[review by Amanda Reyes]
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer is one of those obscure oddities that pop up every so often when one searches the web for something, anything different. Sometimes you don’t always want what you wish for and sometimes you end up with a movie like Click.
|Strike a pose!|
B-Movie stalwart Ross Hagen wrote, produced and co-directed this flick where he plays an aging fashion photographer who adores taking photos of women holding guns and knives and acting all half-badass. I say half because they are usually wearing nothing more than that awful thong bikini thing that the 90s bestowed upon us, so maybe full 90s badass, but half-2000s badass is where I stand. Hagen’s character is a bit of a male Laura Mars in that he has a knack for posing his models in violent scenarios (sorta). He’s not much of a photographer though, the lighting is horrible and the sets are made out something that might be garbage bags and tin foil.
What Hagen is really good at is cross-dressing as a nurse and killing nubile little nymphets. You know who I mean – the kind of girls who do strip teases for themselves before they bathe. How dare they! Anyway, Hagen is doing some kind of fabu shoot that involves all kinds of male and female models venturing out to his ultra-secluded ranch house. And, Troy Donahue is his photography assistant! Troy just really tries to talk in hip lingo but considering he’s pushing 60 and is still someone’s assistant, it’s no surprise he doesn’t have much luck with the ladies. Anyway, Hagen brings the adorable Cindy (Keely Sims), his newest discovery. Unfortunately her Fonzie-inspired boyfriend, Johnny Malone (Gregory Scott Cummins) follows her up to the ranch and just may throw a wrench into Hagen’s evil plans.
So follows a long interlude of girls holding guns and knives. There’s an absolutely hilarious scene where gorgeous B-Queen Juliette Cummins (Friday the 13th Part 5, Psycho 3, and no relation to Gregory as far as I know) is absolutely mortified by the giant gun she’s asked to basically have sex with while she shoots it. It’s a scene ripped right out of Hollywood Boulevard. That would be great if this was a comedy… but it ain’t. However, if B-Movie babes is your thing (as it should be) you can feast your eyes on not only Cummins but also Susan Jennifer Sullivan (Friday the 13th Part 7) and Andy Sidaris regular Dona Speir (Picasso Trigger) wearing various late 80s gear and making love to the camera.
Finally, after about fifty minutes of dialog and not much else, a random van with various crew members explodes for no real reason, and the sundry of remaining models start meeting the bad end of Hagen’s nursie blade or whatever he finds lying around. Can super stud Johnny Malone save Cindy from the sinister clutches of a madman?
Who the hell cares?!? Click is absolutely fabulous. It’s a hastily edited mess with nary a linear plot line to follow. Sometimes it’s day, sometimes it’s night… it’s like the ranch lies in some parallel universe where women in lycra bra tops biting into scorched weenies are considered high-fashion models and men like Johnny Malone can be considered a hero. Johnny is well played by Cummins but man, this character can be a total asshole! He’s constantly pushing Cindy around, not allowing her to drink (this leads to a sexual teapot interlude) nor does he give her any faith in her modeling, or what Cindy refers to as “her art.” Yet, underneath that rough and tumble exterior is a just a regular Joe who dreams about owning his own business so he doesn’t have to answer to the man, man! Cummins somehow makes Johnny likeable despite the way his character is written.
Hagen is tops as always. I mean, I could close my eyes and just listen to him talk and I would be entertained. He was one of the last great macho men from an earlier era who made a name for himself in westerns, or playing cigar-smacking types. He’s great fun and I have to admit it’s a weird thrill to see him donning that nurse’s uniform. Whew, I mean, he puts on blue eye shadow and everything. It’s all about the details.
What makes Hagen so intriguing is that it would seem he made movies just for himself. In the later decades of his career (Hagen sadly passed away in 2011), he wrote, directed and produced several movies, including the super fun B.O.R.N. where he fancies himself as a bit of a sexagenarian action star, which I personally find incredibly empowering. His wife, Claire Polan, often appeared in his movies, or worked alongside him behind the scenes. And, his friend, character actor Hoke Howell would tag along as well. In an epoch where we place so much emphasis on younger actors and filmmakers, there’s something so utterly refreshing about Hagen’s films that I can easily overlook the (sometimes many) flaws. It’s all about the heart, man, and Hagen had a ton of passion for what he was doing, and it shows.
The notorious cinematographer/director Gary Graver (oh shit, he directed Amanda By Night!) is listed as one of the directors of photography, but I doubt he was around for anything more than a few stunt shots. The movie itself has the quality of a lot of super low budget horror flicks that came out during this era, and the strange unflattering film quality really captures that weird niche of time between poodle perms and flannel. It was a bizarre stage of horror for sure and Click captures every fried strand of it. God Bless Ross Hagen!
BODYCOUNT 6+ female:3 / male:3
1) Female: Throat slit
2) Group of people blown up in a van
3) Female: Drugged and shoved through window
4) Male: Broken neck (or possible death-by-strobe-light, it's hard to tell)
5) Male: Killed with blow dart
6) Female: Asphyxiated
7) Male: Male burned to death (polyester is a bitch)