Laughable, but entertaining, thriller
James D. Leverton | San Marcos, CA USA | 04/09/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Once upon a time, director Mark L. Lester directed two of my all-time favorite drive-in flicks/guilty pleasures: "Bobbie Joe and the Outlaw" and "Class of 1984", the former featuring "Wonder Woman" herself Lynda Carter flashing her breasts and shooting it out with the police while the latter features a very young Michael J. Fox getting knifed in a high school cafeteria by a psychotic punk gangster. The movies were trash, but they had flair. Now, with drive-ins nearing extinction and the drive-in movie a thing of the past, Lester is stuck helming direct-to-video nonsense like "Lady Jayne: Killer", with a standard B-level cast including video stalwarts James Remar, Adam Baldwin and Erika Eleniak playing total stereotypes involved with a psychotic, sexy hit woman named Jayne, played by a supposedly "hot" French actress name Julie Du Page, who in reality has a hot body but a face that a only a blind man could love. But I digress--
The plot is standard for this kind of opus. Jayne is looking to leave Los Angeles after her latest hit job. Unfortunately, she can't get a flight or a rental car. What's a psycho babe to do? What anyone else would do: she hitches a ride with the dumbest mother and son in the United States, Emily Shaw (Eleniak) and her hormonal (natch) teenage son Kerry (Jeremy Lelliott), who themselves are heading to Houston to escape a vicious drug dealer Kerry has crossed. The fact that Jayne is an obvious sociopath who immediately starts hitting on Kerry and has no luggage except for a silver case usually used in movies like this to transport money doesn't seem to elicit any alarm in Emily: oh, no. She, Kerry and Jayne simply head off to Houston, using the same route movies like this always use: the back roads through the Mojave Desert, not the direct route on I-10, since to do that the filmmakers would have to pay for the proper permits.
Actually, the movie peaks about halfway through, when Emily's car breaks down and the three check into a motel for the night. They get adjoining rooms, with the connecting doors unlocked and wide open, even when Kerry and Jayne are both parading around in towels. (Not the standard postage-stamp size motel towels, but huge ones that strategically cover vital parts of their bodies.) This sets up the highlight of the film: a cringe-inducing fantasy sequence where Kerry drops trou and joins Jayne in the shower. What does he do in his fantasy once he joins her? Nope, he doesn't make out with her. He washes her back. Honest!
It's all down hill from there, as Remar and Baldwin join the foray as lawmen on different sides of the law. (Just figure out who's the bad guy: Jayne's cohort (Remar) or the FBI agent on her tail (Baldwin). Here's a hint: if you guessed Remar, you've never seen a movie like this in your entire life.)
Actually, "Lady Jayne: Killer", as stupid as it is, is still a kick, as campy hoots usually are. It runs a brisk 90 minutes, and the cast is surprisingly competent, even if Baldwin in particular seems to be wondering how he got from "Ordinary People" to here. Du Page is actually quite effective as a psychotic hit woman, in spite of the fact that her character is horribly written and virtually unplayable with a straight face. Remar is solid, and Eleniak does the best she can as a mother who has absolutely no common sense whatsoever. As for Lelliott, well, if you can't say something nice--
The only problem with "Lady Jayne: Killer" is that it's not presented in widescreen format, but in a good-looking full screen print with no extras except for a rather limited filmography for the principles, which for some reason leaves "Bobbie Jo--" and "Class of 1984" off of Lester's film list. But I'm giving it a pass since it is obvious it was filmed for television viewing. In other words, unlike the Disney classics and great action films like "Charley Varrick", the full screen format, while maddening, actually suits product like "Lady Jayne: Killer".
*** (out of *****) for the film; ** for the DVD"
nom-de-nick | United States | 01/12/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, the girls are pretty, but the acting, plot, and holes in the plot are laughable and pathetic. James Remar looks embarassed, and Baldwin looks stoned. Why did they even waste the film? Makes Ed Wood look like Orson Welles."