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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Backfire (released in 1995) - A flop movie starring Kathy Ireland, Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas, and Mary McCormack

The movie is written and directed by A. Dean Bell, and is a spoof of the 1991 film Backdraft. Josh Mosby assays the character of Jeremy Jackson, who dreams of making it to the firefighting squad in New York City - all that sounds quite normal until you’re confronted with the fact that he would like to be the first male ‘female firefighter’. What kind of creature is that? This strange desire stems from the fact that when he was a little boy, his mother died in an accidental fire-fighting mishap; and wait till you hear the rest, the little man was responsible for it. And ever since, believes he can find divine retribution and peace of mind only if he joins the gals on the job!
For his dreams to be realized, Jeremy must first attend the fire fighting academy, he enrolls along with his sister Sarah Jackson (played by Mary McCormack) - much to her chagrin and embarrassment. Although a clumsy fellow, he is likeable and the firewomen grow fond of him gradually.
On the personal front, Jeremy’s love interest is Jessica ‘Luvintryst’ (played by Kathy Ireland); she is the Mayor’s PA, invites him to a fund-raiser, hoping to rekindle the old flame between them (the two have a blow – hot-blow-cold history, thanks to his sister Sarah). Jeremy discovers that The Mayor - Herzzonner (played by Laine Valentino) - is less than honorable, he has ties with The Most Evil Man (played by Telly Savalas) - and decides to leave Jessica, who, by the by, isn’t thrilled with his choice of career. The Mayor, getting scent of the trouble to come, manipulates and edits the videographed evidence, and cunningly implicates Jeremy in the shady business - needless to say, the unsuspecting sod is unceremoniously asked to leave the fire department.

New York City is plagued with outbreaks of ‘toilet fires’ and Fire Marshal Mark (Robert Mitchum) is called in to investigate. They unearth an evil plot - the Mayor is buying jet fuel, and piping it through the city’s water hydrants, the cause of the fires. Sarah is apprehensive when Jeremy begs her to let him join the Force, she reluctantly lets him - along with Mark, and Jeremy is able to create a ‘vacuum’, thus helping extinguish the fires and saving the city. The added bonus is of course Jessica, who is back in Jeremy’s arms.
The film has very few genuinely funny moments, most of it is slap-stick in a baaaad way! Mitchum, with his trademark deadpan delivery is no Leslie Nielsen (now there’s a guy who knows his spoofs well!). Telly Savalas’s performance is admirable, sadly it was his last, he died of throat cancer thereafter. The film has its share of memorable faces other than Robert Mitchum - there’s Shelly Winters (Lolita) and Kirsten Johnston (who was there in Third Rock from the Sun)- in albeit, short appearances. Eddie Falco (Sopranos) assays the role of none other than Jeremy’s mother, now that is funny! McCormick and Valentino, aren’t just pitted against each other in the film, even their performances seem a constant bid to outdo one another in ‘the who can be more sullen and wooden’ category.
You may like to give it a miss or see it for an example of a copied movie.

Backfire (released in 1995) - A flop movie starring Kathy Ireland, Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas, and Mary McCormack

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