Monday, 23 February 2015

Skyscraper (1996)

A couple of years back when I watched and reviewed several 'classic' 1970s British sexploitation movies I used to rate them on Letterboxd in two distinctive ways - Film Rating and Sexploitation Film Rating - because it's almost impossible to rate this genre of film making using the same system  one would rate a 'real' film, such as Citizen Kane say.

So, Skyscraper

Film Rating: a half star
Sexploitation Film Rating: 2 stars

Back in the 1990s, the battle of the boobs existed between Pamela Anderson and Anna Nicole Smith. Anderson, busting out from Baywatch, reached the big screen in 1996's Barb Wire. Anna Nicole had beaten her to it by a year with her starring role in action 'thriller' To The Limit. It seemed everyone wanted to see a pair of tits running around with guns back in the mid 90s. Not to be outdone, in the year Pammy brought out Barb Wire, Anna Nicole returned to the action genre with Skyscraper which could perhaps best be described as the Lidl's own brand of Die Hard and could truthfully be described as a film that *ahem* 'helped' me through my teen years.

The actual plot, such as it is, beggars belief. Anna Nicole plays Carrie Wink, a beautiful and voluptuous helicopter pilot whose job it is to charter high level clients across LA. One of her clients turns out to be a ruthless African terrorist called Fairfax (Charles M Huber, who seems to be genuinely amused by how appalling the material he is working on is) who routinely quotes Shakespeare to show the audience that he is a clever, intelligent and educated man and therefore - to the average American Joe's eyes, remember think McClane v Gruber here - not to be trusted; though check out the unintentionally hilarious moment which shows Anna Nicole correctly guessing one quote as belonging to Henry IV

Carrie has inadvertently taken him and his goons to the 86 floors of the Zitex building, the titular skyscraper. Hey maybe they settled on 86 floors to commemorate the age Anna's husband was when they first met, wouldn't that have been neat?

Interestingly, Fairfax's goons all seem to be well oiled muscle bound and scantily dressed for reasons that would surely not adhere themselves to international terrorism but would work out pretty well if the female audience want something to whack off to whilst their fellas are salivating over Anna Nicole. Before you can say twin towers, they arrive at Zitex and proceed to dole out bloody carnage, taking several hostages whilst Fairfax reveals his plan which consists of interlocking four electronic devices that will somehow "shift the balance of power in the world." It's a mark of Skyscraper's script and the film overall that quite how this will be achieved is never ever explained.

Cold blooded murder, hostages and a plot to take over the world you say? Well, who you gonna call....

Why Anna Nicole Smith of course.

Bruce Willis was busy/too expensive/bald.

Needless to say, Anna Nicole Smith is no one's idea of an action hero(ine) and this isn't helped by the fact that she clearly cannot act and was painfully out of her depth and under the influence throughout this shoot, as this compilation of tragically proves.  

Her globes may be impressive, but she'll never have succeeded at the Golden Globes. She is useless, but she is also beautiful. This alone marks the only disagreement I could possibly have with William Morris who said "Nothing useless can be truly beautiful" 

There, bet you didn't expect a William Morris quote in a review of a softcore straight to video action flick now did you?

To balance the fatal flaw of her acting inability, Anna Nicole is placed on much safer ground in a serious of utterly gratuitous sex scenes which prove to be the only reason to watch - and certainly the fifteen/sixteen year old me agreed. There's a shower scene earlier on which, given that her previous film To The Limit employed similar moments, implies that Anna Nicole only truly finds immersing herself with hot water (and 80 something wheelchair bound billionaires) a turn on. 

Her shower is interrupted by a man who we soon learn is her husband, LAPD officer Gordy Wink (Richard Seinmentz, saddled with both a character name that sounds like a symptom from an eye ailment and zero talent) and he quickly takes her to the bedroom for some slo mo action accompanied by a rather sweet song from Victoria Levy. 

Later, in the middle of the action, Anna takes time out to hazily recall getting fucked at a picnic by her husband, as you do when the body count is rising all around you, again accompanied by another song from Victoria Levy. Less tastefully, there's also a scene involving her being raped at gunpoint.

A turkey of epic proportions it's hard to think who the makers of Skyscraper had in mind as their intended audience. It's blatant rip off of Die Hard with stunts produced on a significantly smaller budget would surely not endear it to action junkies, whilst equally those who just want to see Anna's guns rather than Anna with a gun would surely just fast forward through much of the film. Then again, maybe Skyscraper, with its tale of a Texan big boobed blonde bombshell taking out terrorists, was simply ahead of its time....I could certainly see this as the kind of film ole Dubya would wank off too.

Laughably bad to the point were it is soooo terrible it's almost good, Skyscraper is available to watch in full on YouTube, if you dare! Sexploitation wise, it gets two stars...for Anna's two stars, obviously.


  1. "... wanted to see a pair of tits running around with guns back in the mid 90s."

    Well, they did make two 'Bad Boys' films...

    1. *boom tish*


      Always look forward to your comments Mac!

  2. Yeah, sorry that was a total drive-by... :)

    1. Have to say though, I loved the first Bad Boys movie! Mind you, that was the 90s I was only a teen and I haven't seen it in about ten years.

      The second one sucked balls though.

      And I believe a third is on the way? *shudders*