10 January 2000 | Mister-6
This one's gonna kill ya...
Every once in a while, TV will really fool you.
Just when you think everything on the tube is so stupid that it isn't worth your time...along comes something REALLY stupid that's more worthy than you think.
"Murder Can Hurt You" is a TV film in the good old "Airplane!" vein (and in the same year, no less!) about how TV's top detectives (or their reasonable facsimiles, anyway) are trying to solve the mystery of The Man in White (Kreindel) while he in turn is knocking each of them off.
Such a good-natured put-on would be impossible to pull off without a game cast, and the actors herein certainly are game. MacLeod, Danza, Young, Farr, Byner, Owens, Stevens and Buono (a surprise to find him on TV, but a pleasant one) all play deft parodies of such stalwart TV gumshoes as Starsky and Hutch, Ironside, Kojak, Columbo, Pepper Anderson ("Police Woman"), McCloud and Baretta, all of them going for every cliche and sight gag in the book.
It has been years since I saw this gem but I can remember almost every scene like yesterday: Buono strapped by his wheelchair to the top of a car, MacLeod's near-fatal experience with a lollipop, Owens trying to ride through the big city on his horse only to have a thug hitch it to a post when he wasn't looking, Young doing a deft Peter Falk impersonation (if without his mirror image's common sense), all the nonsensical clues left by The Man in White. And Roz Kelly as Virginia Trickwood. Ahhhhh.... Why do I remember her so fondly? If you had seen the dress she was wearing you'd remember, too.
I WAS only 15 at the time, you know.
But for TV-rated laughs, this one delivers like no one else could at the time. Now why couldn't EVERY TV movie be so good that you still remember it over 20 years later?
Ten stars and a gold-plated cockatiel for "Murder Can Hurt You" - definite proof that TV is the perfect venue for such silliness.