Summary: Raquel Welch is pursued by killer Luke Askew
In "Flareup" (1969), Raquel Welch plays an exotic dancer in Las Vegas whom nutty Luke Askew blames for causing his wife to separate from him. After he shoots and kills his wife in broad daylight in front of witnesses including Welch, he guns for her. She avoids police protection and remains fiercely independent, determined to handle this her own way. She runs off to Los Angeles, getting work at another go-go club. Running away and moving is a habit with her, relating to her troubled early life. There she meets James Stacy who successfully romances her. But Luke Askew has picked up her trail, eluded a Las Vegas dragnet and starts to stalk her and Stacy with the intent of killing them both.
This movie has some excellent views of the Las Vegas strip and downtown before its transformation. They start from Caesar's Palace, run past the Riviera and Sands all the way to the Golden Nugget and Fremont Street. Some go-go dancing, including a Welch routine, liven up the picture too. Welch in this picture comes across as strong, earnest, independent, resourceful and natural.
This movie is actually a neo-noir and listed as such by John Grant. The basic plot is sound and the cinematography looks good, but in other respects the movie has a lot of problems, especially in script, directing and editing. The cast, while not major players, is all right, but they are apparently let down by the director or production constraints. Time and again, they do not come off at their best. They really needed more takes to smooth out some of the bad timing and awkwardness. The romance between Stacey and Welch runs on too long and ends up being an embarrassment. Askew puts almost nothing into his portrayal of a man ready to take lives including his own; but he still almost salvages the character. Stacey is extremely laid back. Welch has some poor lines she's asked to deliver, and her acting range cannot overcome this. Action scenes end abruptly without a payoff. Suspense that should be present is undeveloped.
The film is not a total bomb, if only because Raquel Welch is in it, and she radiates appeal in several ways.
The final stunt is incredible.