Sunday, February 11, 2018

Prime Target (1991)

David Heavener was not much a filmmaker, but he sure had a knack for assembling a cast. Despite a budget approximately equal to a truckful of Hostess Fruit Pies, Heavener stocked PRIME TARGET with a guest star from every Stephen J. Cannell show you ever saw.

In addition to starring in the picture and directing it (and composing and singing some dreadful songs), Heavener also served as PRIME TARGET’s producer and screenwriter, hence the name of his badass cop character being John Bloodstone! With a name like John Bloodstone, you aren’t going to grow up to be a gay waiter. Heavener’s John Bloodstone is — say it along with me — a lone wolf detective who lives like a slob, drinks a ton of beer, breaks all the rules, but gets results.

After rescuing a group of hostages by setting the bad guys in fire (!), John Bloodstone is chewed out for violating the killers’ civil rights and suspended (natch) by his jerk boss, police commissioner Garth (Andrew Robinson, DIRTY HARRY’s Scorpio), who literally waves The Book at him. With urging from FBI agent Harrington (Brady dad Robert Reed in his last movie), Garth immediately unsuspends John Bloodstone to give him a new assignment: transport mobster Marietta Copella (Tony Curtis!) to his court date.

Of course, some people don’t want Copella to get there, and you already know who they are. Cue a series of rote chases, fights, and shootouts in between MIDNIGHT RUN-style bickering between Heavener and Curtis (who is actually pretty good, running on pure charm).

Isaac Hayes (TRUCK TURNER) plays the police captain who says to Heavener, who is wearing a cowboy hat, a gun belt with a six-shooter, and a flamethrower (!), “I got the car you asked for. I don’t know what you have in mind, but I sure as hell hope it works.” Don Stroud (COOGAN’S BLUFF) cameos as a terrorist whom Heavener shoots off the roof of a shed. Jenilee Harrison from THREE’S COMPANY goes topless as John Bloodstone’s wet-blanket wife. Hilariously, executive producer Gerald Milton gives himself a Special Appearance credit for his inept line readings as a banker ready to take John Bloodstone’s heavily mortgaged house. Heavener somehow got PRIME TARGET a theatrical release, so bully for him.


Grant said...

Considering all the cliches you mention, I'm surprised the character has a living wife, as opposed to a murdered one.

Anonymous said...

This is on Amazon prime. Best thing may be the esratz primus title song.

Felicity Walker said...

David Heavener’s Twisted Justice is a good bad movie. Ragin’ Cajun and Fugitive X are not so good but I found parts of them enjoyable. Sadly it turns out that Heavener has become right-wing religious extremist in recent years. It seems to be an occupational hazard with action stars.