There is bad news and good news about
Second Time Lucky.
The good news is that
it could be a fairly entertaining twenty minute movie.
The story centers around a bet between
God and Satan about whether mankind would fall from grace again if given
a second chance at Eden. I'm no theologian, but I presume God knows the
future, so I suppose He made the bet knowing full well He'd win
eventually. When it comes to gambling, that Satan is a bigger fish than
Pete Rose! In fact, I think even Pete Rose could figure out not to bet
against someone known as The All-Knowing One. You'd think the Prince of
Darkness would smarten up and lay off the bets after a few millennia of
losing, but ol' Satan, he'll still try to sneak a bluff in on God in
their weekly game of seven card stud, trying to steal an occasional pot
with a pair of sixes when The All-Knowing One is sitting on trip aces
with two of 'em face up. If nothing else, you'd think the Father of Lies
would at least cover his action by making some side bets with his
minions and lesser demons.
At any rate, because the story starts
in Eden, the first fifteen minutes (more precisely, minutes 5-20)
consist of two attractive people running around stark naked in some
beautiful areas of New Zealand.
The woman is Diane Franklin, famed
proto-babe from the 1980s. If you were born in the 1965-75 period, you
probably had a crush on her at one time or another. She was the cute
French exchange student who bonded with John Cusack in Better off
Dead. She was one of the princesses who were rescued from the Royal
Ugly Dudes by Bill and Ted. She was the love/lust object who broke our
hero's heart in The Last American Virgin. She was the cute, round
little teen who faced the haunted house in Amityville II.
Then the 80s were over, and she was
gone. She got married, had kids, raised them, and didn't resurface in
public for a decade. She became a classic suburban mom, doing
volunteer work and probably driving a Volvo station wagon. When she
did return to acting, it was only with bit parts here and there.
(According to IMDb, she sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium on
June 1, 2004.)
Sidebar: Diane's fan site reports
that she was on the short list to play Constanze in Amadeus, according
to Diane herself!! Ms Franklin says that losing the part was a
blessing in disguise, because if her career had moved up to a higher
level, she may never have had her lovely family. No disrespect meant
to Diane, but winning that role probably would not have been as
significant as she seems to think. The woman who did get the part and
turned in a reasonably solid performance, Elizabeth Berridge, never
got another important movie role, and has recently sunk to taking
roles as characters without names, like "hooker in bar" and "NY girl".
The bad news is that it
is not a twenty minute movie.
Once Adam and Even get evicted from
Paradise, there are two reasons why you should not watch any more:
1) It really doesn't make any sense
for the movie to continue. God and Satan make the bet. Satan wins ...
why is the movie still running?? I suppose is it is so God can "win"
eventually, but I never did make any sense of why Adam and Eve kept
reappearing in the Roman Empire, WW1, and the Flapper Era. Maybe Satan
was a really good sport and was giving God a chance to go double or
nothing. Man, he is a fish. He wins one damned bet in all eternity,
and he gives God a chance to get His money back! Then again, God knew
he would do that, which must be why The All-Knowing One took the
losing action in the first place.
Apparently it never dawned on the
writer of this film that Eve, aka Diane Franklin, could not have been
reincarnated from the dark haired French nurse in 1917 to the blond
American floozy in the 1920s, since the French girl would not have
died yet! But I might be taking this material a bit too seriously.
Just a bit.
2) Far more important
than that lame reason is the fact that Diane Franklin kept her clothes
on for the rest of the film except for a quick flash in the Roman
Empire and a very brief flash when she took of her shirt so a WW1
firing squad would have a target.
Or maybe two
So if you watch this film,
or buy it (for $9.99 or less on a poorly-mastered DVD that appears to be
a transferred VHS print), you have two choices:
Choice A - watch an
unfunny twenty minute comedy in which Diane Franklin is naked
Choice B - watch an
unfunny ninety minute comedy in which the last seventy minutes have no
value either to the film's premise or to the history of screen nudity.
Choice A is not such a bad
deal, but don't even think about continuing to watch after steppin' out
of Eden. (Hey-ey, brother.) The film's only memorable feature, other
than Diane Franklin's soft curves, is a trio of very hammy performances
from the three guys who play God, Satan, and the angel Gabriel as three
heavenly drag queens. And while that is memorable, it is not a pleasant