The Excellent Eighties: Hunk (1987)

Leave it to Mill Creek — with their B-Movie Blast set — to carry the entire, two-film career of director Lawrence Bassoff on one disc. And Hunk also reappears on their Excellent Eighties set, which we’re also unpacking this month . . . but not with Weekend Pass, again? Is not Weekend Pass, also from the ’80s, “excellent” as well? What gives, Mill Creek? As you can see, we took it upon ourselves to review Hunk, not only once, but twice, with two different takes, as we love this movie. Now, that’s not to say that Hunk — as well as Weekend Pass – isn’t a bitch to sit through, because they will make you want to Red Ryder your eyes out.

We also made an effort to find the WORST artwork used for the film. It’s pure 10th grade art class. Again, get the BB gun: for it’s a celluloid Christmas. Oh, guess who got his start as a background extra in this: Brad Pitt. True story.

Did you see Bedazzled (1967) with Peter Cooke as the devil and Dudley Moore as the dope who accepts the ‘Bubs seven wishes for his soul? More likely: Did you see the Elizabeth Hurley and Brendan Fraser’s 2000 remake? Well, it is that same old Faustian tale, only with comedian-actor James Coco in the Cooke role. And only the budget is so low, the production could only afford one wish. And that “wish,” if the poster didn’t give it away, is to be a “hunk.”

Not only is this review a round-up of Lawrence Bassoff’s career, but actor Steve Levitt’s as well, as we also reviewed his work role in Last Resort. Sure, Levitt did other things, more than two things — mostly TV series, which we don’t review — but unless Mill Creek boxes those “other things” up, we probably won’t review those films. Hey, the dude is serviceable and was Tiger Blood tryin’, but after 10 years in the biz, he just wasn’t winning. He bailed on the biz after his first starring role-TV series The Boys (1988) failed, and the TV movie Danger Team (1991), which was series pilot, didn’t go to series. Again, Mill Creek, hook us up with Danger Team to give us a Steve Levitt trifecta for the site.

So . . . Levitt is Bradley Brinkman, a computer programming geek whose fiancee ditched him for her aerobics instructor — and I feel for Bradley: My “dumping” experience was by a woman who pursued me . . . then traded up . . . when our mutual friend hit the family inheritance jackpot. Why be with an up-and-coming radio jock who used to draw floor plans for a living when you can live in a two-story mansion on the Palm Beach-skirting Intercoastal? They’re divorced this days, but she cleaned up (which was her scam, I believe) and financed her to-Los Angeles relocation. She was ga-ga for Hollywood, even when we dated.

But I digress, again.

So Bradley is losing his mind over finishing a computer program, so he drops the ol’ “I’d sell my soul to finish this” trope. He comes to move next door to Chachka (Cynthia Szigeti, a member of the influential The Grounding comedy troupe). At least she’s sweet on him, but the rest of the upscale greedy professional types hate him because Cha is sweet on him. But there’s another “hottie” on the way.

Coco’s devil dispatches O’Rourke (Deborah Shelton, a Miss USA 1970 and runner-up to Miss Universe that year; she was on Dallas and in Bloodtide, as well as DePalma’s Body Double) to finish the computer program for Bradley — and gives him a new, hunky body for the some. So, actually, he gets “two” wishes. Ugh, don’t over think the plot.

And, with that . . . that’s a wrap on Steve Levitt. Call John Allen Nelson (the Deathstalker from Deathstalker and the Warriors from Hell and Dave in Killer Klowns from Outer Space), as Hunk Golden: the ultimate martial arts he-man that can bed any woman he wants. Remember Den, the John Candy-voiced geek in Heavy Metal that the Loc-Nar geek-to-hunked? It’s like that. Only Den, like Hunk Golden, won’t end up in hell.

PLOT TWIST!

Does anyone remember Rebecca Bush, who played Florence Henderson in Growing Up Brady? Well, she’s really actress Deborah Shelton, aka O’Reilly, aka Dr. Sunny Graves, the head shrink that Brad’s been seeing. Huh, people “become” other “people” in this movie. Was all of this identity-switching in the original script or did actors quit and creative scripting filled out the story? Who knows. (What a f’ing mess this is, but we will plow forward.)

PLOT TWIST!

Now, we are time traveling, as Bradley-Hunk meets Ivan the Terrible, Jack the Ripper and Benito Mussolini, as his job is to recruit “demons” for hell, which are in short supply. And something about Coco-Devil wanting to start WW III. (What a f’ing mess this is, but we will plow onward.)

PLOT TWIST!

Bradley-Hunk becomes a nation celebrity when he saves Garrison Gaylord, a national, but drunken, television host (Robert Morse, who you know as Bertram Cooper on Mad Men) from being hit by a car — with his brute strength. Like the Hulk. Only he’s not green and he’s Hunk. And O’Brien who is Dr. Graves, who is the devil’s agent, is really a 10th Century princess who sold her sold to avoid an arranged marriage. (What a f’ing mess this is, but we will plow forward.)

Does the presence of Avery Schreiber, aka Dr. Cornelius Butt from Galaxina (also on the B-Movie Blast set), as well as Airport ’79 and Silent Scream, help? Does the presence of Hilary Shepherd, who was in the band American Girls and appeared in Weekend PassScanner CopRadioactive Dreams and Theodore Rex, help?

Nope.

If you’re a B&S About Movies geeker of the obscure actor variety, you’ll see Melanie Vincz (The Lost Empire), Page Mosely (Edge of the Axe), John Barrett (Gymkata and Steel Dawn) and Andrea Patrick, who plays a mermaid here; she was a beauty queen that was married to Fabian Forte — and you know we show the Fabian film love ’round ‘ere.

If only Fabian starred in this as the Devil. No, we’d never wish that devilish punishment on Fabian. Don’t believe us? Punish yourself on You Tube — Brad is called out at the 17:25 mark in the upload. So there’s that click bait incentive.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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