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  Flareup
Year: 1969
Director: James Neilson
Stars: Raquel Welch, Luke Askew, Pat Delany, James Stacy, Don Chastain
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: The amazing Raquel is usually associated with love-'em-or-loath-'em movies such as Hannie Caulder, Kansas City Bomber and Fantastic Voyage, and there's no doubt which category Flareup belongs in. Here, Welch plays a go-go dancer stalked by a supposedly sadistic killer. Sounds promising, but thanks to Neilson's hamfisted direction and a cast full of incompetents, Flareup is strictly bottom of the barrel fare.

Luke Askew delivers the only halfway decent performance as Alan Morris; an embittered ex-husband of a dancehall Queen, who murders his former spouse and spends the rest of the film pursuing her closest friend.
Morris' deranged state of mind is further inflamed by the fact that Welch and the rather cute Pat Delany were witnesses at the divorce; a revelation which merely signposts the absolute nonsense that lies ahead.

Following a double-dose of hit-and-run, Welch leaves town with Morris on her trail, while the cops make painfully slow work of tracing their whereabouts.

Mark my words, you'll be rooting for the killer in this one as Raquel finds herself a lover, spending what seems like hours of screen time engaging in vomit-inducing heart-to-hearts, while James Neilson desperately attempts to pad out a screenplay that should never have been allowed to get past first draft stage.

Curiously, this type of film often manages to produce the kind of finale that makes one wish more emphasis had been placed in such important areas as plot and characterisation. Well, Morris' final encounter with his quarry marks the only occasion where Flareup really does catch fire. Unfortunately, Neilson once again manages to drop the ball by concocting a final scene that will see you scrambling for the sick bag.

I think 'avoid' is the word I'm looking for.

Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

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