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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Neon Signs (1996)

Abandoned by his mother (Carrie Pagano) at a motel as a child (Tom Ashley), an 18 year old boy (Matt Dotson) has been raised by the motel owner (Vivienne Maloy). When the motel owner dies, the naive boy accidentally falls in with two aging, gun toting party girls (Carol Lynley, Barbara McNair) and their partner in crime (William Smith). Directed by Marc Kolbe, this low budget "B" movie has an interesting narrative but the screenplay by Lazar Saric is unable to provide the necessary finesse that would elevate it to anything beyond a straight to video package. Dotson's young boy is meant to resemble Voltaire's Candide, a naive innocent in a corrupt world but the way Dotson plays him, he comes across as mentally challenged. The three old pros (Lynley, McNair, Smith) may look rough and may have seen better days but they bring an inner life to their characters not necessarily in the script. There's a weary acceptance to Smith's performance while Lynley and McNair are quite amusing as delusional broads who think they still "have it". Given a rewrite by a good script doctor, a remake might not be a bad thing especially since I doubt anyone has seen this movie anyway. 

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