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The Las Vegas Hillbillys

USA 1966
produced by
Larry Jackson, Bernard Woolner (executive) for Woolner Brothers
directed by Arthur C. Pierce
starring Ferlin Husky, Mamie Van Doren, Jayne Mansfield, Don Bowman, Louis Quinn, Billie Bird, Richard Kiel, Arlene Charles, Helen Clark, Christian Anderson, Theodore Lehmann, John Harmon, Bennett King, Chuck Harrod, Larry Barton, plus musical guests: Sonny James, Roy Drusky, Del Reeves, Bill Anderson, Connie Smith, Wilma Burgess, Duke of Paducah, Jr. Carolina Cloggers, the Jordanaires
written by Larry Jackson, music by Dean Elliott

Las Vegas Hillbillys

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Hillbilly Woody (Ferlin Husky) has inherited a casino in Las Vegas from his uncle, but when he arrives there with his sidekick Jeepers (Don Bowman), he finds it to be nothing more than a cheap beerjoint burdened with debts with entertainer Boots Malone (Mamie Van Doren) as its only attraction. Woody tries to make a musical place out of it anyhow, but the only people who visit the place regularly are debt collectors. The tides only turn when his aunt Clem from deep backwoods, USA, arrives, calls every musician in Nashville she knows to come by for a visit, and makes a country music heaven in the middle of the gambling Mecca out of Woody's place in no time. And in the end, Woody gets Boots, too ...

Jane Maynsfield pops in and out of the story as Woody's uncle's now wealthy former protegée, and even if she helps Woody every turn along the way, her actual narrative significance is very limited.

 

What can I say? This movie has a bad reputation, and for a change it's 100% justified ... and the reasons are manifold: Basically, this film is based on a feeble excuse for a story which at times throws in conflicts that are never really built up or resolved. Then, the story is constantly interrupted by musical numbers - but not only one number or two, but actual blocks of country music, all lasting three to five (maybe more) songs at a time - musical numbers that have no narrative function whatsoever. One musical block is even presented as a dream sequence - but there was no narrative reason for anyone to sleep let alone dream. What's really annoying about these musical numbers though is that they are so boringly filmed, it's basically just a performer captured on stage by a single camera that refuses to move too much, making this a very static experience, augmented by the fact that nothing much is happening in front of the camera to begin with, it's just some guy or girl singing. The music isn't anything special either, just your middle-of-the-road country tunes, but that at least is a matter of taste more than anything else, right?

Now all of this sounds pretty bad already, right? But the major shortcoming of this film is that it's supposed to be a comedy, and it's not funny at all - and neither any of the actors nor the director try to milk at least some jokes out of the completely unhumourous screenplay. Only Mamie Van Doren, the only bright light in this film, does add a little comedic sparkle to this film, and she also performs the only inspired song-and-dance routine, but she alone is not able to save this mess.

Now I guess my description alone might have turned this movie into a must-see challenge for every bad film afficionado - but believe me, it's not worth your time!!!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD