Adapted from Dan Anderson’s bestselling novel, BAD VIBRATIONS is a murder mystery - with a twinkle in its eye. Think of Robert Altman’s “THE LONG GOODBYE” – except funnier, and much kinkier.
The main character, Chauncey McFadden, is a low-rent Private detective, who is no tough guy, no hero, and no dope. He has a smart, dry sense of humor, and a definite way with words. His mouth can’t pass up an opportunity for a well placed wisecrack, even if it gets his ass in trouble. He has a cat who doesn’t like him, and a slightly plump , very playful girlfriend who does. He’s happy making love to Girtha, and his living doing divorce work and other non-life threatening investigations, until…..someone starts electrocuting pole dancers - in their bathtubs - using a souped-up sex-toy as the murder weapon. Bad Vibrations, indeed!
A woman named Rubella Saperstein, shows up in his office and hires Chauncey to find out who zapped her daughter – a beautiful stripper (and part time hooker) named Boom-Boom (what else?). she worked at The Glad Gland (a club as classy as its name). It seems the police are less than motivated to solve Boom Boom’s murder. So, business being a tad slow, Chauncey takes the job.
As you can guess, this is the beginning of a crazy odyssey that brings Chauncey into contact with a series of film-noir types - any one of which might be the killer.
1: Jill Barrington…beautiful, rich, spoiled, and possibly dangerous. She also hires Chauncey, to find out who killed her sister,
2: Justine Barrington. Who was also found in a tub full of electrified H2O, impaled by a “power tool”. Justine may have been cheating on her husband,
3: Dr. Kevin Rutledge - a brainy scientist involved in a top-secret government weapons project, who also has a thing for strippers (as most Nerds do). This doesn’t sit well with,
4: Dr. Clovis Tubinski - Rutledge’s assistant (and mistress), who may have caught him with Boom Boom – our original victim. Clovis might feel just scorned enough to be our killer.
Confusing? It is to Chauncey too. And gets more so when he meets,
5: Judge Barrington, wealthy, retired from the bench, but still a powerful man, with a menacing energy. He has one dead daughter (Justine) and one live one (Jill), who seems to be romantically involved with a crime boss named,
6: Armand Duvalier – suave, handsome, brutal if necessary. He may have a few secrets himself, and doesn’t appreciate Chauncey snooping around. Neither does,
7: Lt. Del Dotto – a nasty cop (Clean? Dirty? Does it matter?) who tries his best to make Chauncey’s job as difficult as possible. The same goes for,
8: Sal Valentinuzzi – manager of “The Gland” – where several other strippers are worried that they might be next to be found floating and fried. In fact, next in line for this fate is -
9: Wanda LaTouche, Boom Boom’s roommate. Followed by Jill Barrington in a sleazy motel, where the cops arrest a strange guy named,
9: Roger – who has no real motive to kill the girls, except he’s a giant with a history of violence. Like “Jaws” in the Bond Films, but less sensitive.
There are a number of other fun weirdos in Chauncey’s world:
10: Jake, a Greek newsdealer and snitch.
11: Apollo, a CIA assassin - with ties to Dr. Rutledge’s secret project.
12: Montrose – Judge Barrington’s butler (and possibly Roger’s Dad).
And last, but far from least…
13: Bernice Barrington – wife of the Judge, mother of Jill and Justine, now wheelchair bound, and mentally unbalanced, who is spending her days (but not necessarily her nights) living in a sanitarium, where her main caretaker is…
14: Calvin Nately – an orderly who may be doing more than pushing Bernice’s chair around.
The trail from Chauncey’s office, to the scenes of the crimes, to the surprising (and deadly) finale - is complicated, sometimes frustrating but never boring. It’s like a game of CLUE – but with actual violence. And Chauncey McFadden rises to every challenge using his brain, his wit, and maybe even a weapon or two. Against his better judgement, he might become an actual hero.