Mannequin / Mannequin 2: On the Move Michael Gottlieb / Stewart Raffill

Mannequin / Mannequin 2: On the MoveMichael Gottlieb / Stewart Raffill
Alas, no Hollywood commentary on either of these discs but there’s plenty of Meshach Taylor’s pink Cadillac-driving, flamboyant window-dresser to go around with the teaming of the two Mannequin movies. Remembered as a staple of ’80s cinema (that’s open to interpretation, of course), Mannequin stars a white-hot Andrew McCarthy as Jonathan, a hapless pretty boy who stumbles into the job of window-dresser for a swish New York department store when he rescues the owner (a sweet old Estelle Getty). Once in there, Jonathan begins adorning a beautiful dummy named Ema (Kim Catrall) who just so happens to be an ancient Egyptian princess cursed with a plastic body thousands of years earlier. The kicker is that only Jonathan can see her come to life. Go figure! (God I love the ’80s.) Instantly they become a hit for the store’s windows and of course, fall in love, but not without puzzling Jonathan’s co-workers who can only see her as a mannequin. From thereon in, his meddling ex-girlfriend, boss (James Spader in full spazzy nerd mode) and blundering security guard Felix (Police Academy’s G.W. Bailey), with his bulldog, all conspire to ruin Jonathan’s lucky streak. Fluff of the highest order, Mannequin is a rom-com fantasy delight that maintains its charm after 21 years, though undeniably for its silliness and Starship’s timeless "Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” Mannequin 2: On the Move, however, is fluff by the lowest standards. Made four years later, this flop would now be designated "straight to DVD,” as William Ragsdale (Herman from Herman’s Head — remember that?) plays the McCarthy role to Kristy Swanson’s (the original Buffy) Catrall. An even more absurd origin set during Princess Bride times explains the curse (this time using a necklace) to mannequin-hood for Swanson’s Jessie, and essentially prepares you for one nauseatingly intolerable ride of recycled gags from the original, plus an extremely over-the-top turn by Terry Kiser (Bernie from Weekend At Bernie’s) as the evil Count Spretzle. This is the archetype for why sequels have such a bad wrap. Maybe it’s best that no extras were added. (MGM)