Technical ineptitude abounds in this bottom-of-the-barrel crime drama about a hotshot photographer, Eplin, who gets mixed up in an underworld of prostitution and gunrunning. The sleazy, neon-lit night life of Hollywood's Sunset Strip--with its prostitutes, sex clubs, and two-bit
criminals--serves as the backdrop as club owner Mayall fights to keep the mob from closing his doors for good. Eplin offers to help Mayall by photographing an illegal payoff. Mayall is murdered. Now the mob leader thinks that Eplin has some incriminating information, and the police believe Eplin
is the killer. With the help of his former girl friend, Newell, Eplin tries to find out who's really responsible. Eventually the path leads to mob boss Williams, who is trying to use the club as a front to ship arms to South America. A corrupt police detective is involved in the plan. By the
finale, the bad guys are dead, and the heroic Eplin and his friends are just fine. Unconvincing, unrealistic, mindless, pedestrian, and unintentionally funny are just a few of the ways to describe SUNSET STRIP. There isn't the least bit of credibility in the characters; the story is ridiculously
far-fetched; the chase scenes are pathetic; and the special effects are even worse. It's difficult to imagine a movie in which all the facets of production are worthless; it's even more difficult to know where to begin criticizing such a film. What's harder still is watching it for 82 minutes. If
director Webb and his editor had understood the concept of "sound synchronization" and the use of a "presence track," then SUNSET STRIP would have been a bit more tolerable. Eplin and Newell do what they can with their roles, which isn't much as they've been written so poorly. Williams and his
criminal goons are laughable--again, because of the writing more than the acting. Only Mayall, the legendary British blues musician who started the careers of many rock 'n' roll greats, comes through the film unscathed. He's the only convincing character in the entire picture, but unfortunately he
gets killed within the first 10 minutes. Like a previous effort by the producers, the strung-together CALIFORNIA GIRLS (1984), this movie sat on the shelf for years, never finding a sucker to pick it up for theatrical release. It finally appeared in video stores. Songs include "Sunset Strip"
(Elliott Solomon, Rick Thibodeau, Dave Flynn, Ron Cobner, performed by the Edge), "Do What You Can to Survive," "Savin' My Love" (Thibodeau, Solomon, Flynn, performed by the Edge), "Killers" (David Storrs, performed by Storrs, Ice-T), "Party Rock" (Storrs, performed by Storrs), "World Cruise"
(Nicki Jones, performed by the Flames), "Somebody Loves You" (Jones, Jeff Jourard, performed by the Flames), "Final Notice" (Jones, Jeff Jourard, performed by the Flames), "Here Comes the Night" (Bobby Bennett, performed by Bennett), "Slave Trader" (Bob Blanajaar, Rob Simpson).
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- Released: 1985
- Rating: NR
- Review: Technical ineptitude abounds in this bottom-of-the-barrel crime drama about a hotshot photographer, Eplin, who gets mixed up in an underworld of prostitution and gunrunning. The sleazy, neon-lit night life of Hollywood's Sunset Strip--with its prostitutes,… (more)