Deadfall (1993) should have been named Dreadful. It is a confidence game within a confidence game flick written and directed by Christpher Coppola, with a cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Michael Biehn, Sarah Trigger, James Coburn, Peter Fonda, Charlie Sheen and Talia Shire. The story is engaging, full of interesting characters, and with some nice plot twists. Trigger shows breasts in a lengthy nude scene, as do two strippers. Hard to imagine how it could be that bad, isn't it?

I have never seen a film where the problem was more obvious or came from a less likely source. Sure, there were some minor defects, like a little too much narration, and some of the minor characters could have been fleshed out more, but those would have been forgivable. The problem is an over-the-top performance from Nicolas Cage. He didn't just chew the scenery, he digested it, then squatted and crapped in the middle of the set. In a short featurette included on the DVD, Cage admitted that he gave a totally unrestrained performance. Cage doesn't bear the entire blame for this, however. Coppola's job should have been to reel him in. Cage's performance was so over-the-top that I cheered his death by deep fat frying, but was at the same time angry that it wasn't more violent and painful. Unfortunately, it was too late to enjoy the rest of the film.

Cage, whose real name is Coppola, is Christopher Coppola's brother, both nephews to Francis Ford Coppola. Perhaps there is something in that relationship that explains how this happened. Cage was established, with a great track record. Coppola was a new director with one major flop under his belt. There was no clue in the featurette as to why Coppola did not direct Cage. I can only assume that he felt Cage was the pro, and trusted his judgement. I wasn't on the set. Anything I said regarding "why" would be conjecture. What I do know is that Cage ruined what could have been a decent film, and that Coppola let him. Since Cage has proven ability, one might surmise that Coppola is at fault. At any rate, the performance is really that glaringly awful.

IMDb readers have this at 2.8 of 10. As it was technically competent, the lowest score I can give using our system is a D-. There is no US release date listed at IMDb.

  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails
  • Thumbnails

  • Sarah Trigger (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23)
  • Stripper #1 (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Stripper #2 (1, 2, 3)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)

    Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974):

    "For something so bleak, so purposely revolting and unsentimental, there are reservoirs of profound poetry in Alfredo Garcia, the only film that Peckinpah ever considered completely his own."

    Slant Magazine

    Well, I don't know about those reservoirs of profound poetry, but there is plenty of truly twisted shit - and that's what's really important. A good rule of thumb in this movie is this: if there is a woman on screen, it is only a matter of a minute or so before she is raped or beaten.

    The film begins with a powerful and evil Mexican landowner confronting his pregnant daughter about the identity of the baby's father. She won't sing, so he has her stripped in front of the servants and neighbors. She still won't sing, so he starts breaking her fingers until somebody finally starts singin' like a canary.

    Having secured the identity of Alfredo Garcia, a noted lothario, Evil Papa Landowner turns to the vast crowd he has assembled for his daughter's humiliation and announces that he will give a million dollars for the head of Alfredo Garcia, presumably detached from the rest of Alfredo's body. This offer causes a sudden and rapid outflow of vehicles from the hacienda, as various competing parties dash to the airports and take to the streets of the towns in a race to be the first to find the young rake.

    The competition basically boils down to two teams. One is a couple of sweaty, slimy, greasy guys in cheap suits and an old jalopy. The other is a massive corporate para-military organization with luxurious offices populated by guys who wear Armani suits while being fed grapes by slave girls. The lead detectives for the sybaritic latter day Pinkertons are two very swishy bounty hunters played by Gig Young and Robert Webber. I guess Noel Coward and Cole Porter were busy. Let's just say these guys put the pink back into Pinkerton, but they are two bad-tempered and ornery sissies. At one point, Webber is sitting in a bar when a prostitute starts to rub his crotch. He elbows her in the face and leaves her lying unconscious on the barroom floor.

    The slick corporate suits are having no luck tracking down their million dollar prey until they stumble into a touristy cantina and strike up a conversation with an American (Warren Oates) who plays and sings at the piano bar. That's right, it's Warren Oates as a lounge pianist, probably the worst lounge pianist ever. He is pretty cool, however. I think you have to admire the cinematic sangfroid of a guy who doesn't take off his sunglasses to sleep or make love! Moreover, although ol' Warren can't sing for shit, he does know a thing or two about Alfredo Garcia, because when Big Al wasn't seducing landowners' daughters, he was busy seducing Warren's girlfriend. Ol' Warren figures it's a helluva deal to kill his romantic rival and also get paid for it, so he cuts a deal to bring Al's head to the flaming bounty hunters. Not knowing the real value of the head, Warren is thrilled with the $10,000 he is offered for the job.

    And then things get complicated.

    First of all, Warren finds out from his girlfriend that there will be no need to kill Al, since the rural Casanova recently died in an auto crash, and has already been buried. Warren figures that's even better, because it's much easier to cut the head off a dead body than a live one, so he and his crab-infested girlfriend make a long road trip in their beat-up car through the dirt roads of rural Mexico to the remote cemetery. Along the way, they sing, drink and shoot livestock. Warren finds out that there are some significant obstacles in his path to the head of Alfredo Garcia:

    • Remember the two pasty, greasy guys in the stained suits? They haven't given up.
    • There are some violent rapist bikers out in the countryside. (Kris Kristofferson!!)
    • Al's family is really not pleased with the whole grave-robbing thing.
    • The two poofy Pinkertons are still out there guarding their investment.

    In the course of the adventure, Warren loses his girlfriend and ends up in a permanent drunken stupor, his only friend a fly-encrusted, decomposing hunk of human flesh with which he maintains a running conversation, their relationship a violent trailer-trash echo of Tom Hanks and Wilson the Volleyball.

    Well, I guess I'm not spoiling it too much to say that the adventure finally ends up with Warren face-to-face with Señor Evil Landowner. Warren carries the decaying head, and Evil Dude carries a suitcase filled with a million dollars. Warren is in the hacienda alone, and Evil Dude is guarded by a bunch of guys that look like the extras from Viva Zapata! You just know it's gonna be ugly.

    Despite the paeans written to Peckinpah in recent times, I have to tell you that this film has a lot of problems. There are great scenes, memorable scenes, but there are some scenes that just drag on interminably and accomplish nothing. The Kris Kristofferson sequence is  completely unrelated to the rest of the film. As if that weren't a big enough problem, it involves Kris Kristofferson! That entire section should really have been be cut to make the film move forward better. Some of the scenes with Oates and his girlfriend, like the one of them picnicking in the countryside, were necessary to establish the genuine tenderness between them, but dragged on and on and on, to a point where I was fast-forwarding until the plot re-started.

    The only thing that really distinguishes this film from an exercise in mindless violence is the Warren Oates character. He starts out as a total washout, a guy willing to do anything for a buck, and in the course of the film discovers that he does believe in something. First he finds that he really loves his girlfriend, then he is driven to despair when she dies, and then he is driven to exact his private concept of justice for her death. When he gets a chance to take the million dollars and walk out scot-free, he remembers all the people who died for the head, including his girlfriend, and he explodes in a paroxysm of righteous rage and revenge, money be damned. Peckinpah's script and Oates's performance do manage to achieve something truly remarkable. Although Warren is every bit as big a slimebucket as his rivals, and a less competent one to boot, the audience manages to bond with him, root for him, and even admire the integrity he achieves in his own low-rent way. He is a genuine anti-hero far distanced from the glamorize surrogates that came out of Hollywood before him. Bogart's Rick, for example, is a man with a callous exterior only half-heartedly masking his idealistic principles, a guy who is not really an anti-hero, but simply a real hero waiting to cast off his secret identity. He is a man we can love and admire. We would like him for a friend. Breaking sharply from that sentimentality, the Oates character is a true anti-hero. Not only do we not want him for a friend, but he hope we never have to meet him, especially in close quarters. We know he would exude a foul smell of alcohol, medical neglect, and careless hygiene. If we saw him walking toward us, we'd cross the street to avoid him. If we saw him walking down the bus aisle and we had an empty seat beside us, we'd move, just in case. There is no way we could possibly root for this guy.

    Yet we do.

    Credit Peckinpah's unique genius for that dubious but astoundingly powerful achievement.


    Other Crap:

    Other Crap archives. May also include newer material than the links above, since it's sorta in real time.

    Click here to submit a URL for Other Crap




    Here are the latest movie reviews available at


    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Jr's Polls
    The most recent poll for Best Oscar Winning Nude Performance wasn't even close.

    To put it simply...Halle Berry kicked some ass.

    Here are the official poll results and comments.

    Here are the results of our most recent other polls...
    The Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2004

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 80s

    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 90s

    Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.

    Who has the best bum in Hollywood?

    Best All Time Television Comedy

    Email Scoopy Jr. with nominees, comments or suggestions.

    'Caps and comments by Spaz:

    New 6-part cable series on Canada's Bravo about running an upscale restaurant starring Erin Karpluk (Ripper 2), Sonja Bennett (Punch), Leah Cairns, and Carmen Moore.

    Bliss season III: episode Les Petit Mots
    Patricia McKenzie from Naked Josh shows her ample bosom.

    Puppets Who Kill: episode Buttons and the Paternity Suit

    Virgin Mobile Canadian Ad Campaign continued...
    The latest commercial for Richard Branson's new Virgin Mobile Home service in Canada. The old competition is portrayed as a hooker who rolls you over gives you a disease called "the catch".

    • naughty hookers: one wearing tight t-shirt, the other only some balloons.

    Cleaning up my harddrive...

    • Karen Hines: tight sweater in-an episode of The Newsroom.
    • Kirstin Hinton: pokies in Exhibit A.
    • Inga Cadranel: showing extra cleavage in the 11th Hour. Probably preggers.
    • Nancy Robertson: the future Mrs. Brent Butt gets her bra strap snagged while jammin' in Corner Gas.
    • unknown: another uncredited dead hooker in "Da Vinci's Inquest": episode Doing the Chicken Scratch.
    • Jean Teillet: sexy playing nymphomaniac secretary in the obscure tv movie "The Hijacking of Studio 4" (1985).

    'Caps and comments by Dann:

    "Side FX"
    I call this 2005 direct-to-video horror flick a wannabe vampire movie, because the victims get their necks chewed on, you know, the blood flowing everywhere thing, but no neat stuff like turning into bats, flying, stakes in the heart, etc.

    The premise of this pretty bad B-movie actually isn't bad. A medieval drug developed in 1646 to enhance sex had a nasty side effect: it made some of it's users (but not all) uncontrollably thirst for blood. It wore off in about 12 hours, but in that time the user usually ripped someone to pieces to get at their blood. When the church found out about the drug, it was (supposedly) completely destroyed, along with all the users. Hey, they didn't know about the 12 hour thing.

    It's now Halloween 2004 and some college students are throwing a major party at an abandoned farm. They've discovered a dynamite new sex drug that they freely hand out to everyone. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the side effect, which quickly hits most of the party goers.

    Typical bad acting, lightweight script and general lameness abound, but the movie is still fun in spots, OK for a night watching a dumb horror flick. As is not uncommon in a low-budget film, several of the cast had multiple bit parts. Leticia Gantt, who also had production responsibilities according to the credits, played the doping victim at the beginning of the flick, and was a lesbian lover/doping victim at the party as well. Busy girl.

    'Caps and comments by Oz:

    "Vision Quest"
    We have some nice pokies by Linda Fiorentino in her first movie, Vison Quest. There's also a dark silhouette of her losing her jeans but nothing is visible.

    • Linda Fiorentino (1, 2)

    "All I Want"
    No nudity in All I Want (aka Try Seventeen) but a few actresses are down to their underwear or show some cleavage. We see lots of Mandy Moore, Desiree Zurowski, Deborah Harry (definitely showing her age), Franka Potente, Narma Ya and Elizabeth Perkins.

    Pokies by Dendrie Allyn Taylor in Shocker - her name is longer than her screen time.

    "Meet the Applegates"
    Another actress whose name is longer than her screen time is Savannah Smith Bouchér in Meet the Applegates. No nudity, she's down to her underwear.

    "The Event"
    Sarah Polley is also down to her underwear in The Event.

    The briefest bit of nipple and some good rear views from Saffron Burrows in Tempted.

    • Saffron Burrows (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    "25th Hour"
    No nudity in 25th hour but there are lots of nice caps of Rosario Dawson, Anna Paquin and Felicia Finley.

    Pokies by Kyra Sedgwick in Phenomenon.

    "Spy Hard"
    Spy Hard is a typical Leslie Nielson comedy and so no nudity. Just lots of cleavage and sex appeal by Nicolette Sheridan and Stephanie Romanov.

    Angelina Jolie
    (1, 2)

    Jolie showing a little cleavage at the London premiere of "Alexander".

    Keira Knightley
    (1, 2, 3, 4)

    Mr. Nude Celeb 'caps of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star topless in her first (and hopefully not last) nude scene. Here she is in "The Hole" (2001).

    Thora Birch
    (1, 2, 3)

    Here is Birch baring her big'uns in scenes from "American Beauty". 'Caps by the Skin-man.

    A quick site note
    Hey gang, we invite you to check out our new affiliate program at

    If you have your own site or blog, sign up today and earn some extra cash in 2005 by promoting the Fun House!