When I was in high school, my friends and I loved to find and rent B movies and watch them for the fun of it. We loved the outlandish premises, gaping plot holes, budget scrimping techniques, use of stock footage, and general silliness of it all. We would relish spotting a particularly poor edit or howler of a line or scene chewing acting. Anyone could request a pause and rewind, and we often did that. It was a sign of our enjoyment.
I recall replaying one particular scene, I believe from “Small Kill (1992)” – starring Gary Burghoff (!), that we watched over and over because a friend spotted the papier mache replacement for a head that you could clearly make out before a gory kill shot.
We had cliches and tropes that we actively looked for in these movies: decapitation, defenestration, gratuitous nudity, death before title sequence.
The worst thing we could say about one of these movies was that they were boring. In particular I remember being just pissed at “The Plumber (1979)”, an Australian made-for-TV movie that failed to entertain on any level. We did not rewind or pause a single time.
So if you want a movie review of “Money Plane”, you are not approaching it the right way. All you need to know is you will want to pause and rewind several times. Have fun with it.
I will make the following positive observations:
- Kelsey Grammer (The Rumble) has gas left in the tank. He delivers the movie’s best lines, and not just the ones you have seen in the clip about betting on a dude and an alligator. He has a set piece about creating his own artwork that is also memorable and maybe the most original line in the movie.
- A delightful allusion to “The Matrix” delivered by Patrick Lamont Jr. (Trey).
- Katrina Norton (Isabella) is highly photogenic and has genuine screen presence. She apparently has gotten a recurring role in Nashville. Here’s wishing her good luck and continued success.
- Kudos to the stunt people. Fans of professional wrestling who found this through Adam Copeland (Jack) should enjoy the fight sequences. And there are a couple of amusing, novel kill sequences.
That said, I made up some prop bets before seeing the movie, and here are a couple I wished I had proposed (some of which are going to serve as a critique):
Number of deaths resulting from wagers – over/under 1.5 – This is a good line because you can be assured there will be one. But what are the chances there will be a second?
Will an animal other than a dog appear on screen – yes +200 Everyone has heard the dude and alligator clip. Will we get an alligator? Any animal other than an easily trained dog? Animal handling takes budget, so the chalk is on the no. And as it turns out, one comically acted scene would be the cause of a lot of debate.
Number of clear procedural errors in conducting a casino game – over/under 2.5 – Movie fanatics love to look for errors like continuity and anachronisms and so on. Gambling procedure is pretty well known, strict, and easy to spot on film. This would have made a great bet. As it turns out in one hand of poker there are at least three. I had to re-watch the scene multiple times just to make sure I was not mistaken in what I was seeing. In the age of televised and live streamed poker, how the film makers got this so wrong is really something.
Number of Jack’s crew to die in the heist – o/u 0.5 – real drama means real peril. How many of Jack’s crew will the film makers have the stomach to take out?
Number of scenes with Jake and The Rumble face-to-face – over/under 1.5 – You can see one in the trailer. It is the establishing scene for the heist. So what you are really wagering on is the resolution, the final confrontation. There has to be one, right?
Maybe. Depends on how many B movies you have seen.