Junkfood Cinema: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

By  · Published on September 10th, 2010

Welcome returns to Junkfood Cinema, the unhealthiest of weekly columns here on FSR and the only one scientifically proven to taste delicious upon consumption and decrease penis visibility once fully digested. When the email went out to all of the FSR contributors looking for guest authors for this here editorial thing I was hesitant to partake. Then, I went to the bathroom and made room, so we’re good.

As a guest I figured the most valuable contribution I could offer to all of you is the opportunity to appreciate a cinematic artery-clogger that Brian himself would dare not ingest enjoyably; something that might show up as an SAT question that reads “_____ is to Adam as feces-dipped peanut butter patty is to Brian.” I checked with Brian and he indeed does not enjoy peanut butter covered in feces, so the association is sound. All that left me with was the responsibility of finding such a film capable of satisfying me whilst rendering Brian sterile.

So, I stared at my extensive trove of dvds for all of .8 milliseconds before I found the answer sitting neatly between Adventures in Babysitting and Advise and Consent which not only serves as a convenient method for locating the film alphabetically, but also acts as a metaphorical illustration of where the film should be precisely placed; because when you think about what would go in between Elisabeth Shue and Henry Fonda the first thing that comes to mind is The Dice Man. So, with all kinds of adieu because you’ve probably stopped reading I present to you the Renny Harlin-helmed, Andrew “Dice” Clay action/comedy vehicle (get it?) The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

What Makes it Bad?

It’s about a private dick whose clientele are predominately rock stars who pay him with koala bears, bicycle shorts and hair extensions. Why? I assume that’s the only way you could give roles to Tone Loc, Morris Day, and Vince Neil (who almost makes it through the opening credits) without it seeming like a ridiculous coincidence. So, they give them all roles as people not themselves and what you get is a film that is in every other way ridiculous.

The plot alone is almost indecipherable, mainly because you never care. I never thought I would be reduced to this, but I may be too stupid to understand what this Andrew Dice Clay film is about. Somehow, Gilbert Gottfried is the catalyst to an investigation into some kind of rock n’ roll conspiracy involving Priscilla Presley as his non-relative, or dominatrix, or something, but both are looking for their daughter, or sister, or something, or nobody, named Zuzu Petals who holds a key to solving the mystery of Wayne Newton’s involvement in the movie…or something.

The point being this movie has a lot of characters who don’t even matter to their mother and reappear later because…I don’t know. Then, there’s Ed O’Neill as the police chief with a grudge against Dice because of a fallout over a disco non-hit called Booty Time and Kari Wuhrer before she became that girl that nobody still knows until you say “MILF from Eight Legged Freaks” as a sorority girl because, well, you can’t have Dice Clay’s first starring role be in a film that doesn’t have a scene in a sorority house filled to the brim with girls doing aerobics, playing twister, having pillow fights, swallowing corn dogs, and doing everything else I think about while I go blind.

I think the film probably started as an attempt to combine film noir and comedy, and somehow diverged into conspiracy, then someone said they knew Vince Neil and someone else said “let’s kill that sonofabitch” and then Renny Harlin arrived and said “I wanna make an R-rated movie with the raunchiest comedian on the circuit and put him in the most promiscuous city in the U.S. and not show a single nipple.” Then, after someone translated that they sought out Gilbert Gottfried.

Why I Love It!

One word – *cough* Andrewdiceclay *cough**cough*.

The fact of the matter is this, Andrew Dice Clay is one of the most charismatic comedians in front of a camera and if you disagree then you’re a jerk-off, ’cause that’s what he thinks of you. If there’s one thing that can be taken away from this it’s that Clay *can* carry a picture, even when he’s not in his macho, infantile over-exaggerated cigarette lighting “Dice” persona that only his fans love. Granted, in order to enjoy the film you really have to be a fan of the man’s stand-up routine (which at the time was selling out stadiums), and if you’re a fan the film is everything you’d expect and almost everything you’d want sans nipples, but even his detractors would have to recognize that he can play sarcasm with a smidge of undeserved arrogant-cool while dropping the Dice.

Aside from the Diceman there are some occasionally well-conceived monologues and one-liners sprinkled throughout. They’re Shane Black lite for the most part, but still not without some mentionable merit, such as:

“I could’a been anything, I could’a been a fisherman. Fisherman, they get up in the morning…they fish. They sell fish, they smell fish. Reminds me of this girl I used to date, Yvonne….she smelled like fish.”

Not to mention, that as soon as Zuzu Petals shows up (I’m guessing there’s supposed to be some sort of referential homage to It’s a Wonderful Life mixed with Chinatown in this picture) there’s a character dumber than Fairlane and nothing brings out the best in an idiot than a bigger one with gum in her mouth.

Junkfood Pairing: Sambuca Milkshake

“Precocious…combustionable…” and the most prominent non-human in the picture – it’s actually in more scenes than Vince Neil and Tone Loc combined – and tastes better than all of them except for Lauren Holly, Kari Wuhrer, Maddie Corman, Priscilla Presley, the blond twins at the beginning of the film and all of the sorority girls. Everyone else probably tastes awful. So, grab yourself a blender, coffee, ice cream, milk, sambuca, and light that mutha up and enjoy one of the most un-be-leave-a-bull pictures ever made about a man with a penis named Stanley.

Gorge on the fat of the land with more Junkfood Cinema.