"Mannequin" was a feeble attempt at screwball comedy a few years ago, the story having to do with an ancient Egyptian princess whose spirit inhabited a dummy in a New York department store. When she came to life and fell in love with a geeky clerk, he gave her a tour of Manhattan night life.
It was awful, of course, but an unexpected success at the box office.So, here comes "Mannequin on the Move," a sequel that is really more of a remake. This time a peasant girl in a mythical European kingdom runs off with a prince, but an evil sorcerer turns her to wood with the help of a cursed necklace. When she is brought back to life, 1,000 years later, she's in a New York department store where she falls in love with a geeky employee who gives her a tour of Manhattan night life.
Kristy Swanson, who horror fans may remember from "Deadly Friend," is the peasant girl, romanced by disbelieving William Ragsdale, best-known for "Fright Night." They are amiable players, but they can't rise above the dreadful material, which steals from "The Princess Bride" and is filled out with far too many music vid-eos.
The chief villain is played by Terry Kiser, who did much better as a dead body in "Weekend at Bernie's." Here his European accent seems to go from German to Italian and back again, while his three musclebound henchmen affect Arnold Schwarzenegger accents (one character is even named "Arnold"). Then there's the pompous store manager, played by Stuart Pankin, who seems to be making a career of playing this kind of role in very bad movies.
The only actor to return from the first film is Meshach Taylor, as the foppish Hollywood Montrose, a gay stereotype who tries to bring the proceedings to life, but whose shtick wears out its welcome rather quickly.
How low is the humor? The main running gag has to do with a very long strand of hair that protrudes from a mole on Kiser's cheek. Pankin keeps saying "mole" and "hair" when he means to speak his name.
If that seems hilarious to you, "Mannequin on the Move" may be just your cup of tea.
It is rated PG for one vulgarity, a couple of double-entendres and some comic violence.