Critic Bo Derek sums up “Fantasies:” “It’s bad, it’s sloppy, it doesn’t make sense.”
Now making its way on the cable and video markets (CBS/Fox Video said it’s sold about 20,000 copies on cassette), it was filmed under the title “Once Upon a Love” in 1973--when Bo was 16.
Producer Kevin Casselman--her former agent--sums up the film another way: “The movie that would not die.”
It’s a saga: Bo was known as Kathleen Collins when John Derek hired her for “Once,” financed by PG Professional Films Ltd. of Canada. Casselman packaged the deal and convinced clients Bo/Kathleen and Peter Hooten to star.
In 1972 John, then-wife Linda Evans and cast and crew flew to the Greek island of Mikonos. It was during the filming, as Bo relates, that she and John fell in love. So Evans left.
John, Kathleen and the film editor later flew to Munich for post-production. When funding ran out, a German film lab seized the movie and it remained in a vault until 1980, when Casselman ransomed it for $100,000 and readied it for a theatrical release. (By then, Bo had hit big with the movie “10.”)
For a time, the Dereks tried to keep the film from being released. “Finally we realized it wasn’t worth all the money it would cost (for a legal battle), not to mention our time,” explained Bo.
She was quick to add that she’s not ashamed of the film--which includes snippets of nudity: “A tiny little bath scene and one of me coming out of the ocean at night.”
“But I don’t like the way the film is being looked on as a sexy film,” said Bo. “I mean, I was all of 16--and I wasn’t a really well-developed 16.”
And, of course, she would have preferred to have seen the film completed by her husband. “You know what happens when movies are recut by people who didn’t make them. Well, this one has been so hacked up.”
Still Bo enjoyed it on one level: “It’s the film that opened up my life. I mean, it’s because of the movie that I met John.”