Friday, September 29, 2006


Ok. Here we go. It's Friday morning, so that means it time for the Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth Of The Day. Only I've been away, so I haven't had the time to think about the ridiculous & wonderful films I saw in that glorious time known as the 70's. So, I'm just going to pick a movie that I vaguely remember seeing, then use it to launch into tangential riffs on other more interesting themes.

Got it? Uhhh, not sure I do either. Anyhow, let's do it, shall we? The film:

Escape To Witch Mountain

I saw it with both my parents at the local movie theatre, and I remember basically liking it. Two kids. Magical powers. Whatever.

Ok. Now, to the real topic: Kim Richards. Ohhhhhhhh, yeah. If you were a boy at any time between 1975 and 1985, you know who Kim was. She starred in a few Disney movies, and seemed to be on TV constantly in the late 70's & early 80's, on various Sunday Night movies and after-school specials. She was also McLean Stevenson's daughter on Hello, Larry, and appeared on Diff'rent Strokes in some episode that explained the apparent connection between Larry and Mr. Drummond and . . . oh, who cares, really?

Anyway, if you don't remember, Kim Richards was a babe. She was pretty, she had extremely long, silky blonde hair, and she had this improbably raspy voice even as a girl. As a young lad, she all-but represented the scope of my pre-adolescent tastes in girls: who you wanted to see at the roller rink, at school, at summer camp.

And then, as if anything more was needed, she suddenly re-appeared in the mid 80's (when my . . . thoughts about the fair sex had gotten a little less, let's say, fair) as James Spader's love interest in the atrocious, but strangely (re)watchable, Tuff Turf.

Yes, Tuff Turf. One of those movies that was constantly on Cinemax & The Movie Channel at odd hours. One of those movies I knew was terrible. One of those movies I watched over and over anyway. One of those movies that had a preposterous plot, but featured a childhood star in . . . a more adult-like role (wink, wink). Like Big Bad Mama II, with Danielle Brisebois, Archie's adopted daughter Stephanie in Archie Bunker's Place, taking a gratuitous dip in a mountain lake with her sisters.

Not that I watched that one over and over.

I don't remember much about Tuff Turf except for Richards looking hot, Spader acting smug (and singing (!) at a cocktail party he & his gang crashed), and some not-very-tough actor playing Richards' tough boyfriend. But I do recall one of the standard-issue sex scenes that all execrable 80's cable flicks featured, though the body we saw was probably that of a body double, not of Kim. Not that I cared at the time, of course.

At any rate, in addition to James Spader, Tuff Turf also featured a young Robert Downey, Jr. And, as far as I'm aware, it was Kim's last movie except for 1990's Escape (which I never saw) and the 12 minute mockumentary, Blair Witch Mountain Project, directed by none other than Ike Eisenmann, Richard's co-star in the original Escape To Witch Mountain.

According to IMDB, Kim's 42 now, and is "contemplating returning to acting now that her youngest child Kimberly is in school." Sounds good to me. Even if she also happens to be Paris & Nicky Hilton's aunt.


Blogger Mr Furious said...

Just so you know I can vividly remember the cover/poster for "Tuff Turf."

Supershort miniskirt. One leg cocked. I think her hands are on Spader's shoulder, and she is shooting an absolutely smoldering look towards the camera...

Just wanted to get that down before I do a google search to find the image.


thanks for the welcome brweak to my political fury today.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

Alright. I'm back. Here is the artwork I was picturing, I think. In my mind's eye I sort of combined the two girls into one. I had Richard's outfit right, but was picturing the other pose...

Back to my regularly scheduled self-mutilating search for Red Sox analysis and kvetching over the Torture Bill poassage....

12:06 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

Not quite. I had to look up Danielle Brisebois too. Aged nicely as well.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous John Royal said...

Okay, just how am I supposed to work the rest of the day. Lucky for us, Kim didn't succumb to the Dif'rent Strokes curse. Though, seeing her in Playboy instead of Dana Plato might've been nice.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...


From that pic (in which she does look pretty good), seems that Brisebois hasn't aged well, but she's spent the GDP of a mid-sized republic on cosmetic surgery. It doesn't even look like her.


Yeah, Richards in Playboy might have influenced my life. Probably for the immediate good, but the long-term bad. If she'd appeared there in, let's say, '85 or '86, I might be looking at 20 years indoors at this point.

Probably best she kept the clothes on.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I sure needed that .. shitty day at work today, but just the words Witch Mountain are enough to make me smile .. thanks!

6:35 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

Left unsaid here is the fact that I hated that punk who played the brother. Just seemed like sucjh a pansy...and he too showed up in various roles for the next several years...

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Definitely. He was all over for a few years. He struck me as some kind of vanilla version of Jackie Earl Haley (Kelly Leak; the short guy in Breaking Away).

8:31 AM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

Is it wrong that the part of this post that struck the deepest chord in me was the "Hello, Larry" reference?

MacLean Stevenson leaving M*A*S*H for that flameout was the greatest act of career implosion until the follow-ups by Shelley Long and David Caruso.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

There are no "wrongs" here, Otto. Except trying to offer one good reason why Meadowlark Lemon appeared on Hello, Larry.

That would be wrong, by definition.

1:02 PM  

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