Weekend Pass (1984) + Games Guys Play (1974)

The latest installment of Maria’s ‘B’ Movie Mayhem includes the features WEEKEND PASS and GAMES GUYS PLAY aka GOODNIGHT JACKIE.  WEEKEND PASS is another gem from the Crown International Pictures vault and GAMES GUYS PLAY is a long lost film with Lana Wood and Jim Backus.

Weekend Pass (1984)

 Navy Seamen Paul Fricker (D.W. Brown), Lester Gidley (Peter Ellenstein), Webster Adams (Patrick Houser) and Bunker Hill (Chip McAllister) have just completed basic training in San Diego and have been given 72 hours of liberty until they each go their separate ways.  Like any young, red blooded American men they head to L.A. looking for fun and action.  Fricker has his first amateur comedy night scheduled, Lester has been set up on a blind date by one of his officers, Webster has a hot night planned with an old college flame and Bunker can’t get in touch with his girl so he is out looking for fun.  They pile in a jeep and get a hotel room in The Saharan on Sunset Boulevard and hit the clubs.

Each of the men gets a chance to deal with their past in a way and to grow up even more than the Navy taught them.  Webster is the playboy who can’t score and given the opportunity rethinks his choices, Lester is the awkward nerd who comes into his own, Paul realizes he has been chasing the wrong dream and Bunker has to make a clean break with his gang influence and violence ridden past.  They manage to find themselves and a girl-for at least a night-while on their weekend pass and leave for their assignments more confident and aware of who they really are.

WEEKEND PASS is full of cool L.A. locations: Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, Venice Beach etc… Phil Hartman has a fun bit with the small part of the professional host for Fricker’s amateur night, Joe Chicago.  There is plenty of skin shown as well.  Sara Costa melts the screen as the stripper Tuesday del Mundo and sultry Hillary Shepherd flashes her icy blue gaze and leaves little to the imagination as she plays Webster’s college flame Cindy Hazzard.  If the catchy title track sung by Robbie Baer doesn’t get stuck in your head for a couple of days you’re doing better than me!

WEEKEND PASS is a fun flick.  The only odd part is the downbeat encounter between Bunker Hill and his former gang the Mau Maus.  It seems horribly out of place in this movie because for a few minutes the tone is completely different than the rest of the film.  Other than that it is a humorous trip from start to finish with adequate performances and enough going on to keep the viewer interested.  The montages add a cheesy but fun element to the flick and the locations provide for great viewing.

Games Guys Play (a.k.a. Goodnight Jackie) (1974)

“All I said was ‘goodnight Jackie.'”  Rob (Wendell Burton) likes things a certain way.  Unfortunately things haven’t been that way in a very long time.  He’s hung up on Jackie (Lana Wood)–his ex-fiancee who left him for their wealthy 55 year old history professor.  During the day he is a grave walker, not something from THE WALKING DEAD mind you, but someone who walks the cemetery and delivers flowers to the gravesides.  At night he is a pathetic sad sack.  His roomate Paul (Gregory Sierra) is an Army vet who apparently drops out of colleges a lot and has really bad hair-what there is left of it.  He thinks Rob’s obsession and behavior is unhealthy and does what he can to help him get over it.  He meets Donna (Christopher Norris) and though he makes a real connection to her things fail to work out.  Dissatisfied, Rob is a maudlin until Jackie comes back into his life.  

At the cemetery, the boss, Mr. Landry (Jim Backus), promotes him and hires Barry (Barry Williams from THE BRADY BUNCH) to take over Rob’s job.  His new role at the cemetery leaves him out of his comfort zone and Paul’s advice concerning Jackie, though sound, causes him to act the prick.  The scene where Jackie returns is awkward and mean-spirited in this otherwise light hearted comedy.  Rob screams at her calling her bitch over and over again and tears her clothes and tells her to strip in the funeral home all the while calling her bitch over and over again.  Though the mood lightens this marks a tonal shift in the film when it moves from comedy to more of a dramedy with a message.  

As the movie moves farther from pure comedy Rob discovers who he really is.  Though he does not figure out what he wants, he does figure out what he doesn’t want as he finds that his memory of Jackie is much better than the reality she offers.  He is caught up in her attempt to run away from every responsibility in her life and he goes along albeit reluctantly for awhile.  Finally he lets go of the past and sees what it has cost him in the present.  Like many films of this era the protagonist goes off on his own more confident in who he is and what he wants out of life.  Burdened by nothing the world awaits.  

The picture quality for GAMES GUYS PLAY is a bit rough for the first act but cleans up about halfway through.  Color is good and the picture is crisp for the most part, it just shows the wear and tear of time and tram.  There is a moment when the sound drops considerably but picks back up quickly.  

The bumpers starring Maria Kanellis are quite fun.  Maria intro is upbeat and fun and she wears a tight and low-cut Navy themed dress.  Especially for the second feature where she is wearing her Navy dress while discussing a vampire flick that is not included on this disc!  The other intro is for VAMPIRE HOOKERS and not GAMES GUYS PLAY with a crawler that explains how the file was deleted and provides information about the second feature.

The disc opens with the forced trailer for FAMILY HONOR (one of these days I’m going to see the damned thing!) and includes a commentary for WEEKEND PASS with director Lawrence Bassoff and D.W. Brown (Seaman Paul Fricker).  There are trailers for DEVILS THREE and THE BABYSITTER.  WEEKEND PASS and GAMES GUYS PLAY are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen.  The double feature is available directly from Code Red’s web shop.

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