Hit the Road, Jack Palance

Hit the Road, Jack Palance


I’m a sucker for these cheapo DVD compilations, especially the ones I pick up at the DouglasLibrary in North Canaan, Conn., for a couple of bucks.

But Allegro’s “Mafia Kingpin Collection,” at least the first disc, is major fermented curd.

In “Mister Scarface,” Jack Palance plays Mister Scarface, so-called because he has a — yep, you guessed it — scar on his personal face.

He gets ripped off by a young punk from a rival gang. Another punk from Mister Scarface’s gang helps, as does the local fat middle-aged gay gangster.

This wacky trio takes us on a wild ride in an orange dune buggy around little narrow Italian streets and to an abandoned slaughterhouse and so on.

It is all very exciting and makes a certain amount of sense, which detracts from the overall experience.

There might have been a breast but I don’t think so. Some decent badly-dubbed kung fu, though, and the usual overdone sound effects — especially that curious insistence bad filmmakers have on making sure the sound of leather shoes on polished floors is in every scene — even if someone in ballet slippers is tip-toeing across a velvet field that’s just been sprayed with silicone.

The cop in blue jeans is greasy and excitingly underexposed

The shoe sound is also a prevalent part of “The Cop in Blue Jeans,” in which Jack Palance plays Richard Russo, who is not a semi-famous novelist and does not have a scar on his face. He is chiefly distinguishable from Mister Scarface by the fact he does not use a holder for his cigarettes.

A greasy unwashed detective wants to catch fences, so he goes to a soccer game and shoves a guy’s head in the toilet. Then he dons a greasy, multi-colored knit cap and rides a motorcycle around in circles.

There is a sex scene, mercifully truncated and displaying nothing more alarming than the greasy man in his red briefs — which makes this a horror film (although not as horrible as it would have been if the shorts came down).

To make some sort of point, the greasy man is shown in front of a giant poster for “Serpico.” He also has a small white rodent named “Serpico.”

This film has two excruciating disco scenes, the last featuring the worst exhibition of White Man Dancing since I last took the floor, at Denison University, 1984, doing my thang to Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson and The Magic Rockers.

It also has recurring soft-core porno music with someone pretending to be Ornette Coleman squonking over it.

And “The Cop in Blue Jeans” makes no sense. I mean none at all. Zero. No plot to get in the way of the story, and no story, either.

It’s flicks like these that make me regret giving up drugs.

Unless you are either intoxicated, bored beyond belief or insane, there is no reason to watch either one of these films — especially not now, since I have done so for you.

One coil, and that’s a gift.

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