The original Mannequin, released in 1987 and starring Andrew McCarthy as a department store worker who falls in love with a plastic dummy that turns into Kim Cattrall when no one is looking, is a really stupid movie. It's also kind of an ugly movie, too -- grossly misogynistic and packed with outdated stereotypes. Of course I have some amount of affection for it, as it was the first movie to play at the second run theater down the street from my house growing up (and though I wasn't allowed to see it because it was PG-13, the fact that there was now a theater in walking distance was a life-changing event) and because I saw it so many times on cable as a kid. I'm not proud of it.
The 1991 sequel Mannequin Two: On the Move seems to exist just to make the first film appear totally accomplished. One might think there was no real need to do a sequel to Mannequin, as it managed to tell the show story of a guy falling in love with a mannequin and left few, if any, open-ended questions. And yet because it was a decent-size hit when it was released, a follow-up film was the natural progression. Rather than trying to continue the story, though, someone working on the movie just decided "what if there's another guy and he falls in love with another mannequin?" because the only thing more plausible than a magical mannequin who comes to life and falls in love with a human man is the idea that it's a regular occurance.
Even for a film in which a guy falls in love with a mannequin -- make that the second movie in which a guy falls in love with a mannequin -- On the Move's plot is really stupid. That's too bad, because if this were just a straightforward romantic comedy starring William Ragsdale and Kristy Swanson, I would on board faster than you could say "Really? Them?" Instead, they are stranded in this Film That Should Never Have Been, directed with tacky artlessness by Stewart Raffill, the man also responsible for making Mac & Me. Ragsdale is his usual likable everyman self -- his career should have been bigger than it was -- but poor Kristy Swanson only gets to be a sweet, beautiful vacuum. Even her human character is given all the dimension of a department store dummy.
The movie is just not very good. And yet we live in a world now in which, thanks to boutique labels like Olive Films, one can now own Mannequin Two: On the Move (which appears on screen as just Mannequin: On the Move) in high definition. I am delighted about this. The movie has its fans. Every movie does, and they deserve to have the films they love in the best possible format in just the same way that I'm thankful when Phantom of the Paradise gets a Blu-ray release. We must not take these titles for granted, even when they're not for us.
Olive is also releasing the original Mannequin on Blu-ray for the first time, which is great news for all of the Mannequin completists. I suspect those are the people who will want to own Mannequin Two.
Blu-ray release date: September 22, 2015
DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
Buy Mannequin Two: On the Move from Olive Films here.