"What is that? What is that I hear? Where's it coming from? I hear a siren, but I don't see any fire, I don't see any smoke. Whenever there's a siren, it means there's a fire, but I don't see any smoke. That siren. Where is it coming from? Where's that sound coming from?"
It couldn't have possibly seemed like a good idea, could it? Take a bunch of mostly unrelated Beatles songs, get the BeeGees and Peter Frampton to sing most of them, then fashion it all into a barely coherent film. Crazy, right? Well Robert Stigwood didn't think so. Fresh off the success of mega-hits Grease and Saturday Night Fever, he must have thought he was invincible. So why not hire the biggest band of the 1970's and have them perform disco versions of the songs from biggest band of the 1960's? All in an over produced film with a ridiculous script?
We've mentioned the film before, but today we'll highlight a particularly bizarre scene- the Maxwell's Silver Hammer sequence. The classic Beatles song tells about a young man who becomes a serial killer of sorts. In this film, however, Steve Martin's Maxwell is a demented doctor who sings about himself while dancing around with people dressed like a Boy Scout troop. Make sense? Not really, but Steve Martin singing a Beatles song isn't the most bizarre thing about the film. And that says a lot.
"I can't act, write or direct and I look like death warmed over. I know nothing about promoting a movie or what might attract ticket buyers. So let's put my dead-eyed picture on a billboard and see what happens!"
"Why of course people want to see a woman in her eighties gallivant around like a common whore! Where could we go wrong financing a movie in which a great-grandmotherly woman has implied sex with guy after guy?"
We now re-visit another classic misfire- Myra Breckinridge. Many people forget that the legendary Mae West retired from Hollywood fairly early in her career. Hamstrung by the Hayes Code which put a damper on her ribald jokes and smutty entendres, Mae West chose to quit making pictures rather than conform to the prudish censorship office.
Flash forward to the 1960's. Free love and the collapse of the studio system brought new freedoms and a new rating system. By this time, Miss West was intrigued by the possibilities and was willing to come out of retirement for the right film. She thought that film would be Myra Breckinridge.
Mae went all out on this one, writing smutty one liners and even warbling bizarre versions of popular songs. Already a tacky mess, the film became even more of a slog when it stops to allow Miss West a chance to perform. Why a slutty old casting directress would prance around and sing at a night club is never explained and the audience is left worrying about whether Miss West will break a hip. It was an embarrassing comeback and the financially successful Mae West would wait another ten years to attempt another cinematic comeback in the equally scorned Sextette.
Although he has starred in more embarrassing things since then, David Hasselhoff probably is still most embarrassed about this racy low budget sleazefest- Revenge of the Cheerleaders. He plays a horny character with the distinguished name of "Boner" who acts just as we'd expect such a character to act. Despite the depths to which Hasselhoff stoops in this film, he still manages to stay above the all time low of drunkenly eating a cheeseburger off the floor. (But not by much.)