So let's say I have this movie jukebox, and when I hit the random button it starts up the movie I'll be watching next. Let's also say that the movie jukebox contains some of the worst movies you've never heard of. Acceptable premise? Good, then let's begin.
Apparently the movie jukebox decided that we weren't done with Lorenzo Lamas just yet, so Tilt popped up next. As you might imagine, Tilt is a pinball movie (which features Lamas in a small role, sharing a scene with Fred Ward of all people), but it's also much, much more. It's concrete proof that everyone in the 1970s was Roman Polanski. Not in terms of talent, but in terms of wanting to have sex with 14 year old girls.
Tilt stars 14 year old Brooke Shields as a pinball wizard / runaway who teams up with hustler / country singer Neil Gallagher (Ken Marshall, star of Krull) as they head from California to Nashville by way of Corpus Christi, Texas. Why the stop in Texas? Well, because Neil wants revenge against pinball guru The Whale (Charles Durning) who thwarted Neil's attempts to cheat him earlier. Makes perfect sense, right?
The film has a somewhat fascinating backstory according to its entry on IMDb. Triple threat (and only ever threat) auteur Rudy Durand had been trying to get someone to make the film since the late 60s and eventually tried to get Orson Welles and Jodie Foster to star. Welles was too busy (doing absolutely nothing, of course) but he encouraged Durand to go ahead and make the movie himself. And the rest is Tilt history.
As you might expect there's a lot of pinball action in this movie, but there's also a whole helluva lot of talking and talking and talking. It takes the film 45 minutes before the actual premise even kicks in. Along the way there's all kinds of inappropriateness for a PG movie, all of it either drug related or Brooke Shields having sex related or both. I understand that a PG rating now doesn't come close to meaning what a PG rating meant 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. But this movie made me feel dirty. A pinball movie is right in my wheelhouse, and yet I was thoroughly disgusted by this one.
Everyone seems to want to have sex with Brooke in the film, and there are copious loving shots of her ass (because there are words written on her jeans, *wink*), but I was probably most disturbed by this scene, where Brooke is picked up by a truck driver (played by veteran character actor Geoffrey Lewis), and well... just watch for yourself. Again, please remember this is a PG-rated movie...