Theme Song: “Those Eyes” by Pia Zadora.
Fake Out opens with a fullscale Vegas show number featuring Zadora running around a stage singing this disco-y number. There are even video effects!
Interesting Dated References: Just to be clear, you do not see Pia Zadora’s boobs in this movie. Stop asking. Watch pornography on the internet and stop coming to my site and criticising it because I don’t keep a running tally of whose boobs appear where and when in some old movie.
Best Line: Said by Telly Savalas in reference to an itch for something else — “Now if you got an itch for something else, put some powder on it.”
Social Context: Needing something for his wife Zadora to do, millionaire Israeli businessman Meshulam Riklis hires genre film director Matt Cimber to remake Cimber’s 1975 blaxploitation film, Lady Cocoa, with Zadora in the main role. Being the self-promoting businessman he is, Riklis offers up his own Riviera Casino in Las Vegas as the setting for the entire movie and signs on as producer. It’s pretty smart; his wife (30 years his junior) gets to do a movie, the casino gets free promotion, and he even threw in a small cameo for himself.
Summary: So Bobbie (Zadora), a Vegas starlet, is being squeezed by the police to turn in her mobster boyfriend. Resistant to snitching (and eager to steer the movie into Women-In-Prison territory), Bobbie is thrown into jail.
This results in lots of aerobic undulating as Bobbie teaches the other hardened criminals how to do aerobics, which in turn throws them into a frenzy that spills over to the shower room where Bobbie is pushed to the breaking point when some chick tries to perform cunnilingus on her as a guard watches.
If you’re way into Zadora, then you will call this movie, especially the 20-minute prison segment, a “must see.” If you know someone who is way into Zadora, please avoid bringing her up in conversation because grown men who are into her nymphet-like qualities love to tell you what a great actress she is and it’s super annoying.
Pushed to the edge via cunnilingus, Bobbie decides to turn against her mobster boyfriend. Det. Morgan (Desi Arnaz Jr.) and Lt. Thurston (Telly Savalas) set Bobbie up in The Riviera casino in a room with a huge window directly across from where her mobster boyfriend and his hitmen sniper friends are staying.
Eventually it is revealed that Lt. Thurston has a huge gambling debt and he was trying to set up Bobbie so the mobster boyfriend could kill her and stop her from testifying. But none of that really matters because the whole point of this movie was to see Zadora take multiple baths, fall in love with Arnaz, and watch a car drive through a casino game floor and into a pool. And in case you forgot everything you just saw, you’re in luck, because key scenes play over the credits.
– Veteran character actor George “Buck” Flower has a small role as an undercover cop who is accidentally sniped by the mobsters. This happens right in front of Bobbie, who despite not knowing the character for more than five seconds, cries and wails over his corpse for a good ten minutes.
– There are a couple other good actors tucked into small roles here: Larry Storch as a mobster cronie posing as a Hollywood agent, and Buddy Lester as an irritated blackjack player.
– Lots of early-80s Vegas scenery.
– Lots of early-80s shots of casino interiors, most of which are The Riviera. There are more during the car chase scene that goes through the entire casino, but I am lazy.
Poster and Box Art: The Fake Out poster has art by Drew Struzan.
There are also multiple foreign language versions of the poster out there, so I assume producer Riklis really pushed it out into the market so he could sleep peacefully at night.
The Betamax tape is a Thorn/EMI small, white, hard case/clamshell (or whatever you hoarding collector nerds call it).
Availability: You can stream Fake Out under the title Nevada Heat on Amazon in SD.