Fever Pitch (not to be confused with Nick Hornby's novel of the same name and said novel's two film adaptations) is a 1985 drama film that focuses on the dark, seedy underbelly of the negative aspects of the Las Vegas lifestyle, primarily gambling. It was written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Richard Brooks, who also gave us Looking for Mr. Goodbar and the adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This was his last film...which is sad. Fever Pitch stars Ryan O'Neal, Catherine Hicks, Giancarlo Giannini, Bridgette Andersen, John Saxon, Keith Hefner, and Rafael Campos.
Fever Pitch involves investigative journalist Steve Taggart, played by Ryan O'Neal, who gets hooked on organized gambling, the subject of his inquiry. You can tell the movie looks cheap as fuck just by the opening credits sequence, and when I say cheap, I mean that as the biggest understatement of all time. Fever Pitch also has a laughably bad yet entertaining score by Thomas Dolby, who gave us "She Blinded Me with Science" (which, by the way, was the original theme song for The Big Bang Theory before Barenaked Ladies came in to do the current song).
Also during the opening, we get a boring montage of people hitting it big in the casinos of Las Vegas. If you wanna know how I remember this movie, here's the story. A few years ago, I saw the VHS on Amazon. I saw several negative comments for the film pointing out that the film is so bad you'll stab your eyes with a rusty pitchfork. This peaked my interest mainly because I saw the two Richard Brooks film I pointed out in the first paragraph of this review. I thought they were great films, so I bought Fever Pitch off Amazon and I watched it. This film is so horrible it'd be enough to make Sidney Poitier proud of making Ghost Dad.
Seriously, the exact same widely acclaimed Richard Brooks made this schlock? I'm in awe. Ryan O'Neal is decent when given the right material. When given the wrong material, he is ABYSMAL, especially in this sick, ugly, nasty load of ass on a golden platter. Hell, every actor in this film sucks because of how horrendous this screenplay is. Catherine Hicks, who I really enjoy as an actress, is horrible in this film. You get to see her tits and they're incredibly nice to look at, but you get distracted by her terrible acting. John Saxon, you were in A Nightmare on Elm Street the year before you made this movie. What the fuck were you thinking, man?
Two other things that fail epically in this film is William A. Fraker's incredibly weak cinematography and Jeff Jones' hyperkinetic, sloppy, inept editing. To quote Janet Maslin of the New York Times, "The cinematography is grainy and wan, the editing abrupt, and Mr. O'Neal wears the blank look of a man whose heart just isn't in it. No wonder." No wonder indeed, Janet. Now onto the writing. This is probably one of the worst screenplays ever written. Get this: according to Wikipedia, Richard Brooks wrote this film over two years and spent nine months editing the film. Was Brooks on weed during those months of time?
Here are some classic lines to be found in this retarded fuckfest of a film:
"Gambling. Series. How many people gamble? How? Why?"
"Don't touch her! You wanna get sued? You could get sued...by her!"
"She got slot machine bladder. Forgot to go to the toilet."
"I've been at it for 19 years. The best, the most exciting years of my life."
"Papa, I love you madly!"
"We're going to Knotts BERRY Farm! We're going to Knotts BERRY Farm!"
"Losers make lousy lovers!"
"She's hurt! She's hurt! She's hurt!"
And who could forget this:
"I want Taggart." "Who wants him?" "None of your fucking business, whopper." "Happens I'm Irish." "That's the worst kind of whopper."
Oh, but it gets even better with this:
"I'll see you Monday." "Nope!" "Tomorrow, I'm still here at work. Sunday, family business. Monday, it's you and me, champ!" "Your family can fucking will waiting. Sunday. 8:00 AM. Same place. Be here."
Yeah, a critically acclaimed writer and director actually wrote the nonsensical, hyper-boiled dialogue that you'll regret listening to that this movie has to offer. Seriously, The Mortal Instruments had better fucking dialogue than this shit!
People talk in clichés all throughout this fucking mess that it becomes maddening, and very quickly in, you wish to ask the resurrected zombified version of Richard Brooks if we're supposed to take this all seriously. Also, the message of the movie is basically if you fall into massive debt because of gambling, just keep placing bets until you win all your money back because the only solution to gambling debt is more gambling and anybody who tells you otherwise is dead wrong. FUCK. THAT. SHIT. This movie is so fucking wrong!
FINAL SCORE: 0/10
I actually had to re-watch this movie on VHS and watch a video review of this movie so I can remember it, and God, does the remembering fucking hurt. To this day, Fever Pitch has never gotten a DVD release, and for good fucking reason. There's a lot more stupid, idiotic, horribly written, terribly directed, atrociously edited, and dismally written shit in this movie, but if you don't wanna be completely bereft of brain cells, just read this review. This is a film that has to be seen to be believed. It's sick garbage. Fuck Fever Pitch. It's one of the worst films I've ever seen in the 28-going-on-29 years that I've lived.