The ERH canon contains a surfeit of existential arson masquerading as firework-fanned fun. Fire-damaged, Upper-West Side Kevin Bacon/Kyra Sedgwick rom-com Pyrates – which was memorably described in the New York Proclaimer by Oscar Applestein as being “‘Seinfeld’ for Nazis” - saw whole city blocks reduced to cinders every time the lusty leads got their fiery freak on. Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau slummed their way through the offensively irrelevant Firehead. Then of course there was the red-headed stepchild of Eighties doorstop-horror – Firestarter, starring drunken moppet Drew Barrymore.
But the film we’ve chosen to throw on the bonfire is the Zoroastrian excess of ‘93’s Wilder Napalm, in which Dennis Quaid and oven-baked nowhere man Arliss Howard play a pair of pyrokenetic brothers torn apart by a kaleidoscopic explosion of celebrity. Sounds a decent idea, no? And had this fraternal firestorm been played out across anything more combustible and/or less drab and dilapidated than a disused Florida parking lot, we might be onto something.
As it is we’re stranded with a two hour ‘My Name is Earl’ in which all the gags have been scabbed out, the AM Gold soundtrack replaced with showtunes and the hot chicks dumped out in favour of Debra Winger as a sex-addicted, Satre-spouting hussy under house arrest in her grundy deathtrap of a trailer-home.
The film went on to make $84,859 - seven of which – adjusted for inflation and using dollar to pound conversion system favoured by the Heathrow Hideaway (hourly rates available) – were ours.