The Adventures of Ford Fairlane Preview

Jamie sighs as they turn another corner in the catacombs. “Time works differently…” Michael begins before Jamie tunes him out. If they had known that the only other member of the Ultra-Hard Party was Michael he probably would have passed on the task, Gutes or no Gutes. Particularly if he knew the first stop was the catacombs. But when he turns to mention how lame the catacombs are to Patrick he is surprised to see a slight smirk on his face. Is he enjoying himself? “Are you enjoying yourself?” Jamie asks incredulously. Patrick smirks even deeper. Jamie stops and shoves him “Yo, look at Circus Smirkus over here. You smirking up a storm while we wander the catacombs like a couple of dopes? Don’t you see,” he says, eyes wild, tapping his temple furiously, “this is all a ruse. A way to get us down here while they draft up Steve Guttenberg’s expulsion papers.” If you could see Patrick’s face you would have said it was impossible he could smirk any deeper. He was, in that moment, the Michael Jordan of smirking. But just then… if you can believe it… he smirked ever so slightly more. “Gahhhhhh,” Jamie yells, the noise careening off the walls of the super lame catacombs. “That’s it!” Jamie says finger dangerously close to Patrick’s smirk, “You don’t smirk at me like that unless we’re both smirking. Both smirking about something clever we did. But does it look like I’m smirking? Well, does it punk?” Michael is bewildered and scared. “Boys, boys, please, we’re almost there, I assure you.” But Jamie is too far gone. “Oh we’re not going any further with you, Michael, we’re heading up to save Gutes. But first let me wipe that smirk off Sir Smirks-a-lot’s face over there. Rock and roll.” That’s right! We are taking on The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (the rock and roll detective) in the first entry of Brary Bros. Just a couple guys talking the ‘brary (the library that is) and enjoying the fruits of a functioning society that allows for the communal sharing of knowledge. Oh we don’t have The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in our library network? No prob, cause it was available in our extensive network of Brary Bros. The world is our oyster. Library! Let’s go!

The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990) – BMeTric: 18.1; Notability: 61 – BMeTric: top 18.8%; Notability: top 2.0%; Rotten Tomatoes: top 12.3%; Higher BMeT: Captain America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Rocky V, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, Ghost Dad, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Graveyard Shift, Soultaker, Problem Child, Fire Birds, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Navy Seals, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Loose Cannons, RoboCop 2, Ernest Goes to Jail, Death Warrant, Desperate Hours, Hard to Kill, Air America, and 27 more; Higher Notability: RoboCop 2, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Predator 2, Days of Thunder, Jetsons: The Movie; Lower RT: Problem Child, Graveyard Shift, Death Warrant, Madhouse, Loose Cannons, Funny About Love, Soultaker, Ghost Dad, Spaced Invaders, Fire Birds, Meet the Applegates, Where the Heart Is, Heart Condition, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, Ernest Goes to Jail, Opportunity Knocks, Captain America, Air America, Look Who’s Talking Too, Everybody Wins, and 9 more; Notes: Wait wait wait wait … this film has a 50+ Notability? How? This creates so many more questions than I had prior to generating this email. – 1.0 stars – “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” is a movie about a hero I didn’t like, chasing villains I didn’t hate, in a plot I didn’t understand. It is also loud, ugly and mean-spirited. That makes it the ideal vehicle for Andrew Dice Clay, a comedian whose humor is based upon hating those not in the room for the entertainment of those present. … If he wants a future in the movies, Andrew Dice Clay is going to have to play somebody other than himself.

(This sounds just about right. He was a comedian with a schtick, and they made a movie about his schtick, and it didn’t work as a movie or a comedy or anything.)

Trailer –

(Seems really annoying and unfunny. Which makes sense. I’ve always heard his comedy is really annoying and unfunny.)

DirectorsRenny Harlin – ( Known For: Deep Blue Sea; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Cliffhanger; Die Hard 2; The Misfits; A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master; Devil’s Pass; Skiptrace; Cleaner; Prison; 5 Days of War; Born American; Legend of the Ancient Sword; Class Reunion 3; Bodies at Rest; Future BMT: Exorcist: The Beginning; 12 Rounds; BMT: The Covenant; Cutthroat Island; The Legend of Hercules; Mindhunters; Driven; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; in 1996 for Cutthroat Island; in 2002 for Driven; in 2005 for Exorcist: The Beginning; in 2015 for The Legend of Hercules; and in 2022 for The Misfits; Notes: Notably Finnish. Also notably was the original director of Alien 3 prior to leaving right before filming started resulting in the directorial debut of David Fincher.)

WritersDaniel Waters – ( Known For: Heathers; Batman Returns; Sex and Death 101; Happy Campers; BMT: Demolition Man; Vampire Academy; Hudson Hawk; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay in 1991 for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; and in 1992 for Hudson Hawk; Notes: Apparently owns the house Orson Welles died in?)

James Cappe – ( BMT: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in 1991; Notes: A writer on both the Mortal Combat and Poltergeist live action television series.)

David Arnott – ( Future BMT: Last Action Hero; BMT: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Screenplay for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in 1991; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Last Action Hero in 1994; Notes: Kind of interesting in that both this and Last Action Hero are somewhat known for the breaking of the fourth wall and specifically skewer the music and movie industries in LA.)

Rex Weiner – ( BMT: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Notes: Apparently the movie is based on a book. Or more precisely Weiner was a reporter for Variety and these were a series of noir-ish stories he wrote that were adapted.)

ActorsAndrew Dice Clay – ( Known For: A Star Is Born; Pretty in Pink; Blue Jasmine; Private Resort; Amazon Women on the Moon; Night Patrol; Making the Grade; My 5 Wives; Wacko; Foolish; No Contest; Future BMT: Entourage; Jury Duty; Casual Sex?; One Night at McCool’s; BMT: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in 1991; and Nominee for Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actor for Dice Rules in 1992; Notes: Hickory. Dickory. Doc. Known for his odd comedic character, dirty nursery rhymes, and strange acting trajectory. Was in 17 episodes of Crime Story, and this was his first major theatrical film.)

Lauren Holly – ( Known For: Spirited Away; Dumb and Dumber; What Women Want; Beautiful Girls; Any Given Sunday; Sabrina; The Blackcoat’s Daughter; Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story; Down Periscope; Seven Minutes in Heaven; How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town; The Chumscrubber; Field of Lost Shoes; In Enemy Hands; After the Ball; Tammy’s Always Dying; Live Wire; Chasing 3000; No Looking Back; The Final Storm; Future BMT: Band of the Hand; BMT: Crank: High Voltage; The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Turbulence; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actress in 1998 for A Smile Like Yours, and Turbulence; Notes: Has been a major television actress forever, Picket Fences, Chicago Hope, NCIS. Dozens of episodes of each. You probably recognizer as the love interest in Dumb and Dumber.)

Wayne Newton – ( Known For: Ocean’s Eleven; Licence to Kill; The Dark Backward; Night of the Running Man; 80 Steps to Jonah; Future BMT: Smokin’ Aces; Vegas Vacation; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Best of the Best II; BMT: The Adventures of Ford Fairlane; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for The Adventures of Ford Fairlane in 1991; Notes: Known for his flawless signing voice and also looking insane in movies in the 90s. Somehow looks more normal now with his egg-smooth 80-year-old face.)

Budget/Gross – $20 million / Domestic: $21,413,502 (Worldwide: $21,413,502)

(Way more that I would have expected. I’m starting to suspect that the notability and the price are all part and parcel of getting fairly major musicians involved in the film.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 25% (8/32)

(Oh I get to make a consensus: No fun as it pokes fun at women and promotes violence in a low brow bummer. Rotten Tomatoes, call me, that is a killer consensus.)

NY Times Short Review: Low-life private eye solves rock ‘n’ roll murder. 

Poster – The Badvetures of Baddie McFadden

(This is certainly laying it on the line. You like Andrew Dice Clay, this film has loads of it. I appreciate the font, and the sky coloring looks like a paiting, but most everything else is against the rules. Too much white on the poster in particular and the whole setup is old school.C-)

Tagline(s) – Kojak. Columbo. Dirty Harry. Wimps. (A-)

(I’d love to know how they arrived on these particular detectives… should have thrown in Robocop… he’s a god damn robot, so it would really be saying something if you called him a wimp. I do like this tagline quite a bit, even without Robocop. Nicely done.)

Keyword(s) – Citizen Kane

Top 10: The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), The Terminator (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Aliens (1986), Groundhog Day (1993)

Future BMT: 75.0 Look Who’s Talking Now (1993), 71.9 Teen Wolf Too (1987), 61.0 Pet Sematary II (1992), 59.6 Suburban Commando (1991), 58.5 Rocky V (1990), 56.4 The Karate Kid Part III (1989), 55.6 Ringmaster (1998), 54.2 Who’s That Girl (1987), 53.2 Made in America (1993), 52.4 Blank Check (1994), 51.5 The Pest (1997), 50.5 Getting Even with Dad (1994), 50.0 Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), 49.9 3 Ninjas (1992), 49.1 My Girl 2 (1994), 48.3 My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988), 47.9 Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), 46.7 House Party 3 (1994), 46.4 Zapped! (1982), 45.8 Sidekicks (1992)

BMT: Batman & Robin (1997), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), Troll 2 (1990), Super Mario Bros. (1993), RoboCop 3 (1993), Grease 2 (1982), Caddyshack II (1988), Bio-Dome (1996), Mac and Me (1988), Anaconda (1997), Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996), Double Team (1997), Fair Game (1995), Leprechaun (1993), Body of Evidence (1992), A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989), Cool World (1992), Poltergeist III (1988), Wild Orchid (1989), Sliver (1993), Chairman of the Board (1997), Red Sonja (1985), Nothing But Trouble (1991), Ishtar (1987), Toys (1992), Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993), Shanghai Surprise (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Exit to Eden (1994), Fire Down Below (1997), Color of Night (1994), Graveyard Shift (1990), No Holds Barred (1989), The Lawnmower Man (1992), Arthur 2: On the Rocks (1988), Maximum Overdrive (1986), Fire Birds (1990), Cocoon: The Return (1988), Jingle All the Way (1996), Raw Deal (1986), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Crocodile Dundee II (1988), Hudson Hawk (1991), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Navy Seals (1990), Critters 2: The Main Course (1988), Hot to Trot (1988), Rambo III (1988), Terminal Velocity (1994), Meatballs Part II (1984), Cobra (1986), Ernest Goes to Jail (1990), Man Trouble (1992), Hard to Kill (1990), Conan the Destroyer (1984), The Golden Child (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Hard Rain (1998), Under the Cherry Moon (1986), Mannequin (1987), K-9 (1989), Days of Thunder (1990), Blame It on Rio (1984), No Mercy (1986), Senseless (1998), The Wizard (1989), The Marrying Man (1991), Sleeping with the Enemy (1991), The Cannonball Run (1981), Stone Cold (1991), Tango & Cash (1989), Lock Up (1989), The Good Son (1993), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Dangerous Minds (1995), The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990), Young Guns II (1990), Event Horizon (1997), Dutch (1991), Police Academy (1984), Road House (1989)

Best Options (daddio): 61.0 Pet Sematary II (1992), 50.5 Getting Even with Dad (1994), 49.1 My Girl 2 (1994), 40.8 Iron Eagle (1986), 35.5 Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (1984), 34.6 Leviathan (1989), 33.0 Mom and Dad Save the World (1992), 29.6 Spaced Invaders (1990), 25.8 Feds (1988), 24.1 Sibling Rivalry (1990), 20.7 Kickboxer (1989), 20.6 Mad City (1997), 18.0 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (1990), 17.7 Brewster’s Millions (1985), 17.6 Tai-Pan (1986), 16.6 Mr. Destiny (1990), 15.9 Opportunity Knocks (1990), 12.0 Only the Strong (1993), 2.0 The Five Heartbeats (1991)

(A lot of interesting options, but hitting up the rare Andrew Dice Clay starring vehicle from the brief moment he was bizarrely a star comic was just too good to pass up. Plus we got to flew a bit with the Brary Bros network.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 14) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Lauren Holly is No. 5 billed in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and No. 2 billed in Turbulence, which also stars Ray Liotta (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (No. 2 billed) which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => (5 + 2) + (1 + 2) + (3 + 1) = 14. There is no shorter path at the moment.

Notes – Maddie Corman’s character is named “Zuzu Petals”, a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). In that movie, George Bailey’s daughter Zuzu brings home a flower she got at school and shows it to her father and complains that some of the petals are falling off and he puts them in his pocket. Later, when he “was never born,” he reaches into his pocket and Clarence the Angel says, “They’re not there.” “What?” asks George. “Zuzu’s petals.”

As with most films featuring a stand-up comic in the lead role, bits of Andrew Dice Clay’s routine are in the film. They include asking the two guys in the club “What’re names? Neil and Bob? Or is that like what you do?”, the blabbering noise he makes after the first time he leaves Johnny Crunch’s radio station, and referring to his genitals as “Stanley The Power Drill”.

Howard Stern auditioned for the role of Johnny Crunch at Andrew Dice Clay’s insistence. Stern insisted the character was written with him in mind, and he didn’t want to play himself, but he tried out for it anyway. It didn’t work out, and Gilbert Gottfried was selected.

Billy Idol was cast as Smiley, but had to pull out of the role after a nearly-fatal motorcycle accident. Renny Harlin personally asked Robert Englund, who had previously worked with him on A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988), to take over the role after Idol’s accident. Idol’s song “Cradle of Love” is playing when the fraternity sister takes Ford Fairlane and Zuzu Petals to her house.

Fairlane comments about being banned by MTV, which banned Andrew Dice Clay for life in 1988. The ban was lifted several years later.

In an interview in Movieline magazine, screenwriter Daniel Waters said that working with Andrew Dice Clay was “traumatic”. Waters was happy that Clay later said that “Bobby Rivers” wrote the movie.

This is Priscilla Presley’s only film outside of the “Naked Gun” trilogy.

Producer Joel Silver almost pulled the plug on this movie a few weeks before filming because he thought Andrew Dice Clay looked too fat.

The opening Black Plague concert was actually filmed at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado.

Renny Harlin used his own Ferrari in the beginning of the film as the car in which the blonde twins are picked up.

The main character was created by writer Rex Weiner, in a series of stories that were published as weekly serials from 1979 to 1980 by the New York Rocker and L.A. Weekly. The stories have since been published as The Original Adventures of Ford Fairlane.

At least three of the band names listed above feature references to earlier movies produced by Joel Silver: “Ellen Aim and the Attackers” is the band fronted by Diane Lane in Streets of Fire (1984), “Nakatomi Boys Choir” is a reference to Die Hard (1988), as the main location of that story was Nakatomi Plaza, and “Alba Varden” is the name of the South Africans’ vessel in Lethal Weapon 2 (1989).

In the original theatrical release, Ford’s toll free number was originally “1-800-PERFECT”. 1-800-UNBELIEVABLE was dubbed over for the video release, probably because 1-800-PERFECT contains seven letters, which would translate to an actual phone number. The video release has an obvious difference between “1-800” and “UNBELIEVABLE”, where it was dubbed over. The original number can be heard on the soundtrack, track nine, “Unbelievable” (which is sound clips from the movie set to music by Yello).

After many letters of protest from classic-car enthusiasts, the film’s production company said that an actual 1957 Ford Fairlane was not blown up in the explosion; it was a fiberglass replica body on a newer Ford chassis.

Awards – Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture (Joel Silver, Steve Perry, 1991)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Andrew Dice Clay, 1991)

Winner for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Daniel Waters, James Cappe, David Arnott, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Gilbert Gottfried, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Wayne Newton, 1991)

Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Renny Harlin, 1991)


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