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Scarecrow on Seattle: ADVENTURES IN SPYING

In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with the Seattle Office of Film + Music to bring you reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest with an emphasis on how these films showcase the region's many filmable locations.

Adventures in Spying (1992)

Adventures in Spying is an unremarkable yet amiable young adult mystery patterned on Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. Bernie Coulson stars as the film's mulleted hero/narrator, who is spending his aimless post-high school summer slumming it at Mom's house and helping his little brother with a paper route in the small town of Rockwater (portrayed by good old Gig Harbor, Washington). He spots a mysterious newcomer at the ferry terminal (portrayed by good old G. Gordon Liddy) and begins his "adventure in spying" with the help of his old pal Shoup (Corey The Chocolate War Gunnestad) and a new found love interest (Jill The Stepfather Schoelen). It turns out that G. Gordon is actually a notorious drug kingpin who faked his death in Seattle and then snuck off to Rockwater to continue his criminal activities. Veteran character actor Seymour Plain Clothes Cassel is a New York cop (you can tell by his Mets baseball hat) who has been pursuing G. Gordon and even witnessed his alleged death in an exploding car. Cassel has a hunch it was all a set up and he soon arrives in Rockwater to pursue a few leads. The film culminates in a minor maritime action scene involving a boat chase and shoot-out.

Rounding out the cast is Michael Emil (who is best known for appearing in the films of his brother, Henry Jaglom), busy character actor Michael Bowen and a whole slew of local talents including John Shredder Orpheus Billingley, Ted G-Sale D'Arms, Robert Dogfight Munns, and Paul Joyride Fleming. Aside from the extensive use of Gig Harbor, the filmmakers shot several scenes in Seattle including some skyline views and a car chase down East Pike Street around Boren on lower Capitol Hill. Both the Steilacoom terminal and its namesake ferry are shown, and I think they actually use the Southworth ferry terminal for the one in the fictional town of Rockwater. According to the movie's end credits, some shooting took place in Tacoma but I didn't see anything that I recognized. All in all, this is a typical early nineties straight-to-video outing, but Adventures in Spying is notable for its oddball cast and thorough use of the Puget Sound area. Never released on DVD, you can find it on vintage VHS in Scarecrow Video's action packed "Bang!" section.

-Spenser Hoyt

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