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Friday, October 24, 2014

Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981)

Returning from Spain to his birthplace of California (still part of Mexico), a ladies man (George Hamilton) finds his father has passed on. When he finds out his father's secret identity was that of Zorro, who protected the poor and underprivileged from the greed and brutality of the police state, he decides to carry on the family tradition. In 1979, George Hamilton's Dracula spoof LOVE AT FIRST BITE was one of the sleeper hits of the year. Hamilton's comedic ability surprised everyone and he got some of the best reviews of his career. So it's understandable that he would go to the well one more time and this is an attempt to do to Zorro what he did to Dracula in the first film. Alas, this ZORRO is no where near as clever and amusing as the 1979 Dracula comedy. Which is not to say there aren't moments of hilarity but they're only intermittent. Things pick up briefly when Hamilton appears as Bunny Wigglesworth, Zorro's gay brother but the joke soon wears thin. Only Ron Liebman as the cruel alcalde manages to be consistently amusing in his performance. The underscore consists mostly of an adaptation of Max Steiner's score to the 1948 ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN. Directed by Peter Medak (THE RULING CLASS. With Lauren Hutton, Brenda Vaccaro, James Booth, Clive Revill, Carolyn Seymour and Donovan Scott.

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