Monday, September 12, 2011

Bore-lero: "Bolero" (1984)

John Derek gets his jollies directing his no-talent wife in this softcore nightmare.

Bo Derek is Lida, a fresh faced high school graduate (yeah, right) who idolizes Rudolph Valentino. She and best friend Catalina (Ana Obregon) travel to Morocco to find a sheik and seduce him. You see, Lida is still a virgin, has just inherited a ton of money, and even has chauffeur Cotton (a mortified George Kennedy) at her disposal. The sheik (Greg Bensen) thing doesn't go well, and the group travels to Spain. There, Lida falls for Angel (Andrea Occhipinti), a bullfighter who looks remarkably like Hugh Jackman. The two begin to fall in love, before he gets gored by a bull (right in the juevos), and Lida tries to get him to rise to the occasion like before.

John Derek wrote and directed this film. Bo is in almost every scene. I am still trying to come up with a way to describe how badly both Dereks fail here. John's screenplay never engages the viewer. Bo needs to get laid...so what? There is no conflict, just poor Bo spouting her husband's inane lines. What is worse is that John wrote some explicit sex scenes for Bo and her male co-stars. I don't know about you, but I find that a little weird.

Bo Derek tries to play Lida as a wide eyed innocent. She says her lines too softly and too earnestly, coming off less a virgin and more of a mentally retarded girl. The film takes place in the 1920's, but Bo sports the same Malibu Beach hairdo she has always had. The rest of the cast is lousy as well, including a young Olivia d'Abo in her first major role. By the time this thing sputters to a conclusion, I was thankful "Bolero II" was never a possibility.

While "Swept Away" is one of the worst director husband/actress wife films of the new millennium, remember the 1980's, when John and Bo Derek haunted the theaters with this film and the equally horrifying "Tarzan the Ape Man." Then again, don't. (*) out of five stars.