Election Turns B Film Into a War on Peace

When a low-budget comedy called “Happy Hour” was released in late 1986, it made a brief stop at selected neighborhood theaters, then headed straight to video stores.

Now the film, shot in San Diego and starring Jamie Farr and Rich Little, could enjoy a local boomlet thanks to the political campaign between Assemblyman Steve Peace (D-Chula Vista) and his Republican challenger Steve Baldwin.

The movie was produced by Peace’s film company, Four-Square Productions--which gave the world “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and the new “Return of the Killer Tomatoes.” The three-term assemblyman even had a bit part as a golfer in “Happy Hour.”

At a candidates’ forum Saturday in Lemon Grove, a stand-in for Baldwin demanded that Peace apologize to the public for his role in the making of “Happy Hour.”


Alice Saenz Keyser, a loser in races for Assembly, State Senate and California secretary of state, told the Mexican-American Political Assn. that the movie is insulting to blacks and Latinos, degrading to women, and dangerous to children because it glorifies underage drinking.

Kevin Parriott, Baldwin’s campaign manager, said the Kaiser blast is only the beginning. Baldwin plans to make much of “Happy Hour” before election day, Parriott said.

“The idea that a state legislator would actually make money by degrading people and encouraging children to drink is disgusting,” he added. “There is no excuse for using words like ‘beaner’ and ‘banana lips’ and showing a 10-year-old pouring beer on his breakfast food.”

At the forum, Peace responded calmly that the film, shown recently on HBO, is satire--a comic attack on racism, sexism and corporate insensitivity. The plot has two beer companies grappling for the secret formula to a new protein that only works when it is added to beer.


“This is indicative that he (Baldwin) doesn’t have anything real to talk about,” Peace said. “It’s wearing a little thin: a 34-year-old who has never held a real job in his life trying to lecture me about family values.”

Peace is confident that his record in supporting pro-family, anti-smut legislation will override the “Happy Hour” flap. Still, the Baldwin campaign vows to press on.

“This shows just what a sleaze Steve Peace has always been, living somewhere between the gutter and the sewer,” said Parriott, who is sending out tapes of “Happy Hour” to groups he hopes will be offended by it.

Fit for a Cinderella


Imelda, is that you?

If you hurry, you can still buy a pair of Nordstrom’s special handmade America’s Cup shoes--white satin high heels studded with rhinestones from heel to toe, and festooned with red and silver stripes and three blue stars. Price: $1,000 a pair.

At the Horton Plaza store, the shoes were kept locked away in a glass display case, highly visible but untouchable.

“We’ve had other shoes for $1,000 but none this delicate,” said shoe department manager Cathy Fedak. “They’re perfect for dinner or a fancy event, but we don’t want people dropping them.”


In case you can’t get a bus transfer to Horton Plaza, the shoes are also available at Nordstrom stores in North County Fair, Fashion Valley and University Towne Centre. So far, not a pair has been sold.

“The shoes were beautiful, but we saw them more as an eye-catching prop for our regatta theme rather than a sales item,” said Nordstrom spokeswoman Marie Joyce. “They helped us sell a lot of T-shirts and jackets.”

A Very Sheik House

The North County housing market is hot but not that hot.


After months on the market, a six-bedroom, seven-bath estate overlooking the ocean in Del Mar is still for sale. But don’t look for the owner to drop the $2.9-million asking price.

The 6,000-square-foot home, complete with swimming pool, indoor pond and library, is owned by the Sheik of Oman, through a web of companies and corporations. His son reportedly lived there while attending UC San Diego.

The home, snug atop a bluff just north of Carmel Valley Road and visible from Camino del Mar, may be the most expensive ever put up for sale in Del Mar. The listing agent remains bullish on finding a buyer.

“You’ve got to allow one to two years on the market for these big-ticket items,” said Peggy Chodorow, an agent with Coldwell Banker in La Jolla. “This is not just some $300,000 to $400,000 home.”


First Out of the Gait

American Data Centre of Palatine, Ill., wants to take over the thoroughbred racing at the Del Mar track and introduce harness racing at the Del Mar Fair. The firm’s director of racing is Tommy Trotter.

“That should show you the kind of company we are,” said chairman Patrick Flavin.