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The Hollywood Knights

Every generation remembers the time they grew up in with fondness and nostalgia, and it isn't surprising then that filmmakers often want to capture the good times of years past in the movies they make and let everyone in on their own particular adolescent memories. Yet for every Dazed and Confused, there is a Stoned Age, and for every American Graffiti, there is a movie like The Hollywood Knights. Writer/director Floyd Mutrux's 1980 low-budget comedy takes its name from a car club in Los Angeles, where guys show off their souped-up hot rods, and follows them on Halloween night 1965 as they spend it at Tubby's Drive-In on its last night of business. Over the course of the evening, the gang, led by cocky Newbomb Turk (Robert Wuhl), pull a series of pranks that irk the stuffy adults, who seem to exist only to make young folks miserable. The many sub-plots involve a young couple (Tony Danza and Michelle Pfeiffer) who wonder where their relationship is headed, another guy who's spending his last free night before getting shipped to Vietnam, and four pledges that want to join the Knights (the initiation involves running naked through Watts en route to a radio station, where they have to make a dedication). But while a late-night TV favorite for many years now, The Hollywood Knights is a cross between the overplayed soundtrack of American Graffiti and the juvenile hijinks of Porkys (minus the T 'n' A), as Newbomb and his gang just go from one hijink to another, most of which are inane and illogical. If the characters were a bit sympathetic or even approachable, the flimsy story could be forgiven a little bit. But just a little. Yet fans of The Hollywood Knights will enjoy Columbia TriStar's new DVD edition, with a digitally remastered print (1.85:1 or pan-and scan) that looks good for a low-budget film from this era, and audio in DD 5.1, Dolby Surround 2.0, or the original mono. Also includes a commentary by Mutrux, cast and crew notes, and a trailers for The Deep End of the Ocean and The Age of Innocence, also starring Pfeiffer.
—Steven Firstenburg

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