Netflix Attraction or Atrocity? The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane

This is the first of an occasional, ongoing series in which I lazily evaluate the worth of the sort of films that you may well end up watching if trawling the obscure corners of Netflix in the early hours.


This curio came out in 1990, from the Joel Silver stable and it shows. The whole thing is a visual assault of 80’s neon, action flick sheen, explosions, gunfire and ladies’ bums. All of this would make some sort of sense if this was a cop thriller or sci-fi actioner. But it’s not – this is an alleged comedy about self styled rock and roll private eye Ford Fairlane investigating some sort of hair-rock crime conspiracy.

I can’t really reveal too much about the plot, not because I want to avoid spoiling the film (the filmmakers beat me to that), but because it makes no sense in any way at all – it involves something about a dead rock star and some CD’s and a corrupt record company exec. But really it just seems thrown together as an excuse for the strangely-clothed protagonist to randomly appear in a series of scenes and set-pieces that may well have been cast-offs from other movies.

Ford Fairlane is played by the trade description abusing comedian Andrew Dice Clay – the result of a bizarre genetic experiment which spliced together a shit Fonz impersonator and the Kurgan from Highlander. His entire performance is reminiscent of Yogi Bear after a serious head trauma, exuding about as much charisma as a used tissue.

This whole film is a cheap trick, it wants to be dark and edgy, but doesn’t follow through in any way at all except with clumsy, horrible dialogue like, “I look forward to raping her at your funeral” . It wants to be filthy, but doesn’t contain any sex or nudity – instead it substitutes an unpleasant, vaguely pornographic view of women, reaching its nadir in a cheesy female sorority scene so embarrassing to watch that you’d rather be caught masturbating over the Great British Bake Off.

Even worse are the ham-fisted, tiresome, loud and boorish attempts at humour, most of which are about as comfortable as having your teeth pulled out – through your arse.

Cars are needlessly exploded, Koala bears are hung, corpse breasts are ogled and in one emotional scene a guitar is threatened with torture.

All of which make The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane sound much better than it actually is.

Attraction or Atrocity? Atrocity. Utter atrocity – like the kind that makes newsreaders pause and frown before they carry on.

Here’s the trailer, if you must…


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