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Prime-Time Flicks

October 16, 1994|Kevin Thomas

The notion behind the 1988 Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (KTLA Sunday at 6 p.m.) seems to have been to introduce TV's erstwhile horror-picture hostess to the big screen in a movie as rotten as the worst flick she ever introduced. It's a shame because Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) is a dynamite personality--albeit a rip-off of Maila Nurmi's Vampira of the '50s.

The defense industry seems an unlikely setting for comedy, and the 1984 Best Defense (KCOP Sunday at 6 p.m.) goes out of its way to prove how uncongenial it can be. Worse yet, producer-writer Gloria Katz and director-writer Willard Huyck gingerly sidestep all the looming implications of weapons manufacturing. Caught up in this dud are Dudley Moore and Eddie Murphy, who never even meet.

Necessary Roughness (NBC Sunday at 9 p.m.) offers Scott Bakula a nifty starring role as a 34-year-od farmer lured back to college to play football in this slight but friendly 1991 comedy.

The Big Easy (KTLA Monday at 8 p.m.), a 1987 release, is more memorable for the sizzling chemistry between Dennis Quaid's New Orleans police lieutenant and Ellen Barkin's East Coast assistant district attorney than its police corruption plot.

The Blues Brothers (KTLA Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.) turns loose Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as that weird musical duo they created on "Saturday Night Live." This overblown 1980 John Landis production has them trying to reassemble their old band to raise money to save an orphanage in Chicago; lots of great musical guest stars.

In the 1992 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (KTTV Tuesday at 8 p.m.), Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty, as an LAPD officer and his bossy mother, have a lot of chemistry, but it's a slick, shiny 100% predictable movie.

The Quick and the Dead (KCOP Tuesday at 8 p.m.), a splendid 1987 cable production, is a Louis L'Amour story about a homesteading couple (Sam Elliott and Kate Capshaw) with a small son and a stranger who appears when they're facing a threat.

The Principal (KTLA Wednesday at 8 p.m.), a 1987 release with Jim Belushi in the title role, deals with the tensions and conflicts at an inner-city high school only to turn it into one more cliche-ridden revenge movie.

KCET's Saturday-night double feature pairs two of the best American documentaries of recent years: the wrenching 1993 Silverlake Life: The View From Here (KCET Saturday at 9 p.m.) about two longtime lovers coping with the devastation of AIDS, and Errol Morris' stylistically venturesome 1988 The Thin Blue Line (KCET Saturday at 11 p.m.), which actually succeeded in freeing a man wrongly convicted of murder.

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