenwriter in Hollywood. She then said "I think they got someone else to write it." The interview was filmed before the movie was released. She died in 1981, and I bet the first thing she did on arrival in heaven was personally thank God for saving her from involvement in the result.
The memory banks of most of the reviewers here must've short-circuited
when trying to recall this Cubic Zirconia of a gem, because practically
everyone managed to misquote Lloyd Bochner's Walter Thornton, when in a
fit of peevish anger, he hurls the phallic garden nozzle at his new
wife, Jerilee Randall-Thornton, (a nearly comatose Pia Zadora) which
was used to sexually assault her earlier in the movie...but I'm getting
ahead of myself. In any case, poor Lloyd could've been snarling that
line at the speechless audience as much as he was his put-upon co-star.
Hard as it is for most of us to believe, especially these days, nobody in Hollywood sets out to INTENTIONALLY make a bad movie. This is certainly not the most defensible argument to make, since there just seem to be so damn many of them coming out. But then again, there is that breed of film that one must imagine during the time of its creation, from writing, casting and direction, must've been cursed with the cinematic equivalent of trying to shoot during the Ides of March.
THE LONELY LADY is in that category, and represents itself very well, considering the circumstances. Here we have all the ingredients in a recipe guaranteed to produce a monumentally fallen soufflé: Pia Zadora, a marginal singer/actress so determined to be taken seriously, that she would take on practically anything that might set her apart from her peers, (which this movie most certainly did!); a somewhat high-profile novel written by the Trashmaster himself, Harold Robbins (of THE CARPETBAGGERS and DREAMS DIE FIRST fame); a cast who probably thought they were so fortunate to be working at all, that they tried to play this dreck like it was Clifford Odets or Ibsen; plus a director who more than likely was a hired gun who kept the mess moving just to collect a paycheck, (and was probably contractually obligated NOT to demand the use of the 'Alan Smithee' moniker to protect what was left of his reputation.) Like Lamont Johnson's LIPSTICK, Meir Zarchi's I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, Roger Vadim's BARBARELLA, Paul Verhoeven's SHOWGIRLS or the Grandmammy of Really Bad Film-making, Frank Perry's MOMMY DEAREST, THE LONELY LADY is still often-discussed, (usually with disgust, disbelief, horrified laughter, or a unique combination of all three), yet also defies dissection, description or even the pretzel logic of Hollyweird. Nobody's sure how it came to be, how it was ever released in even a single theater, or why it's still here and nearly impossible to get rid of, but take it or leave it, it IS here to stay. And I don't think that lovers of really good BAD movies would have it any other way.
The depth of the creative bankruptcy in this film is most evidence in
the final scene. The writers gave Pia Zadora's character a reasonably
interesting name, Jerilee. (That's as close as I'll come to
complimenting this picture). Then, when the nominees at the Oscars are
being read, another screenwriter is named Jerilee, too. Bafflingly
This is one of the few movies so bad that it would even be passed over by nude-scene-hunting horny teenagers. Everything about is bad. There is not a single redeeming quality, not one scene that works, not a single character that isn't a benign, idiotic one-dimensional drip.
I can't call this the worst film ever made but it's close. However, the single worst scene in a movie I have ever seen is Pia Zadora's nervous breakdown.
Quite simply a waste of vital resources. 1/2* out of ****.
Even when I saw this movie at a teenager, I wondered just how ironic it was that Pia Zadora starred in a movie about an artist who slept her way to the top. As beautiful and sexy as Ms. Zadora is, even she couldn't keep this sorry-ass excuse of a movie from tanking. Not even her photoshoot for Penthouse, in which "The Lonely Lady" was promoted "back in the day," could keep this movie from tanking. The only thing that could have saved this movie? A completely different script. Give this one a miss.
When I initially saw this movie in the '80s I thought it was so bad, I couldn't watch it all the way through. Subsequent viewings of it on TV were the same. I never really saw the whole movie in it's entirety. I seemed to always come in at the same parts, either the garden hose scene or the psychedelic/Andy Warholish nervous breakdown scene. It was never shown on commercial television here in Toronto, it always seemed to be played on the premium movie channels (First Choice/Superchannel,later to be TMN/Moviepix) I guess they received this movie for really cheap from the distributor. Watching it recently in it's entirety was a real eye-opener! I don't know if it's the nostalgia factor, or just the fact that I am older and going senile, but I thought that this movie was "so bad, that it was so good" The bad acting, and the awful characters that are very unlikable would make most people turn off this movie. For me I went out and bought the video! I don't blame Pia Zadora's character for going off the deep-end at her typewriter. It just seemed most of the characters were really vile-I take it that this was to show how ruthless Hollywood can be...what a joke! If you want to see a comedy about how a movie should not be made, check out "The Lonely Lady"-it's a great waste of time!!
As soon as you hear the theme song for this movie, sung by Larry Graham, you know you're in for a trashfest. The tune is very reminiscent of 60's camp-trash movie themes for "Where Love Has Gone" (sung by Jack Jones) & "Harlow" (sung by Bobby Vinton) among others. It gives this movie a very dated feel, even in 1983. What exactly was up with that hair-don't & hideous dress they gave the "teenage" Pia to wear?? She looked like a disheveled Pippy Longstocking. It's amazing what they crammed into one hour & 32 minutes: Rape with hose nozzle, dysfunctional mother, May/December romance, impotence (Pia couldn't doodle with her older hubby's dead noodle), nudity, lesbianism, abortion, bad 80's fashions, overwrought breakdown scene followed by nut house, rags-to-riches clichés (heroine finally writes an "award" winning screenplay), etc. etc. etc. Pia Zadora (a better singer than actress) did the best she could with this script. The amazing thing about this movie is that it's made by people who are supposed to know what they're talking about firsthand. Watch this movie if you like trashy stories about show biz.
This early Pia Zadora vehicle followed a familiar Harold Robbins formula: ambitious main character wallows in decadence while pursuing the path to the top of some randomly chosen but glamorous world, in this case the movie industry. But despite being so formulaic as to be completely predictable, this movie manages at the same time to be completely unbelievable. Zadora (to call her inexperienced as an actress is to be charitable) never convinces as a screenwriter. One would expect a movie about movie-making to have some insights into its own industry and creative process. But the script gives her none of the qualities which make writers interesting movie characters: observance, skill with words, a love-hate relationship with one's own creative abilities. Her character is as empty as a donut hole. And this is just a taste of the incompetence on display here. The cinematography is so murky that it is sometimes hard to see what is happening. And the scenes never really hang together, so everything seems like a succession of random moments at bad Hollywood parties. Avoid.
There is absolutely nothing to redeem this movie. They took a sleazy story,
miscast it, miswrote it, misfilmed it. It has bad dialogue badly performed
in a meandering and trashy story.
As badly as it fails as art, it fails even worse as commerce. Who could have been the target market for this. What age group? What interest group?
Someone should make a movie about how and why they made this movie. That I would pay to see.
I've seen thousands of bad movies, and this ranks with "Sailor Who Fell from Grace" and "Manos" ... my choices as the three most unredeemably bad movies I've ever seen. Everybody associated with it should be forced to make conversation with VanDamme for all eternity.
I challenge you. Watch this movie and perform an academic exercise - how could you take this and make it worse? I can't think of one way.
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