Now, while our research staff has turned up so much info on TV actors in B-movies that the CIA is considering it a breach of national security, what they couldn't tell us is why the film is called Body Armor when pretty much nobody in the darn thing actually wears armor. Word on the street is that it was originally called The Protector, which actually fits the plot, though clearly lacking something in the sexy title department. So we get Body Armor. After a brief pre-credits sequence of scientists in spacesuit-type outfits and a chase with dogs, the film opens by introducing us to a batch of security guards in a hotel (who might have some armor under their clothing). They're guarding a bathrobed John Rhys-Davies (of Raiders of the Lost Ark), looking like a Shakespearean actor with his better days far behind him. When our guard/hero, Ken Conway (played by former stuntman and Kenpo Karate black-belt Matt McColm), is invited into the room, Mr. Former-Falstaff takes the opportunity to show that his, er, date is definitely not wearing any body armor (Yeah, yeah Joe Bob's granny won't let him show all this on the air, but we're mentioning it in the interests of scholarship). Before you know it, an assassin appears and when Ken captures him, reveals that Mr. Shakespeare-Not-In-Love had done nasty things to the assassin's wife before killing her. While we're pondering just how ninja-tough Cucockolded Husbands School has become, Ken decides that he can't work for persons of such low moral character and abandons his post, kicking a little guard butt on the way out.
On the following bright and cheerful morning, Ken's accountant (MonsterVision fave Cliff Howard) shows up with a lengthy police report (sharp-eyed viewers will note that it details a knife wound to the wrong arm) and the revelation that Ken's high morals mean he's pretty much broke. Then who else should appear but Ken's long-lost jilted-him-at-the-altar ex-fiance (former model and brief Dallas actress Annabel Schofield). Seems she needs help locating a scientist buddy who's disappeared. See where we're heading? Well as luck would have it, the scientist has vanished because he inexplicably objected to a scheme by genius biologist and corporate CEO Dr. Krago (Ron Perlman playing a different kind of beast) of creating deadly viruses in his lab, unleashing them secretly and then selling the vaccine (Kids, don't try this at home: despite the storyline, vaccines only prevent future viral infections; they don't cure existing ones).
Now as luck would have it, there's always a van across the street -- any street, all streets -- where Carol Alt is watching the proceedings through binoculars. Why? Obviously because there's a need for a little bikini display later in the film. And even more visual delights are supplied by Krago's assistant, Morgan Brittany, another Dallas vet who also played Vivien Leigh in the TV-movie The Scarlett O'Hara War. We haven't even mentioned the car chase and gun play and computer hacking and sneaking into rooms and good old fashioned face-slapping martial arts displays. Once word gets out about Body Armor we know that hundreds of thousands of you will be flooding the TNT office phone lines demanding that it be shown RIGHT FREAKING NOW! Just calm down, there's plenty of Body Armor to go around if you'll just wait until Saturday night.
What could be more fun than deadly diseases in the hands of maniacs? Throw in some babes and a few buff guys with guns and you've got Body Armor, a film by stunt men, about stunt men. And speaking of men, JB laments the shrinking number of dudes who know how to "take care of it" below.
Now here's Joe Bob hisself with those drive-in totals. "We have: Twenty-eight dead bodies. Dart to the back. Two bewtocks. One car chase with explosion. Decapitated station wagon. Needle to the neck. Flaming virologist. Exploding island laboratory. Kickboxing. Kung fu. Virus fu. Supermodel fu. Gratuitous Clint Howard. Three stars."
Body Armor (1997)
Seen on Monstervision on Saturday, 4-22-00, Rating: TV-14-LV.
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #1
This is one of those Macho Macho Man movies, isn't it? "What should we do next? Suppress a revolt in Sri Lanka? White slavers in Polynesia? Ho hum. What? My ex-girlfriend is SEEING somebody?" What a secure guy, right? Nice little cameo by John Rhys-Davies as the sleazeball with the pliable wife in a thong bikini. And, of course, that was my pal Clint Howard of Ice Cream Man as the nerdy accountant. Clint's got a big role coming up this year. He co-stars with Jim Carrey in "Grinch," directed by his big brother, RON Howard. Anyway, here's my question for the screenwriter. The old girlfriend-who-broke-the-macho-guy's- heart-and-now-she's-back-and-she-needs-him plot . . . give it a rest, okay? Seen it, de-constructed it, mailed it to Alaska. Okay, some commercial action and then back to "Body Armor."
[fading] Where's the body armor, by the way? Has there been any body armor? Well, John Rhys-Davies, he has that NATURAL body armor. You could roll John Rhys-Davies down the face of Halakeala and it would make more dents than the original volcano. That's some body armor. . . . What IS Halakeala? There is no Halakeala. But it made you THINK I've been to Hawaii, didn't it?
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #2
Excellent station-wagon slicing, wasn't it? Very realistic. See, what we basically have here is a movie directed by and starring stunt men. The director is Jack Gill, who did stunts in movies like "Con Air" and "The Rock" and "Volcano." Actually, he did "Volcano" AND Dante's Peak, so I guess he's the volcano stunt expert. And, of course, we can't forget one of our "MonsterVision" favorites he did: "Look Who's Talking." He did the special baby-puke gymnastics work in that movie. So we got Jack Gill. If you remember the doctor who was killed in the big escape scene at the beginning of the movie, that was Jack. Then we got Matt McColm playing the lead. Matt's done stunts for guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Steven Seagal, but I like to remember him as the stunt-double for David Hasselhoff in the classic TV series, Knight Rider. So I'm surprised we don't have a lot MORE stunts in this flick. Oh, and you know who Jack Gill is married to? Morgan Brittany, who plays Krago's bimbo, Sloan, in this movie. And you thought she got this part based on her outstanding work in the show "Dallas." Okay, let's do some ads and get back to the flick.
[fading] You guys know what Morgan Brittany's first acting role was? She played Baby June in the 1962 version of "Gypsy," opposite Natalie Wood. It's true. That was when she still went by her real name, Suzanne Cupito. Hey, don't underestimate Morgan Brittany. Not to be confused with Brittany Morgan. She works in porno. Also Morgan Britt. She works in lesbian porno. And Morganna. She just has enormous breasts. Also J.P. Morgan. He was a banker.
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #3
Ahhhhh, the old "Buy me a drink" ruse. The line normally spoken only by girls in Bangkok bordellos. And the guy FALLS FOR IT. You gotta give him credit, though. Thirty seconds with the bad guy's computer and he figures out the whole Windows operating system AND the secret files. That is, of course, Ron Perlman as the evil Dr. Krago. Most everybody remembers Ron from "Beauty and the Beast," that show where he skulked around the subway tunnels and mooned over Linda Hamilton. Ron DOES tend to get cast as Neanderthal types, and you can kinda see why. In fact, his first movie role was AS a Neanderthal in "Quest for Fire." Ron was on the swim team in high school, and one day the whistle blew while they were doing their laps, and they all looked up, and the coach said, "Perlman, out of the pool. You see this guy standing next to me? He's the drama teacher. He's holding auditions for his play. I've been watching you swim for two months, and he can use you a whole lot more than I can." So Ron Perlman became an AC-tor. Okay, my favorite retired supermodel, Carol Alt, is gonna be featured a LOT more prominently now, so stay with us. Wait a minute, does that rule out Anna Nicole Smith? Is she retired? Does she still have those bulge pouches?
[fading] It took me a while to figure out that Ron Perlman is a virologist. First I thought they were saying urologist. Then I thought he was a moralogist, whatever that is. A VEERologist would be an expert in veers.
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #4
You know, if you're gonna get hit over the head with a bedpan, you want Carol Alt doing the job, don't you? We've got a BEVY of beauties here, don't we? That's what the guy at the State Fair strip show always said -- a BEVY of beauties. That's Annabel Schofield as Marisa, the busty blonde Kelly Preston look-alike ex-fiancee. We already mentioned Brittany Morgan -- Morgan Brittany as the evil Ron Perlman's head bimbo. Then you've got Carol Alt, eighties supermodel. She was waiting tables in college when a photographer gave her the old "You could be a model" line, so she decided to blow off her ROTC scholarship and try it. She walks into the Elite Modeling Agency, and the first person who sees her shouts, "Chain that girl to a chair, don't let her out of here." But Carol's an actress now, stars in the TV show "Amazon" -- did that make it past the first season? And she's actually a BIG star over in Europe; she's done a ton of films over in Italy. Okay, commercials and then back to "Body Armor."
[fading] "I'm big in Europe." Don't you love it when they say that? "Every person in Liechtenstein knows who I am. I can't even go to the Pyrenees, it causes riots. Take a look at these box office figures in Kiev." (camera crew laughs)
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #5
I have a question. Does Ken live in a Japanese botanical garden? In that sappy love scene, weren't they aardvarking in a pagoda or something? Also, I guess you'd have to really really really be in love to do that, wouldn't you? Smack somebody right on the lips. Kinda like nuclear mononucleosis. And don't you love when they describe in detail the gruesome way the character is gonna die? "You have to stay still for 48 hours. Then the virus will block your veins, and your body will make more blood until your organs explode, ending in a death spiral that lasts about fifteen seconds." Oh, and don't you love the FBI's response to Conway wanting to go after the vaccine? "That's impossible -- it takes 48 hours for approval on something like this; it'll be 55, 60 hours till we can get on the island." Was that, like, the Inspector Clouseau part of the movie? "In 36 hours you're going to die a horrible death. Go lie down for a few days, we'll get started on the paperwork." Of course, one thing Conway DOES have time for is making the sign of the furry-fisted Siamese panda in the ole love pavilion. Was that one of the longest nookie scenes we've had here? All that rolling around, hands on the back stuff. [turns around and demonstrates hands on the back] Anyhow, let's do the commercials and get back to it.
[fading] That was like a fifth-grader's version of a love scene, right? [demonstrates again] "Oh, yes, oh, baby, you're the best . . . " Actually, I better stop -- I'm gettin a little excited here.
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #6
Carol Alt looks cute in her little FBI outfit, doesn't she? Almost as good as she looked in that silver bikini. The silver bikini -- that's standard FBI issue, by the way. And, of course, we know Carol Alt and Matt McColm are the good guys because good-guy bullets always find their target, whereas bad-guy bullets fly around the good guys, even if the good guys have no cover whatsoever. Cinematic rule number 308. You know, I may have to put those on our Web site someday. You guys know the Web address? tnt.turner.com/joebob. And while I'm on the subject, you can e-mail me at email@example.com, or snail-mail me care of TNT, 1010 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, Georgia, 30318. Okay, let's roll the ads and get back to the flick. I wanna see Conway's organs swell up with viral blood surges.
[fading] This place they're in -- really doesn't look like a LAB, does it? Looks like a water purification plant. In fact, I would say that just about every movie we show ends up in a water purification plant. Either that or an electrical transformer station. I wonder if the FBI has thought about this. You could just do regular sweeps of all water purification plants, electrical transformer stations, and Coca-Cola bottling plants, and eventually you would find every single guy who's trying to take over the world. Right? You know who first discovered this? Mannix. In the sixties. Oh, bad guys -- let's see, where would they be hiding? Cut to . . . Mannix running through a warehouse by the wharf, in his thousand-dollar suit. He was the first to discover that, if you wanna find the criminals, look for the industrial pipe.
"BODY ARMOR" Commercial Break #7
Don't you love it when they get to kill the bad guy two or three times? Wait, why did Marisa need a doctor? Cause she fell down and got a boo-boo? Did I miss something? Great firesuit stunt, though. You gotta be tough to be a stuntman for a stuntman. Anyhow, tonight's flick was an "Outbreak" rip-off, and next week we have an Alien rip-off, the 1989 underwater classic, "Leviathan." That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that nothing says "I love you" like sex.
That reminds me of a joke. A priest and a rabbi are flying in a plane. After a while the priest turns to the rabbi and asks, "Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?" Rabbi says, "Yes, that is still one of our beliefs." The priest then asks, "Have you ever eaten pork?" Rabbi says, "Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptations, and tasted pork." The priest nods in an understanding way and goes on reading. A few minutes later, the rabbi asks the priest, "Is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?" Priest says, "Oh, yes celibacy is a requirement." Rabbi asks him, "Have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?" Priest says, "Yes, Rabbi, on one occasion, I broke with my faith." Rabbi nods in an understanding way, then says, "A lot better than pork, isn't it?"
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] Why did the man cross the road? He heard the chicken was a slut.
Host segment transcript © 2000 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved