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Hidden Gems: Blown Away (1993)

Blown Away, 1993 (Corey Haim/Nicole Eggert) Live Entertainment

“You know, Megan, you’re turning into the same lying slut your mother was.”

Do you remember the movie Bugsy Malone? It played in heavy rotation on HBO and other pay services in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The movie starred teen sensations Scott Baio and Jodie Foster. The idea was that you could take a gangster saga and populate the cast with kids. It was like make-believe, except that I remembered make-believe as being something akin to cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians. It was still way before my time.

Our brand of make-believe involved action figures; Star Wars, He-Man, G.I. Joe. Something along those lines. I love the idea of kids playing make-believe in front of cameras. Bugsy Malone, as directed by Alan Parker, was intended for kids. Parker was kind of a kid at heart even when directing films strictly for an adult audience. As recent as my review for Be Kind Rewind, I finally understood Orson Welle’s quote about filmmaking:

“A movie in production is the greatest train set a boy could ever have.”

He’s right. Can you imagine? A kid with a camera? It’s incredible fun. It’s like playing god, and creating worlds, and telling stories inside of those worlds. That’s what filmmaking is. Filmmaking is Bugsy Malone. Unfortunately, we have to jump forward in our story to Blown Away from 1993. No, this isn’t the mad bomber saga starring Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones. This is Bugsy Malone re-imagined for the erotic thriller market.

Anybody who was fortunate enough to watch HBO in the small hours remembers Blown Away. It was a movie that, I suppose, turned Nicole Eggert into a “sex symbol.” I remembered her from Charles in Charge. A few years later, she joined the cast of Baywatch. She was featured on the cover of Sugar Ray’s debut album Lemonade and Brownies.

She appeared in Jim Wynorski’s The Haunting of Morella (starring David McCallum), but an obvious body double was used in her love scenes with Christopher Halsted, so there wasn’t much fun to be had. There could be no escaping using a body double for Blown Away, as her love scenes with then-boyfriend Corey Haim attest. Eggert and Haim appeared in two other movies, The Double 0 Kid (a kids movie released around the same time as Blown Away) and Anything For Love (a cutesy romantic comedy) a year later.

Early in Blown Away, Haim locks eyes with Eggert, and the formula is established. In my review for Sensation, I noted that the erotic thriller was a modern progression from the film noir genre of the ’30s and ’40s. Eggert is a tantalizing femme fatale, but like Sensation’s Kari Wuhrer, she lacks the presence and charisma to pull off the idea that Haim would do anything (including murder) for her.

There’s an air of inexperience or a lack of education in matters of lovemaking. To say the love scenes are handled in a juvenile fashion is … unfair. It’s almost as if this is what the actors and director believe sex is. Love scenes in erotic thrillers are generally quite silly. There’s an abundance of sweat and saxophones, candlelight and tousled satin sheets. Haim and Eggert strike me as inexperienced lovers, which is a tragedy in and of itself. They’re big talkers, sure, but, like most young people, they know very little in the art of intimacy.

I realize men (especially young men) can be led around very easily by their genitals, but Eggert and Haim are nothing more than a couple of kids playing dress-up for the benefit of boys (and girls) with dirty minds who were lucky enough to stay up late and watch HBO. Haim had begun to become a tragic figure.

Haim was a huge star, appearing in Lucas, The Lost Boys, Silver Bullet, License to Drive, and Dream a Little Dream before succumbing to various addictions, eventually dying in 2010. The clueless character he plays in Blown Away is a pale shadow of Haim, duped and misled, straying from his already strange path because of his sympathy for Megan (Eggert) and her situation with her dad, Cy (Jean LeClerc).

Complicating matters is his brother, Wes (Corey Feldman), who exists in the movie to do nothing more than confuse Haim and derail his plans with Megan. Megan, for her part, claims her father abuses her and concocts a scheme for Haim to kill him. The only problem is that you’d have to be an idiot not to realize you were being manipulated, and Haim appears to be Lord of the Idiots.

Either that or young men are idiots constantly being led around by their genitals. That might also be true. Blown Away feels wrong and gloriously miscast. Eggert, Haim, and Feldman are completely inappropriate for these parts and this subject matter. As I said, it’s a kids movie version of an erotic thriller, and the leads are playing make-believe. Eggert tries her damndest to be sexy, but her attempts (as well as her line reads) are laughable as she plays crazy games with Haim. The only actor who looks like he’s having a good time is Feldman.

How would I do all of this differently? I’d probably remove most the schlocky dialogue and go the “passion play” route. Go for innocence instead of easy sleaze, but it was the early ’90s. There were simpler, easier avenues for distribution. A movie like Blown Away would have a budget of under $5 million, secure a lucrative pay-TV deal and earn back ten times the budget with repeated viewings. This was how small movies turned a profit in those days. You could earn an honest living in exploitation.

The bottom fell out of the market after the Internet made it less difficult to seek out erotica. The resurgence of “family films” dominated the direct-to-video market. The death of the video store was the final nail in the coffin. There was an intriguing period at the end of the ’90s and the start of the millennium wherein hardcore adult film stars appeared in softcore erotic thrillers. With hardcore adult entertainment readily available and the birth of the streaming era, movies like Blown Away were all but forgotten.


David Lawler has written for Film Threat, VHS Rewind, Second Union, and his own blog, Misadventures in BlissVille. Lawler has produced several podcasts including That Twilighty Show About That Zone, Two Davids Walk Into A Bar (with co-host David Anderson), EQ Lawler/Saltz (with Alex Saltz), and Upstairs at Froelich's (with co-host John Froelich).

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