Awfully Good: Mannequin Two: On The Move
When actor Meshach Taylor passed away last week, every headline mentioned "Designing Women." But I'll always remember him from…
Mannequin Two: On The Move (1991)
Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: William Ragsdale, Kristy Swanson, Meshach Taylor
An annoying loser falls in love with a dummy.*
*Not a movie about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
The funny thing about memories is that you have no control over which past experiences stick with you. I hadn't seen MANNEQUIN TWO: ON THE MOVE in well over 20 years, but for some reason I remembered almost every beat of this movie as I was re-watching it. Either there's something seriously wrong with me, or it's just a disturbingly memorable flick... for all the wrong reasons.
Kristen Stewart's replacement in SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN 2 was cheaper AND gave a more emotional performance.
For one, it's the most 1980s movie not actually made in the 1980s. Every frame is lathered in embarrassing relics, like bad fashion, worse hairstyles (rat tails, anyone?), awkward white people dancing, a cheesy hip hop-infused finale and much more. (Plus, it's from the director of MAC AND ME!) And the filmmakers clearly thought the premise of the first movie was a little too believable, so they decided to turn this one in to a medieval fairy tale complete with a handsome prince, evil sorcerer and a cursed necklace. I would go on, but I don't want to be the guy over-thinking plot mechanics in a romantic comedy starring window dressing.
This may seem like a lot, but to be fair, three of them were actually monkeys with typewriters.
You can't deny the bold stupidity of the premise (and a script which took four credited writers to create), but MANNEQUIN TWO does have a few things going for it. One is Kristy Swanson as the title character. Her fish-out-of-water acting isn't particularly impressive and her chemistry with Charley from the original FRIGHT NIGHT could be better. But she does wear a lot of form-fitting mini-dresses in pretty much every scene, so there's that. Another positive point is the villain Count Spretzle played by Terry Kiser, who you might recognize for his award-winning dead guy acting as Bernie in WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S. Kiser knows exactly what kind of movie he's in and acts accordingly, hamming it up with a ridiculous accent and the world's hairiest mole. Spretzle also has three dim-witted, bodybuilding, Bavarian henchmen. It's like watching young Arnold Schwarzeneggers doing a bad Three Stooges impression for 90 minutes, only occasionally taking a break to strip naked and ride in garbage trucks.
The world according to Hollywood Montrose's mother's obstetrician.
And then there's Meshach Taylor, who reprises his role as the fabulous Hollywood Montrose from the first movie. With his scissor sunglasses, outrageous outfits and natural sass, Taylor is probably the part of this series viewers remember most, aside from the creepy love story. Hollywood is the source of many of the film's best lines ("They were looking for a few good men…and so was I." "Get dooooown, honey."). And I love the fact that this is the second time he's been involved with a mannequin gaining sentient consciousness and he never bothers to mention it to anyone. No "Hey, guys. I know this sounds strange, but I've seen this exact same thing before. Let me offer you advice on how to handle this situation!" Just lots of girly screams and sassy finger-snapping.
The Thing 1 and Thing 2 spinoff porno was disturbing on every level.
If you need a refresher with the plot, a local department store is importing a special mannequin from the European country Hauptmann-Koenig. This is no normal clothing decoration, but the fabled Enchanted Peasant Girl, who was rumored to be cursed and frozen for 1,000 years. And for some reason this is a big deal and the entire city is waiting with baited breath for the installation of this mannequin in the store.
However, due to a truck accident, the mannequin falls off a bridge and store employee Jason jumps in after the dummy to save it. He takes it back to the store and starts to make out with it, well before he knows the statue can turn in to a human. (Awkward…) Of course, eventually the mannequin wakes up and tells Jason that he's actually the great-great-great-great-great grandson of her former love. He takes her out for a hot dog, they go to a club and she teaches all the break dancers how to do a traditional Victornia waltz—all set to a musical montage.
I wouldn't want to mess with these guys…
This might be a good time to bring up the sheer amount of musical numbers in MANNEQUIN TWO. It seems like every time the writers couldn't figure out what to make the characters say, they just set them to music. There are seriously different musical accompaniments to characters cooking breakfast, taking bubble baths, sightseeing in New York, trying on clothes and being torn apart. And half of them use the same damn song—Air Supply's "I Can't Believe My Eyes."
The rest of the movie features random speedbumps in the characters' unnatural love story. The mannequin accidentally gets frozen again, so Jason does the natural thing and takes her wooden corpse out to eat. There's an 80s style go-kart chase inside a mall. At one point Jason gets arrested (probably for banging store property) and Hollywood pulls off the easiest jailbreak of all time—dressing up in military uniform and literally walking in and out with the prisoner. And who could forget the exciting climax, featuring a fashion show that's Mother Goose meets hip hop meets science fiction, expert sword fighting from characters who've never picked up a weapon before, and a hot air balloon fight.
And lastly, what does ON THE MOVE even mean? If you're talking in terms of the science regarding kinetic energy, yes, people are regularly in some form of motion throughout the movie. But that's as much sense as the subtitle makes. I look forward to MANNEQUIN THREE: BREATHING OXYGEN.
The best of Hollywood Montrose, the stupid Bavarian henchmen and more.
Stripper hitchhiking, Hollywood's cringe-worthy fashion show, go-kart chase and more.
Kristy Swanson in tight dresses!.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- Hollywood says "Presentasion"
- Hollywood calls someone "Honey"
- Someone mishears Hollywood
- The boss gets repeated
- Someone says "Bermuda" in unison
- Someone faints
Double shot if:
- Someone is turned in to a mannequin
|Extra Tidbit:||Original mannequin Kim Catrall makes a cameo in the audience during the climactic presentation.|