Duranalysis Film School: John Taylor in “Vegas, City of Dreams”

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Ingrid Richter said…
Heh. A fine, fine review of a fine, fine movie. Loved the bottomless pit deaths of Gabrielle and Byron Lord (I remember *howling* with you when they said his full name). I'm also going to add this tidbit: Erika Eleniak and Tiny Lister (John's bodyguard) will later star together in Dracula 3000, perhaps the finest vampire flick starring Casper Van Dien, Udo Kier and Coolio in existence.
Anonymous said…
john falls off the cliff! and he falls... and he falls... and he falls...

you are now officially the best-versed person in this movie that i know of, the one true vegas master. i've learned things i don't think i ever needed to know, but which make the existence of this thing make more sense. i wonder if the other eight brenda epperson vehicles also feature vegas and models this heavily.

i haven't sat down to watch the entire thing yet (three times! you have done us all a great service), i just knew the john parts... but i'm glad to hear that it makes just as little sense in full. for example, i still don't understand why byron goes to the dam at all, no matter how he got there. he wasn't there for gabrielle's death, what makes jessica special other than "the plot needs him here so he can die?"

when they're stacked up next to each other like in the john taylor scenes only version, i remember it being really obvious that jessica and gabrielle get identical treatment, down to the awkward catchphrase (there may even have been flashbacks to make it more obvious?) and it seemed really weird and forced. though i also remember at the end when they're all standing on the cliff john just starts spouting off all these random lines like "i love capitalism, don't you?" and it gave me so much secondhand embarrassment that i had to skip to him falling off the cliff. when you add in things like the lingerie angels and christian singing, and the weird-looking coroner talking about love canals, that just puts it over the top into insanity. there are so many things here, and they exist next to each other, and... oh, man. i can barely comprehend this movie, even with your summarizing powers.

i think the weirdest part about it to me, and i guess this is explained by the director/writer, was always how, it's like... you'd think john taylor's presence here, and the fact that all the protagonists are women, would say "oh, this is definitely a movie for the ladies" but it's very male-gazey to me*. the knowledge that there actually are bare breasts while we barely see more of john than his chest (and every time he does anything resembling sex he's clothed!) somehow doesn't surprise me, and neither do the dad's and the coroner's gross attitudes.

*the last movie for adults i saw was the martian, and before that it was mr. holmes because mom really likes detective-type things. everything else i see tends to be animated or mcu (or star wars, but that's also disney, so it's like the mcu). i may be the last person who could tell you what does or doesn't count as male-gazey to adults in the real world.

i guess what i'm saying is, if vegas had equal-opportunity fanservice, would it be a slightly better movie? it would at least have yet another thing in it. anyway, thank you for bestowing this review upon the world.
Mintycake said…
Oh...my....god....from reading this review I conclude that this movie is just so much worse than the short "John" clips on youtube lead you to believe. John can't even use the excuse that he was high at the time (this was post rehab) for his terrible acting or decision to even be part of this film. If my younger self had seen this at the time of release, all of my John fantasies would have been tragically shattered. Shattered, I tell you! Thankfully it is 2016 and I am now made of sterner stuff. Oh, the humanity!
Morgan Richter said…
BYRON LORD! Yeah--when my sister and I watched it for the first time earlier this week, we howled at the first mention of his name. It was a sign that the film was in some dangerously unstable creative hands.

Mintycake: The whole film seems designed to kill any lingering lustful fantasies anyone has about John. It's so terribly ungood, and you're right, he doesn't even have the not-in-his-right-head excuse.

Anonymous: I now have my PhD in Vegas, City of Dreams! I'm so proud. You're dead on about the whole male-gaze problem; I think if the film had been more willing to exploit John (at the very least, require him to take his jacket off during his sex scenes! It's only polite, really), or, I don't know, hire a couple of the Baywatch guys to wander through a scene shirtless (I'm sure Billy Warlock and/or David Charvet would've been thrilled to do it), maybe it would've balanced out all the bare breasts? I'm totally fine with a little exploitation, but it'd be nice if it didn't exclude 50% of the viewing population. Cutting out the dad's folksy-yet-horrifically-sexist comments would've been a good idea, too.

...It's a terrible movie. But I'm so grateful to everyone who recommended I watch it! It was clearly a necessary inclusion in the ever-expanding Duranalysis canon.
Anonymous said…
Where can this movie be seen? Aside from a $40 dollar dvd on Amazon I can't find it anywhere!
Morgan Richter said…
Some kind soul put the whole movie up on YouTube, Anonymous. Blogger isn't letting me embed links right now, but you can cut and paste this link to see it in all its seedy glory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL8GViqSB8U

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