It's September and time for silly films
Love old or unusual movies but never know when they’re on? I’m here to help. Here are several movies I recommend you watch this week.
“Don’t Make Waves” — This odd and silly movie stars Tony Curtis as a hustler getting involved with the daffy Southern California beach set. It’s sort of “Muscle Beach Party” meets “Divorce, Italian Style.” Sharon Tate and real-life bodybuilding champion Dave Draper play a physical culture couple who befriend Tony as he gets chased around by Italian beauty Claudia Cardinale. The plot is too silly to recount, but the movie has a fun, enjoyably stupid early ’70s beach bum charm. It’s not “The Boston Strangler” (made by Curtis the next year) but it’s an entertaining romp. (1967) Turner Classic Movies, Monday, Sept. 6, 5 a.m.
“Death Race 2000” — This gloriously silly and sick movie by Paul Bartel was made in 1975. It tells of a time in the far-off future (2000 A.D.!) that is dominated by a brutal form of cross-country racing. In this sport, you get extra points for running over pedestrians. Now if that sounds stupid and offensive, let me assure you that is exactly the point. This movie is a naughty pleasure. David Carradine is the hero, and a pre-“Rocky” Sly Stallone is the bad guy. Here’s your chance to see a campy cult movie legend. (1975) American Movie Classics, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 5:30 a.m.
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” — All that Neal Page (Steve Martin) wants to do is get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. On the plane he meets an aggressively friendly shower curtain ring salesman (John Candy), and when their plane gets diverted to Kansas, the hapless travelers have their fates joined at the hip. The movie recounts their increasingly desperate attempts to make it back to the Windy City, with Murphy’s Law working in overdrive against them. One classic moment has the two stumbling wearily into the last hotel room in town, only to discover that there’s only one small bed. Silly as this movie can get, it’s beautifully acted and full of surprising insight from director-writer John Hughes. (1987) Cinemax, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 11:45 a.m.
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” — Based on a graphic novel, this wild retro-science fiction fantasy adventure describes a temporary brotherhood of famous figures from literature joining forces against evil. Sean Connery stars as Allan Quartermain, who is fetched from Africa and hops on Captain Nemo’s boat with Dorian Gray (Stuart Townsend), Shane West (Tom Sawyer), Dracula’s Mina Harker (Peta West) and others. Their adventures lead them into some insane set pieces, such as a gigantic car race through the streets of Venice — which, among other things, is a problem as Venice doesn’t really have streets. From beneath the Atlantic to Italy to Tibet, this movie goes from one crazy scene to another. If you’re in the right mood, it’s quite a romp. (2003) HBO, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 4 p.m.
Answer to Trivia Question No. 28: Actress Priscilla Pointer is Amy Irving’s mother, and has played Amy’s mother in several movies, including “Carrie.”
Trivia Question No. 30: In how many films directed by John Hughes did John Candy appear? E-mail your answers to email@example.com.