Time: the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. G'day, mates! Ready to put another shrimp on the barbie? (Trust me, that's not the last time I will be using Australian slang in a mildly offensive way in this column). If you had a time-traveling boomerang, what would you do? Who would you see? Who would you do? I most certainly wouldn't do anything because I can't throw a f*cking boomerang. But if I could, I would like to stalk all of my favorite movie hotties of all time when they were at their peak of hotness. Of course, it's tough to find that peak when those hotties run off into the woods, and disappear for several years. Last week, we uncovered the mystery of CURLY SUE star Alisan Porter's whereabouts. She's doing well, and is NOT in a crack house like we had originally thought. But this week, we're looking back at a classic movie hottie, who starred in anything but classic movies; many of which starred her once upon a time lover, Paul Hogan. That's right, we're looking back at CROCODILE DUNDEE star Linda Kozlowski.
Just to clarify, she's the one on the left.
If you're curious about the roots of Linda Kozlowski's acting career, here's how it all began: she debuted in How It All Began, an off-broadway production from 1981-1982. Later she starred in Death of a Salesman on Broadway, playing a call girl named Miss Forsythe. She went on to play the same character in the 1985 film version, starring alongside Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich. Linda's not the first "Then & Now" hottie whose word-of-mouth arose from playing a call girl. Rebecca DeMornay first gained notice as a prostitute in RISKY BUSINESS. And Mary Steenburgen played a stripper! I'm starting to see a pattern forming here...
As I mentioned above, most of Linda's movie roles centered around Australian actor/comedian Paul Hogan. For whatever reason, he was pretty popular in the '80's, enough so to land himself his own feature film. Of course, I'm speaking of CROCODILE DUNDEE (1986). I was pretty surprised to find out Hogan won himself a Golden Globe for playing the character. I don't see what the big deal is; he's an Australian playing an Australian. Don't they all carry the same traits, like drinking nasty beer and killing cobras with their bare hands? Regardless, CROCODILE DUNDEE was the film that launched Kozlowski into the limelight. Here's a poster for the film, which has been slightly modified to appease our readers, since I promised them more T&A...
To me, CROCODILE DUNDEE is like an effort to mix INDIANA JONES with MIDNIGHT COWBOY. Is it executed well? That may depend on what era you were born in, and how much cocaine you used to do. I vaguely remember seeing it as a kid, but I remember being disappointed that a movie called CROCODILE DUNDEE only had about 5 minutes of crocodile-wrestling in it. I was missing out on a whole other aspect adults were embracing, and that's the chemistry between Hogan and Kozlowski, who playes Sue Charlton. Sue is a feature writer (like myself) for Newsday (not like myself) who travels to Walkabout Creek to find Dundee, whose full name is actually Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee. He has the nickname "Crocodile" as the result of a Saltwater Crocodile attack in which he allegedly lost his leg. When we meet him for the first time, we find is leg is in fine shape, which is a bit anticlimactic, but whatevs. Anyway, sparks fly and the sexual tension begins to thicken. Isn't it nice when love comes without consequences?
Oh, did I mention she's engaged to be married? Yup, just like every romantic comedy with a male protagonist who live out in the middle of nowhere, he can't get the girl without pushing some other guy out of the way. Usually that guy is a longtime boyfriend, fiancé, or some other guy whose withstood more crap for the woman in question than the so-called "protagonist". It reminds me of James Belushi in CURLY SUE, a homeless dude who cons his way into a rich woman's home, only to steal her heart as she kicks her fiancé to the curb. Classic rom-com formula that never seems to fail at the box office. And yes, Paul Hogan uses it here in CROCODILE DUNDEE. He's a seemingly decent guy who you wouldn't expect to be a bully, but how could he not punch Sue's fiancé in the face after seeing how good she looks in a thong bikini?
Obviously, most of the film takes place in New York City, where we get to see how "Crocodile" Dundee reacts to modern day civilization in the big city, and gets into all sorts of shenanigans. Shenanigans like picking up hookers and grabbing a transvestite's meat and two veg in a bar. You know, the usual "first day in New York" type of flubs. Everyone in Sue's social circle seems to love him, and naturally, the film ends with Sue ditching her fiancé to hunt down "Crocodile" Dundee to tell him she loves him, and misses the smell of his reptilian jacket. They find each other, kiss, and blah blah blah, and yada yada yada. You know how this typical love story goes.
Naturally, with Hogan's Golden Globe win, and the film being a critical and box-office success, it was time to rush into a sequel without thinking it through. Like at all. CROCODILE DUNDEE II (1988) lacked all the things that made its predecessor worthwhile, from its story, to its quantity of comedic charm, to its quantity of dramatic effect, to the casting, to the writing… you get the idea. It was even clear to audiences at the time to be nothing but a sheer money grab. I honestly don't want to go over the whole shitty escapade, but it basically revolves around Dundee in the city coming face to face with a Columbian drug cartel. To give a statistical perspective, the first DUNDEE movie currently has an 88% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while it's sequel stands at 12%.
Plus, it really could've used another scene with Kozlowski in a thong.
The ending of CROCODILE DUNDEE II is like a slowly twisting knife in your pancreas, the way it drags out and you can't believe you haven't given in to sweet death already. When Sue's looking for Dundee in the midst of a boring battle with the drug dealers, she finds him out in the distance. He's having a shootout which leads him to stumble off of a cliff. Not a very high cliff, mind you; that would be too cinematic for this movie. Besides that, there's barely any dialogue and a godawful soundtrack that literally sounds like a ticking clock running out. Not that there are suspenseful, climactic, beneficial or gratifying scenes to speak of. Oh, wait, the scene where "Crocodile" throws his dagger into a dudes mohawk... yeah, uhm, that was really cool.
Despite the wretched pile of kangaroo excrement that was CROCODILE DUNDEE II, in 1988, Linda Kozlowski was as busy as a cat burying shit (there's some more common Aussie slang for you). That year, she starred with Bill Paxton in PASS THE AMMO, as a couple who take a corrupt television preacher and his congregation hostage. Val Kilmer, who had studied drama with Kozlowski at Juilliard School, played the preacher. The film came in the wake of scandals involving real-life televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and Jimmy "I Have Sinned" Swaggert. Linda also supposedly stirred up some controversy with her role as the seductive (and evidently kinky) Sally Crain in the TV mini-series "Favorite Son".
This is where Linda's life began to get exciting, and incredibly boring at the same time. Paul Hogan, who was now 51-years old, had divorced his wife for the second time in 1986, and it was considered on of the ugliest in Aussie celebrity circles. There's a good chance this was due to the relationship of Hogan and Kozlowski escalating from onscreen to offscreen. Things had finally settled down, and Paul and Linda got married in 1990, but not without releasing another crap film first! ALMOST AN ANGEL was Hogan's attempt to reach the same comedic parse as the first DUNDEE film, and didn't quite succeed. He plays a small time crook who's convinced he's become an angel, doing God's work to clean his slate. Linda's in it as the love interest once again, but more interestingly, Charlton Heston plays God. That aspect alone almost intrigues me enough to see it. Almost.
Things slowly began to die down for Linda as the 1990's continued to roll in. It seemed to be going well at first, as she landed parts in THE NEIGHBOR (1993), ZORN and BACKSTREET JUSTICE (1994), which showed her as more of the heroic badass rather than a damsel in distress. It still didn't get her the attention she received in 1988, and all of her hope to resurface to that same level of glamour was ultimately crushed by John Carpenter's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1995). The whole plot revolves around a small town where the women all start giving birth to unfriendly blonde alien children. If that doesn't scare you, each of these intergalactic kids also has a terrible case of pinkeye...
Or maybe they're just evil. Oh, yeah.
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED was a remake of the British film of the same name from 1960, which is itself an adaptation of the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. Carpenter's version still has a cult following, I guess you could say. The cast was creatively put together, with the ensemble of Christopher Reeve, Kristie Alley and Mark Hamill, who plays a reverend (tough to complain about that). I haven't seen this film in several years, but I remember it creeping me out to some degree, so it can't be all that bad. Still, it didn't break even in the box office, and wasn't loved by critics. It was yet another film that could've been saved by a little more Kozlowski thong action. Oh well.
Linda Kozlowski basically called it quits in showbiz after nearly a decade of flop after flop. But as Paul Hogan would say, "when the going gets tough, make another "Crocodile" Dundee movie. Yes, as we all know, 2001 saw the release of CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES. No one was asking for it, and even if it was the sequel we'd always wanted, it was still 10 years too late. Granted it was probably meant to be taken the least seriously of the three DUNDEE films, but even at their most serious, they're pretty silly. At the very least, it provided one last chance to watch Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski share the screen again. At the time, Linda had taken a 6 year break from acting, and still looked pretty damn good. The age difference between the Hollywood couple started to become more obvious.
So, it's been 12 years and Linda has not been credited in a single film since the ridiculous CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES. So what happened? Surely a few bad movies wouldn't completley rob Linda of her faith as an actress forever, right? Did she succumb to the pressures of alcohol? Doughnuts? Meth? Does she still have nightmares about working with those blonde kids from VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED? Did a dingo eat her baby? Let's find out!
Crikey!!! Okay, okay, so over a decade has gone by, and it's pretty clear she's had some work done. But you may recall that some-odd years ago, both Linda and Hogan were spotted not looking so great (I linked to a picture, instead of posting it here and ruining everyone's day, so be warned). With that in mind, I will admit I'm actually gobsmacked by this outcome. I would like to have a naughty with her (again, more immature Aussie slang). This time, we actually have a QUOTE as to why this hottie left the burdens of Hollywood behind: "These straight-to-video, schlocky films I was getting were giving me an ulcer, basically because I was the only one on the set that cared about anything... Between that and my biological clock, I decided to give it all away." I would let her give it all away. Paul Hogan is one lucky old geezer.
As you can see, Linda and Paul are still joined at the hip, assuming Hogan's hasn't given out by now. They've been the most long-lasting couple named "Paul and Linda" since the McCartney's, and that alone is worthy of celebration. You probably also noticed from the picture above that Linda's a certified MILF(?), raising a teenage son with Hogan named Chance. I'll bet all of his buddies are waiting for a chance to retrieve his mother's milk, eh? Eh? Screw you, I'm tired. Here's a side-by-side of the CROCODILE DUNDEE couple, 26 years apart...
There's no telling just what exactly Linda Kozlowski has been up to over this past decade (besides polishing her husband's didjeridoo), but I must say, it's a heartwarming feeling to see a couple from the movies who have maintained a long-lasting relationship. Even if it was thanks to one of the most accidentally successful films ever made. Good onya, Miss Kozlowski! Go ahead and strike back with how you feel about this outcome, and we'll have a good indication of just how bangable this hottie still is. G'day, shmoes! I'm hitting the boozer to grab a few Fosters. Hooroo!