Years ago I developed a mad crush on Rod Taylor. He starred in the George Pal version of H.G. Wellsí THE TIME MACHINE and even dressed in Victorian frippery and with his best front-parlor manners, the man had a rugged hunky kind of good looks and exuded prodigious, delectable amounts of testosterone. When I saw his name in the cast list of WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP, I confess my heart went pitter pat, even knowing that over thirty years had passed since Mr. Taylor traveled time in contraption that looked like a jumped-up easy chair.
The good news is that even though heís predictably paunchier than in days gone by, and sags a bit here and there, he still has a gravitas that makes him a formidable screen presence as Daddy-O, the leader of a commune thatís turned its collective back on the rest of the world. And heís still got a wicked twinkle in his eyes. The bad news is, heís in a real stinker of a flick.
The premise here is that a New Yorker on the run from the mob and a girlfriend handcuffed to a corpse ends up in the desolate wastelands of
MAD MAX meets the Japanese classic, WOMAN IN THE DUNES and a happy union it is not. Does it want to be a savage comment on human nature? Suspense thriller? Screwball comedy? Satire? I canít tell and thatís not good. The jokes, as such, fall flat and the element of danger is undercut by the lameness of the would-be comedy. But worse, o so much worse, is each and every attempt at social commentary is so heavy handed that one wishes to engage them all in hand to hand combat to the death rather than see abg of them sputter to completion.
Oh Rod, weíll meet again, donít know where, donít know when, but I know itíll be in a better flick than WELCOME TO WOOP WOOP.