Written by / 8/19/2017 / No comments / , , , , , ,

FRANCES RAINES IS BEAUTIFUL IN 'RYDER P.I.' W/ HOWARD STERN

Frances Raines will be subject for other reviews YEAR: 1986
Suffering an awful weeklong cold when awful movies seem good, let's veer back to Really Bad Movie basics with a vehicle created on a shoestring budget featuring an obscure gathering of Long Island comics and a future shock jock icon...

Up front is fat comic David Hawthorne, the sleepy-eyed "moron" who, a decade later, as a restaurant bartender, served a heartbroken Jack Nicholson a glass of "the last free drug" in AS GOOD AS IT GETS: he throws in a Jack imitation along with a bagful of quick quips and a thin plot-line for RYDER P.I., a Humphrey Bogart Era Film Noir parody that, surprisingly, keeps up the entertainment value alongside the feeling of, "How much worse can this get?"

Frances Raines dries off with a smile
Hawthorne is comfortable in front of the camera despite being uncomfortable to look at — but that seems an intentional thread of the overall punchline: he's the antithesis of any sort of leading man on-screen persona. So some local help was obviously needed...

At that time, in 1986, Howard Stern was climbing as a New York morning radio talkshow host.  Random scenes as a television newscaster aren't that funny because Howard's not doing his own thing, or poking fun at his crew. And yet the aggression and annoyance does feel genuine: his character, Ben Wah, can't stand the network he's on, and obviously Stern felt the same about this project. And he's not alone. Not completely...

Howard Stern when he was only known back East
His writer, Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling, provides the voice of a "Fat Eddie" doll that, when Hawthorne's P.I. character, Skylar Ryder, pulls a string, it unloads insults, each ending with Martling's chortle that'd soon become famous within the Stern universe... 

But what makes RYDER easy viewing on the eye is b-starlet Frances Raines, who isn't blood related-to but is technically a relative of THE INVISIBLE MAN Claude Raines. Her vulnerable, girl-next-door beauty, seeking the titular snoop for protection from a woodwork of goons, makes this trainwreck worth watching. Plus, she appears during the midway point when desperately needed...

A jokey doll voiced by Jackie Martling CAMP VALUE SCORE: ***1/2
The worst of the cast is Ryder's hairbrained partner, overacting "the retard" to the hilt and almost forcing the viewer to either change the channel or destroy their television... 

For those brave or patient enough, or in this case, who pay by the month, Amazon Prime members can stream this extremely low budget comedy. And for fans of the classic era Howard Stern it's a rare gem to behold, or rather, to survive: There's a feeling of bizarre accomplishment lasting through these kind of movies that aren't really movies. Added to that, RYDER doesn't have a cult following to join the ranks of worthy Camp Schlock unlike a couple others we'll review in the future starring Frances Raines... Stay tuned. 
Frances Raines and a monkey in RYDER P.I.
Frances Raines in RYDER P.I. 
Frances Raines dries off in RYDER PI
Frances Raines in RYDER PI
Hell, might as well get at least one picture of the film's star, Bob Hawthorne
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