Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Remember last year when Time and Newsweek both decided to put Marriage on the cover?

Marriage Is Back!
Marriage Is Groovy!
People are Getting Married!

And then you read through these articles to try to figure out what the heck they were talkin' about, and they said things like, "Lewis and Julie Fitzgibbons of Hamden, Conn., decided they were tired of the single life and they tied the knot!"

Of course, they could have gone out and found Clarence and Lou Ellen Bratigan of Augusta, Ga., who are so sick of each other they're throwing carving knives in the kitchen.

The divorce rate is 50 percent.
It's been that way for a long time.
You can go either way with this story.

But for about two years now, the take of the whole national press on this has been "America is doing the family thing."

I don't think so.
I think people are doing what they've always done:
Lonely single guys sittin' around without a date on Saturday night, feeling like the world is passing 'em by, hoping that Winona Ryder will fall in love with 'em.

Bored married guys taking their wives to the movies on Saturday night, scoping the popcorn girl.

Nervous single gals hittin' the dance clubs in leopard-print pants, hoping some guy in a motorcycle jacket will wanna buy 'em a condo in Miami Beach.

Middle-aged moms, pickin' Horace's underwear up off the floor, wondering when Mel Gibson will get a divorce.

And somewhere, sometime, in about, oh, 10 percent of the cases--and I'm being optimistic here--men and women madly in love, having sex around the clock, planning families, and starting their IRAs.

Same as it ever was, people.
Everybody just doing their best with what they've got.
And there's nothing wrong with it.

Marriage doesn't go "in" and "out." It's just what people do when their hope for the future is stronger than their fear of the past.

It's called Human Nature.
I'm surprised I have to explain these things.
And speaking of psycho singles, Lisa Dean Ryan gives one of the best drive-in performances of 1995 in Twisted Love, a cross between Misery and Boxing Helena that has the most disgusting elements of both but is set in a high school environment so that America's young people can appreciate it.

Lisa is the new girl at school, a wallflower who gets the hots for football hunk Sasha Jenson.

While following him around one night she sees him crash his motorcycle and--voila!-- within an hour she has him strapped down in the upstairs bedroom of a mansion she's supposed to be taking care of while the owners are in Europe.

Can we say "Kathy Bates?"
Yes, we can.
But I believe this girl even more than I believed Kathy Bates. Anyhoo, the football hunk is really in love with Soleil Moon Frye, so it takes a little persuasion with a hypodermic and a kitchen knife to convince him he belongs in a relationship with Lisa.

Meanwhile, as she trucks back and forth between the mansion and her home life with a creepy bedroom daddy, the gal starts to go plumb crazy.

Then Clint Howard comes by one day to do a little gardening, and...is it my imagination or has Clint been sliced and diced more times than Jason?

This guy needs to call up his brother Ronnie and get a new agent. As soon as you see Clint in the movie, you know he's gonna get a cleaver through the gizzards.

The old Psycho Girlfriend From Hell plot, extremely well directed by veteran B-movie bad guy Eb Lottimer.

Four dead bodies. Six breasts. One motor vehicle crash.
Back-stabbing. Fresh-wound needle stabbing. Scalding water to the face.
Hatchet to the back. Dance of the Giant Candelabra.
Catfight. Incest fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...

*Lisa Dean Ryan, as the unrequited psycho who says, "You're such an amazing boyfriend, you know that?" and: "Crazy? You have the gall to call me crazy?" and: "Don't you leave me! You kill me now! I love you!"

*Soleil Moon Frye, as the weepy girlfriend who says, "Bo is the only guy I ever told I loved."

*Sasha Jenson, as the Hunk Hostage who says, "I have been such a fool. I do see things differently now - I'm in love with you."

*And Eb Lottimer, the director, for doing things the drive-in way.
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

JOE BOB'S FIND THAT FLICK This week's mind-melter comes from.. Christopher "Kit" Felice of Garland, Texas:

"I got a flick for you to find. It was a cartoonish, Star Wars-type movie.
"It was about a slave in a mine who digs his way up--which is a no-no--and escapes.

"A guy with a ship finds him, and there's this robot chick who's all silver, and the ship's computer has a head that looks like a desk lamp.

"What the heck was this movie called? I've never stumbled on it in a store, and I haven't seen it in years.

"Oh, yeah, the guy who owns the ship brainwashes the robot chick by messing with chips under her butt plate, and there's a blind kid and flesh-eating 'mandroids.'

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