Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Vanessa Marquez on Streaming Media

From Fire and Ice
It is August and I have not been doing well the past few days. In a few weeks it will be the first anniversary of the death of my beloved Vanessa Marquez. Nearly one year later I am much better than I was immediately following her death, but I am still grieving deeply. I am still apt to break down crying at odd moments. Certain songs will bring a flood of tears. I cannot bring myself to think about the events of August 30 2018 or the circumstances of her death.  And I am still very, very angry at both the city of South Pasadena and their police department. There are still days when I don't really feel like getting up in the morning.There have been some good things that have happened in the past few months. I was able to attend a screening of Stand and Deliver (1988) in Los Angeles and meet in person many of Vanessa's friends with whom I have been in touch. I had the honour of assisting in the scattering of Vanessa's ashes and I am now in regular touch with her mother.

Of course, while Vanessa was the woman I love, she was also a talented actress with a remarkable career. Sadly, much of her work isn't widely available. Her second feature film, Night Children (1989), is only available on VHS. The TV movie, All Lies End in Murder (1997), doesn't appear to be available anywhere. Sadly, the same is true of her guest appearance on the TV show Nurses, which I remember well from when it first aired. As hard as it is to believe given it was a hit TV show, Nurses is available on neither DVD nor streaming. Fortunately, much of the rest of her work is available on streaming. Here is a list of her film and TV appearances available on streaming media. I give the price for rental or purchase of each one. Where there is not a price it is either free or free with a subscription to the particular service (for example,a subscription to Hulu).

Stand and Deliver (1988)

This is Vanessa's film debut and features her best known role aside from Nurse Wendy Goldman on ER. Believe it or not, Vanessa had almost no acting experience when she played Ana Delgado in the film. It is widely considered a classic and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 2011. I consider it an Essential.

Amazon Prime Free with an Amazon subscription to Starz, otherwise it is $2.99 to rent and $12.99 to buy.
Google Play  $2.99 to rent, $12.99 to buy.
YouTube $2.99 to rent, $12.99 to buy.
Vudu $2.99 to rent, $12.99 to buy.

Wiseguy (TV series)

Prior to its fourth season,  Wiseguy star Ken Wahl left the show in a dispute with CBS over the series's direction. He was replaced by Steven Bauer as United States Attorney Michael Santana. For the second story arc of the fourth season, Vanessa was set to have a recurring role as Santana's niece Consuelo Burns. Unfortunately, CBS cancelled the show before the story arc could unfold. Vanessa appeared in the episodes "Changing Houses" and "Point of No Return." The latter episode did not air on CBS and would not become available until the fourth season was released on DVD in 2009. Billy Dee Williams guest starred in "Changing Houses."

Amazon Prime $1.99 to rent , $14.99 to buy the whole 4th season

Locked Up: A Mother's Rage (TV movie 1991)

This film centres on Cheryl Ladd as a woman wrongly convicted of drug trafficking. Vanessa has a significant role as one of the women she meets in prison.

Amazon Prime Free on Prime, otherwise $1.99 to rent, $7.99 to buy. It is under the title Other Side of Love.
DailyMotion Available in two parts.

Seinfeld "The Cheever Letters", Season 4  Episode 6 1992

Vanessa has a brief appearance as the receptionist of the Cuban Embassy. Vanessa once told me that this was her appearance that most consistently paid residuals. Little wonder given how often Seinfeld is still aired on television!

Amazon Prime $2.99 to rent the episode, $19.99 for the whole season
Vudu $1.99 to rent the episode, $19.99 for the whole season.
YouTube $1.99 to rent the episode, $19.99 for the whole season.

Twenty Bucks (1993)

This is my favourite feature film in which Vanessa appeared besides Stand and Deliver. Twenty Bucks follows a $20 bill as it passes from person to person. Vanessa plays Melanie, the girlfriend of a boy who gets hold of the $20 bill and plans to use it to illegally buy wine (he's under the drinking age). Vanessa has significant screen time in Twenty Bucks and gives one of her best performances. And while I must admit to some bias where Vanessa is concerned, she is utterly adorable in the film.

Google Play $3.99 to rent, $12. 99 to buy.
Vudu $2.99 to rent, $12.99 to buy.
YouTube $3.99 to rent.

Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (1993)

If you were close to Vanessa or even one of her devoted fans, do not watch this movie. Several years ago Vanessa convinced me to watch it and I told her I would never watch it again as I did not like what happened to her character (who is named "Terry"). Given how I feel about her, she understood. Particularly now, given the circumstances of her death, Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence would be difficult viewing for anyone who loves Vanessa.  It is the second sequel to Maniac Cop, a film about a homicidal, undead police officer.

Amazon Prime free with Prime membership.

Father Hood (1993)

Father Hood stars Patrick Swayze as a small time criminal who frees his children from an abusive state run home. Vanessa appears briefly as one of the kids he frees. Father Hood really can't make up its mind whether it's a family comedy or an action movie, and it really isn't very good as either one. That having been said, Vanessa does give a very good performance for the brief time she's in the movie.

Amazon Prime $3.99 to rent, $17.99 to buy.
Google Play $2.99 to rent, $9.99 to buy.
Vudu $2.99 to rent, $9.99 to buy.
YouTube $2.99 to buy.

Culture Clash (TV series)

Vanessa was a regular in the first season of this show starring the famous performance troupe of the same name. Sadly,  according to Ric Salinas of Culture Clash, Fox will not allow them to release the TV series on DVD and it is not available on streaming. Fortunately, Vanessa uploaded many of her clips to her YouTube channel. If you are one of Vanessa's fans, this is a must see for you. The clips display her full range of talents, including singing (Vanessa had a beautiful voice)!


Melrose Place (TV Series) "The Doctor Who Rocks the Cradle", Season 3, Episode 12

Vanessa played Linda Cortez, one of Dr. Shaw's patients, a young married mother who is carrying a stillborn baby to term. 

Amazon Prime Free with Prime membership, $1.99 for one episode, $14.99 for a whole season
CBS All Access
Google Play 1.99 for one episode, $14.99 for one whole season
YouTube $1.99 for one episode

ER (TV Series)

Vanessa appeared in the first three seasons of ER in what is probably her most famous role, that of Nurse Wendy Goldman. From what I have observed over the years, Wendy was easily one of the most popular characters on the show. Sadly, she experienced both sexual harassment and ethnic slurs on the set and was fired when she reported it. Never mind firing her was wrong, I think it was a big mistake on the parts of the producers. Quite frankly, I think Vanessa's dismissal was the first step in what would be a rapid decline of the show. After the fourth season I didn't find ER worth watching.

Amazon Prime $1.99 to rent episodes, $2.99 to buy episodes, $9.99 to rent a season, $24.99 to buy a season.
Google Play $1.99 to rent episodes, $19.99 to buy a whole season.
Vudu $1.99 to rent episodes, $19.99 to buy a whole season.
YouTube $1.99 to rent episodes.

Malcolm & Eddie (TV series)

Vanessa guest starred in two episodes of the third season and one episode of the fourth season of the sitcom Malcom & Eddie. She played Janice Ramos, a cocktail waitress in Malcolm and Eddie's club. The size of Vanessa's role varies from episode to episode, but she is adorable in all of them. She is in the third season episodes "The Fool Monty" and "As You Strike It," and the fourth season episode "Worst Impressions."


Fire and Ice (TV movie 2001)

Sadly, this would be Vanessa's last significant appearance in narrative television or narrative film (she did have a cameo in the Star Wars fan film Return of Pink Five in 2006). Fire and Ice is a romance film based on the novel by Carla Fredd. While it aired on BET, it differs only a little from similar films that have aired on Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel. That having been said, it is worth it to see Vanessa. Vanessa gets a good deal of screen time, more than some of the actors billed above her. She is also the most beautiful I have ever seen her in film or television. As usual, she gives a great performance.

YouTube (free, but divided up in parts)

1 comment:

Realweegiemidget Reviews said...

Lovely tribute, I'm sure she would have loved this post.Take care x