I Wonder

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

A slapstick comedy, I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now (1975) has so few laughs it isn't funny. The biggest "joke" is the pimary killer's shoes don't match, & it's all down hill from there.

I WonderThe unappealing stars are Bob Dishy & Joanna Barnes as Jordan & Clarice Oliver. She's wealthy & does not believe in community property. He's an amoral to downright criminal moron who doesn't want the divorce, knowing he won't get the money.

So he pays someone $25,000 to kill his wife, but that person pays someone else $20,000, & so on down the line to the ham actor who got six dollars & some odd change to do it, except there's someone else entirely who wants Clarice dead.

So when Jordan changes his mind (strictly because the insurance was cancelled) it becomes a complicated comedy of errors trying to save her life, while the unknown assassin bumblingly fails in unnoticed attempt after attempt on Clarice's life.

Dishy is the primary star & he's just about as unfunny as any alleged comic actor can be. Apparently the script was funded for production on the promise of starring Peter Sellers, & Dishy was a last-minute very poor replacement when Sellers became ill, perhaps from reading the script.

Several support actors played potentially more interesting characters, if only the material had been any good, beginning with Jordan's miniature best friend billed as "the little pianist," Bela Lugosi's old pal Angelo Rossitto. Alas, nothing funny is actually written for him to do or say; it's supposed to be funny enough that such a small fellow even exists. Well sure, we all laugh & point when we see little people just existing.

It's embarassing to see an actor of Pat Morita's calibre reduced to acting out such bad material in his small contribution as Hoshi Yamamoto the phony doctor, whose biggest "gag" is pretending not to be taking a pulse while taking a pulse.

Other oddball characters to come along include a drag queen nurse, a Bela Lugosi impersonator, a faggoty Hindu convinced his own lips are the most beautiful in the world, a transvestite spy who's really a bricklayer. They're not just met along the journey, they join the gang until there's a whole gaggle of weirdos struggling together to stop the murder. It could've been a hoot but it just ain't.

Bill Dana is most in his element & is the one & only actor in the whole film to bring anything resembling humor to his character of the abject loser Captain Bobo with the gaze of a sad puppy. On dvd the film has been boxed as though "starring" Bill Dana, who doesn't even show up until a third of the way through the film.

It's easy to understand the pretense of Dana being the lead. No one would rent a film to see Bob Dishy whereas someone might remember the 1960s comedy antics of Bill Dana as "Jose Jimenez" the mentally deficient Mexican, & probably wondered what if anything he managed to be doing after he stopped "being" Jose after he retired from offending Mexican Americans.

The film's main appeal is like that of watching a train wreck. It is packed with "jokes" & pratfalls barrelling at the viewer one after another, but manages by a combination of awful script & abominable performance to contain few if any laughs.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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