1969. Scott Elliott (In a Teapot, 2005, etc.), the Hollywood Security Agency’s brightest light, juggles two cases and a wife who doesn’t want him to work either one.
If she had her druthers, screenwriter Ella Elliott, whose son is MIA in Vietnam, would keep her husband close by her side so that she could berate him every minute for letting Billy enlist. If he had his druthers, Scott Elliott, who’s turned into the professional tough guy he briefly played in the movies a generation ago, would be obliging his old friend Forrest Combs by looking for his runaway daughter Miranda, 17, whose departure has left her father as bereft as Elliott’s wife. Instead, his boss Paddy Maguire, whose agency is clearly on its last legs, wants Elliott to take a job for Roland Hedison, an exploitation filmmaker he never would have given the time of day to in rosier times. Hedison’s gotten a tip that someone on the cast or crew of Die, Zombie, Die was involved in smuggling marijuana from a location shoot in Mexico, and now he suspects a repeat performance on the shoot of Duo-Glide Rider. Protesting vigorously, Elliott joins the shoot and quickly finds out that nearly all the principals—director Sol Riddle, screenwriter/star Matthew McNeal, screenwriter Jacqueline Jarrett, cameraman Ben Maitlin, stuntman Robert Sears—have something to hide. But will the crew’s trip to a concert in Avenal, where the marijuana’s supposed to be handed over, actually lead him to Miranda Combs?
A valedictory sadness mutes Elliott’s wisecracks and Faherty’s plot twists but can’t quench them.