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Steel and Lace: aka "Final Exterminator"

A woman who is raped commits suicide, but her brother brings her back as cyborg and she seeks bloody revenge.

Genre - Genre Classics

Director(s) - Ernest D. Farino

Writer(s) - Joseph Dougherty and Dave Edison

Cast - Claire Wren, Bruce Davison and Michael Cerveris

Blue Rider's Role - Theatrical distribution

Release Date - 1990

Synopsis - In this sci-fi action horror thriller, Daniel Emerson, the rapist of classical pianist Gaily Morton is acquited, largely due to the lying testimony of his three fellow rapists. Gaily commits suicide by jumping off of the top of the court building after the trial ends, much to the horror of her scientist brother Albert.

Five years later, Daniel and his fellow rapists are partners in a business which evicts homeowners to make way for bigger developments. After five years of working with Gaily's body, Albert has turned her into a cyborg that is programmed to get bloody revenge on the four criminals.

Critics' Kudos:
Dr. Gore's Reviews: "There's just something about the tagline 'She's all woman...and all machine' that speaks to me. Actually, it shouts at me. The video screamed, 'Why are you not watching me?' I had to obey.

"Steel and Lace is about a killer Robo-babe on the rampage, causing havoc. That's enough for me. I enjoyed this one. She had a lot of different options for wasting rapists. I especially enjoyed the weed whacker springing out of her chest so that she could drill for oil in the guy's stomach. Now that's how you take care of business."

GirlsWithGuns.org: "This was a notch or two better than I expected, with Wren managing to bring a surprising degree of emotion to her role as the robo-revenger. Despite it obviously not being a large-budget movie, most of the film's deaths are impressive (one meriting a spontaneous round of applause from the GWG viewing panel), and the android effects are decently realised. The whole brother/sister thing had a nice, creepy and unhealthy edge. Like the heroine, this film keeps coming back, until the perfectly executed ending, which is sudden, memorable and fitting."

John Bloom (as the legendary film-reviewer character"Joe Bob Briggs"), at Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-in: "Steel and Lace is a killer-robot revenge flick about a blonde transistor-head bimbo in a leather mini-skirt who squeezes her thumbs THROUGH one guy's neck, flings a nerd's head through a twirling helicopter blade, drills a hole the size of a bowling ball through a man's chest while kissing him, and plays classical piano in her spare time.

The cops are baffled, of course. The main cop is David Naughton: the "I'm a Pepper, You're a Pepper" guy, and so the cops aren't HARD to baffle. Who can possibly stop this ultimate singles-bar robot? (Her eyes say '"Yes yes yes,' but her electrified steel-reinforced arm asks 'Is that your intestine I'm feeling?') Only one person can stop her--David Naughton's ex-girlfriend, who had the good sense to DUMP HIM. She figures out that all the victims were involved in the SAME rape trial five years before, and that the killer robot looks EXACTLY like the rape victim. Could there be a connection? Naw, I can't give it away.

Two breasts. Nine dead bodies. Mixmaster through the chest. Heads roll. Kung Fu. Breast implant Fu. Helicopter Fu. Drive-In Academy Award nominations for: Michael Cerveris, as Danny the sleazeball real-estate tycoon, because when he's told his best friend is dead, he says 'So is Elvis--what do you want me to do about it?'; Stacy Haiduk, as the amateur-detective ex-girlfriend courtroom artist, for screaming 'I won't castrate my art!'; Bruce Davison, as the maniac brother, for saying 'She was dead--they were alive--it simply wasn't fair!'; Ernest Farino, the director, an obvious drive-in talent; and Clare Wren, as the killer robot, for saying 'There's only ONE safe place.'

"Four stars. Joe Bob says check it out."

Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader: "For a splatter film, this is somewhat inventive. Ernest Farino's direction keeps it fresh."

Chris Edwards, Movie Night: "It's worth checking out, if only to watch one of the better 'man-grows-breasts' scenes I've seen. It's also probably the only time you'll get to see Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley play a coroner."

Viewers' Ratings:
As of April 10, 2007, 50.8% of the 195 people evaluating Steel and Lace at The Internet Movie Database gave it positive ratings (median: 6 out of 10). The demographic groups that liked it best were women aged 18-44 (7.4 out of 10) and men 18-29 (6.4).

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards:
Directing debut of Ernest D. Farino (who did special effects or visual effects on 35 films, including Terminator and The Thing; he won Visual Effects Emmys for Dune and Children of Dune, plus a nomination for From Earth to the Moon).

Written by Joseph Dougherty (Attack of the 50-foot Woman, Once and Again, Presidio Med, Clubhouse, Cast a Deadly Spell; three Emmy nominations, including a win, and received the Humanitas Prize for thirtysomething) and Dave Edison (Wolf Tracer's Dinosaur Island).

Stars Claire Wren (Extremities, No Man's Land); Bruce Davison (X-Men, X2, Runaway Jury, Apt Pupil, Breach; Oscar nom and won Golden Globe for Longtime Companion; won Golden Globe for Short Cuts; four other awards and two other noms for works including The Strawberry Statement and Touched by an Angel; 63 other films and TV projects) and Michael Cerveris (The Mexican, Lulu on the Bridge, Fame).

Cast also includes Stacy Haiduk (Nurse Betty, Gabriela, Superboy); David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London, Wonderful Days, Midnight Madness); Scott Burkholder (Con Air, Swordfish, Gone in 60 Seconds, Crimson Tide, The Birdcage); Paul Lieber (Shag, The End of Innocence, Across the Moon); Brian Backer (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Money Pit, Meatballs, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol); John J. York (Night of the Creeps, The Bear; Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for General Hospital) and Nick Tate (Hook, Battle of Britain, Cry Freedom, The Year My Voice Broke; won Australia Film Institute's Best Actor Award for The Devil's Playground).

Produced by David DeCoteau (Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge, Beach Babes from Beyond, Creepozoids and Leeches!) and John Schouweiler (Gods and Monsters, Assault of the Killer Bimbos, Dr. Alien and Plughead Rewired: Circuitry Man II).

Co-produced by Joseph Dougherty (Pirates of Silicon Valley, Attack of the 50-foot Woman, Clubhouse, Hyperion Bay) and Thomas A. Keith (Dunston Checks In, Seinfeld, Assault of the Killler Bimbos).

Original Music by John Massari (Snaker Eater, Kickboxer 5, The Wizard of Space and Time; major award nominations for scoring Killer Klowns From Outer Space and Ray Bradbury Theatre).

Cinematography by Thomas L. Callaway (Critters 3, Feast, Drop Dead Sexy, Cruel Intentions 3).

Film Editing by Christopher Roth (Leprechaun, Return of the Living Dead, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, To Kill a Mockumentary; won a major award at the Berlin International Film Festival for Baader).

Production Design by Blair Martin (Children of the Corn III, Animal Instincts, Night Rhythms, The Other Woman).

Costume Design by Marķa Aguilar (Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 and Dawson's Creek).

Special Effects Supervisor is Steve Patino (Predator, Hell Comes to Frogtown, The Monster Squad, Pumpkinhead, My Mom's a Werewolf, Somebody to Love).

Career Launch:
This was the first screenplay for Joseph Dougherty, who later won an Emmy and a Humanitas prize for his outstanding work on the TV series Thirtysomething.

Memorable Quote:
"My associates and I will leave you now. You've got a lot of packing to do. Be out of the house in 12 hours or we'll knock it down with you in it. And my best to your wife."





Links:
Internet Movie Database entry for Steel and Lace

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