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The Perils of P.K. (1986)

| Comedy | June 1986 (USA)
P.K., a former movie star now reduced to working as a stripper in a Las Vegas nightclub, is desperate for a comeback, and thinks she could make one if she could only get a big-name star to ... See full summary »

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(as Naura Hayden)
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Cast

Credited cast:
... P.K.
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... (as Prof. Irwin Corey)
Altovise Davis
Joshua Freund ... Iggy
Mike Murphy
Al Nuti
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P.K., a former movie star now reduced to working as a stripper in a Las Vegas nightclub, is desperate for a comeback, and thinks she could make one if she could only get a big-name star to appear in a movie with her. She relates all these problems, and many of her fantasies, to her psychiatrist, and also approaches several entertainers working in Las Vegas to try to get them to help make her dream come true. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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The "Too Muckin' Fuch" Movie See more »

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June 1986 (USA)  »

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I should have known better...
31 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

The cast list for 'The Perils of P.K.' inspired me to track down a copy of this film on video. (Also, the initials 'P.K.' remind me of a brand of chewing gum that I enjoyed during my early years in Australia.) When will I ever learn? I should have realised that a movie with this cast list would be readily available if it were any good at all: the fact that a movie with this cast is so hard to find should have warned me that this movie would be awful.

'The Perils of P.K.' is beyond awful. It's Naura Hayden's desperate attempt at a comeback. If you have to ask who Naura Hayden is, I don't blame you. Hayden was a 1950s actress with looks and talent slightly above average, but only slightly. She gave an excellent performance as the female lead in 'Angry Red Planet' in 1960, and that was the peak of her career.

'The Perils of P.K.' is Hayden's self-financed attempt at a star vehicle, made in 1986 when her looks and her talent had both diminished significantly. This whole sorry affair was filmed in Las Vegas and has the air of a very amateurish home movie. Hayden plays P.K., a washed-up film star who now ekes out a living as a stripper at private parties. (It would have made more sense to show her working in a strip joint, but that would have required Hayden to shoot a few scenes in a strip joint ... and frankly the budget for this mess doesn't look as if it would have stretched that far.) Hayden takes a story credit, although I doubt that an actual 'script' ever existed for this thing. She doesn't seem to realise the cruel irony of the role she's written for herself, as a film star who's fallen on hard times: Hayden herself was never actually a star, but she came much nearer to stardom than the pathetic has-been she portrays in this movie.

When not taking off her clothes, P.K. has regular sessions with her psychiatrist, played by the smug and pretentious Dick Shawn. P.K. desperately hopes that she can regain her stardom if only she can persuade a big-name entertainer to appear in a movie with her.

What hurts so much about this film is that Hayden actually managed to get some big entertainment names to appear in this movie, but all their efforts come to nothing. The sexy Sheila MacRae and her sexy daughter Heather are on hand, yet their participation is an utter waste of film. The even sexier Joey Heatherton is also wasted, as is the talented and attractive Anne Meara. The smug showbiz journalist Virginia Graham proves she has no talent; ditto Kaye Ballard and Louise Lasser, two performers whose appeal has always eluded me. Larry Storch, who could have been his generation's equivalent of the brilliant character actor Warren Hymer, is also wasted here. As for Jackie Mason ... oy vey!

The biggest name in this cast list is Sammy Davis Junior, accompanied by his wife: the attractive showgirl Altovise Davis. At this point in his career, Sammy owed something like 900% of his income to Internal Revenue. Is it possible that he was hoping to get some sort of tax write-off for performing in this movie?

'The Perils of P.K.' is absolute garbage, totally unworthy of viewing. It's not even enjoyable on a campy so-bad-it's-good level. It's just dreadful. Just to give you something interesting, I'll tell you the bizarre story of how Dick Shawn died. He was performing in a college auditorium in San Diego. When his monologue didn't get any laughs, he abruptly changed the subject and started talking about death. When this didn't get any laughs either, he changed the subject again and shouted: 'Let's play follow the leader ... I'll go first!' Then he dropped dead onstage. True story. I've always found Dick Shawn extremely unfunny, but I wish I'd been there to see Shawn do a Tommy Cooper. And I wish I'd seen Dick Shawn's farewell performance instead of sitting through his horrible performance in 'The Perils of P.K.' I'd like to rate this movie minus 10, but I'll settle for rating it zero.

UPDATE: I've received inquiries from people who seem to believe that any movie this inept must be perversely enjoyable on the level of a Golden Turkey or an Ed Wood-style fiasco. Forget it. This movie is utter bilge; a complete waste of time. I no longer possess a copy, and I will NOT respond to any requests from anyone hoping to obtain a copy. 'The Perils of PK' makes 'Glen or Glenda' look like 'Citizen Kane'.


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