Viva Kinevel! (1977)
Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Evel Kinevel, Gene Kelly, Lauren Hutton
Wow. In the 70's, when people were going nuts over people doing stupid shit like jumping over flaming sharks covered in barbed wire on a unicycle, the king was undoubtedly Robert "Evel" Knievel. Unfortunately, Kinevel wasn't exactly the most family friendly person around, so I guess his PR guys decided to help his image by portraying him as a sweet kid loving guy. Of course, Kinevel really has no personality so they threw away a lot of money to get stars like Gene Kelly, Red Buttons, Lauren Hutton, and even Leslie Nielson to throw their dignity into the trashcan. Explains why Kelly did Xanadu after this..
The plot, as ridiculous as it is, involves a drug pusher (Nielson) paying Kinevel a lot of money to do some shows in Mexico. What Kinevel doesn't know (besides how to act) is that they plan to kill him and use his jumpsuited corpse to smuggle drugs into the country. I'm not kidding. With him is Gene Kelly as his drunk sidekick and Lauren Hutton as a photographer/love interest who apparently is paid to hang out with Kinevel.
This movie is so awful. AWFUL.
Six Things I've Learned from Viva Kinevel!
1. No matter how much acting talent they put around him, the only expression Evel can pull off is confusion. He also makes any nice thing he does comes off like he wants to punch babies in the face.
2. What magazine was Hutton working for that she needed to take shots of Kinevel's "last" jump? Dismembered Weekly? RIP Today?
3. By no means do you attempt to make Mexico look any different than the US as far as locations go. Just throw some Mexican banners around and nobody will know that you used the same f'in stadium twice. Well...it might have worked if they didn't use Frank Gifford (in his same outfit) for BOTH stadium jumps.
4. Evel enjoys making his drunk buddies hang out with their wimpy kids. It's a little game he plays.
5. I've always dreamed of the day that a celebrity would violently wake me up at 2am to give me some shitty toys of theirs. It almost happened, but turned out Mickey Rooney was just beating me up for the twenty bucks I owed him.
6. If you know your buddy is going to die when his bike explodes, it's probably not a good idea to knock him out and do the jump yourself. Maybe just telling the guy would have worked out better. I dunno though...I'm not jumping over shit.