Monstervision's 100% Weird Presents
Name an early-80s Disney cloak-and-dagger flick with nary a child in the cast? Yes, it's Trenchcoat, starring Margot Kidder as a saucy wannabe Hammett who gets mixed up with drugs and shieks in a strange land and Robert Hays as the man she reluctantly falls for.
Trenchcoat has all the required elements of a slapstick spy thriller: An exotic locale (shot entirely in Malta), a female tourist drawn by happenstance into a deadly crime ring (Kidder), a local police inspector who thinks she's a crazy dame (the inimitable David Suchet) and a handsome compatriot who helps save the day (Hays).
An attempt by Disney to update it's image, Trenchcoat was largely overlooked at the time of its release but brings together a very decent cast and a few good twists. As the unflappable Inspector Stagnos, Suchet, who is best known from his role as Inspector Clouisot for PBS' Mystery and seems born to play a detective, emits the perfect brand of skeptical sarcasm carried by only the best film detectives. Under his disapproving glance, Kidder, as aspiring mystery writer Mickey Raymond (Mickey Spillane + Raymond Chandler?), is forced to explain disappearing dead bodies and a host of other inconveniences.
As Mickey, Kidder, whose success in Superman was sadly eclipsed by a 1996 breakdown that found her hiding in a garden near the studio where the above was filmed -- having been missing for days -- delivers the kind of spunk that made her role as Lois Lane the one for which she is best known.
Hays plays it mostly staight as Terry Hatcher (yes that's his character's name, long before the tv-series "Lois & Clark"), though he seems ready to break out in Airplane one-liners at any minute. Look for him in Robert Altman's upcoming Dr. T and the Women, not to be confused with the 100% Weird 5000 Fingers of Dr. T.
April 2, 2000 at 4:00 a.m. ET/PT, Rating: TV-14
"Trenchcoat" is available on video from Amazon.com
Not to be confused with Romancing The Stone (1984), in which Kathleen Turner stars as a saucy wannabe Hammett who gets mixed up with drugs and bad guys in a strange land with Michael Douglas as the man she reluctantly falls for. Michael Douglas is of course best known to MonsterVision fans as the son of Kirk Douglas, star of such fare as MonsterVision's Saturn 3 (with Farrah Fawcett and a nasty robot), The Fury, and Exorcist 3.