Monday, April 30, 2018

I Spit On Your Robot

A rule of thumb: any film that mixes fonts in its title credits is not playing a straightforward game.

Strap in.

Quick Plot: Steel and Lace opens on what usually would be the 42 minute mark of a Law & Order: SVU episode, wherein a pretty young pianist named Gaily watches her yuppie rapist and his white collar enablers be found not guilty. A good SVU episode would use the remaining 18 minutes for some vigilante justice, perhaps involving Elliot Stabler looking the other way while Olivia urges the victim to find peace from within.

A great movie incorporates sexy robots. 

Gaily can't take the strain, leaping off the courthouse building while her loving brother Albert (Bruce Davison) watches in horror. Five years later, those involved in the case have moved on. Ponytailed rapist Daniel Emerson (Broadway's Michael Cerveris) has continued to grow his real estate empire, with his four accomplices installed as the kind of vice presidents primarily utilized to shake senior citizens down in order to build mini malls on their property. 

After a particularly cruel buyout, one of Emerson's pals experiences car trouble. When a beautiful, scantily clad blond offers him a lift to the nearest sex motel, Steel and Lace takes the most beautiful turn you can ever hope for from a film: the scantily clad blond tears her robot face off to reveal A SECOND robot face, this one of Gaily. With a propeller shooting from her chest to tear her tormentor apart, justice reigns. 

It. Is. Glorious.

AND, it doesn't stop there. The next Emerson groupie meets up with a tall and strapping federal agent who pulls a Fear No Evil breast reveal that then--you guessed it--changes his robot body to that of Gaily. 

Look, I know you think you're living your life the right way, but if you haven't experienced robot shapeshifting, do you even know the wonders this world has to offer?

I haven't even touched upon the fashion, which proves once and for all that while the '80s might get all the press, it's the very early '90s where the combination of giant hair, neon skirts, and oversized jackets with a print of dogs playing poker truly changed the world.

In case you haven't figured it out, Steel and Lace is a damn high recommend. 

This is the kind of movie that casts a sexy court sketch artist as its heroine, has her ex-boyfriend (David Naughton!) essentially be pimped out to her by his captain. Director Ernest Farino has worked steadily in the visual effects field, but by golly, this


is clearly his masterpiece. 

High Points
Aside from the grandness of, you know, the kind of movie wear a robot wears multiple masks, Steel and Lace has some genuinely funny moments, particularly in the slimy camaraderie of our villains who play things off with a perfect balance of comic timing

Just when you think you've seen perfection, Steel and Lace tosses in a dummy death for good measure

Low Points
This might sound very wrong, but there are clearly some strange incestuous undertones to Davison's relationship with his sister, and considering just how far this film goes elsewhere, it almost feels coy to not push that a tad further

Lessons Learned
A good artist knows to trace a notepad with pencil in order to reveal the last page torn off, but a great one's pencil reveals the note before it even touches the paper

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There are no decent restaurants within 2 miles of Capitol Records

The Winning Line
"Don't call me Clippy."
As someone who used Microsoft Word in the early 2000s, I get it

The Winning Score
I need this soundtrack yesterday

Amazon Prime's genre film selection continues to make life worth living. Steel and Lace is bonkers in the best of ways. Get on it. 

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