Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

If you're watchin' a movie and you see a guy droolin' over a porno magazine, you already know the guy's complete character description, right? He's a serial killer who hates beautiful women.

Or if you see a guy hangin' out at a topless bar in a movie, he's automatically a creep, even though half the businessmen in America hang out at topless bars.

So my question is this: Why do movies constantly reinforce the idea that if you watch dirty movies, or read dirty books, or even just hang around nekkid women, then you're a violent psycho? This is true even in movies that are full of nekkid women.

Why doesn't the hero cop ever hang out in a topless bar? Why doesn't Richard Roundtree swing by the police station one morning and say, "Hey, Lieutenant, check out the latest Penthouse. It's got some of those Norwegian babes in it"? In other words, why would movies that are full of sex and violence wanna promote the idea that anybody who likes sex is prob'ly just one step away from Jeffrey Dahmer Frozen Dinners?

A lot of these serial killers are transvestites, too. You usually don't find this out until the end, when the guy shows up in a bad blonde wig with an ax in his hand, trying to whack Traci Lord's head off.

But if all the creepy, drooling psychos are transvestites, then why would they paste pictures of the beautiful female lead all over their trailer houses? Wouldn't they be fantasizing about something besides the girl next door? Like, maybe, she-males? Or fellow perverts? Something. But not just your typical Goody Two Shoes B-movie actress in her Donna Karan dress with patent-leather pumps.

Anyhow, I've been thinkin' a lot about this because a few months ago Playboy Films announced that they were gonna start releasing regular movies.

We're talking Playboy here, right? We're talking a whole corporate empire based on selling pictures of nekkid women. And so what's the first movie they make? A movie about a serial killer who reads porno magazines, targets the models, and dresses up like a woman when he kills 'em.

In other words, even Playboy believes it! Wow. The world is gettin' a little too complicated, don't you think?

Anyhow, the flick is called Cover Me, and it stars a redheaded cutie named Courtney Taylor as an El Lay cop who gets booted off the force for shooting a black guy. (Elliott Gould is the mean ole captain who caves in to political correctness.)

Then her fellow cop and boyfriend, Rick Rossovich, gets this great idea. Since cops aren't allowed to get nekkid on the job, maybe he can use Courtney to get nekkid and go undercover and catch the serial killer who's knocking off nude models all over town.

Hey, it could happen.
Pretty soon Courtney has her goodies hangin' out all over a porno magazine owned by Corbin Bernsen (!), and then she decides to start dancin' topless. That leads to workin' the peep-show booths, so Rick starts getting nervous and coming over to her apartment all the time and being mucho jealous and threatening her cover by doing things like dancing the vertical watusi in the Santa Monica Public Library. Pretty soon the transvestite killer geek is breathing down her G-string, and everybody goes, "Whoops!"

Pretty much a by-the-numbers serial-killer flick, but with a whole lot more close-up aardvarking.

Five dead bodies. Fifty-one breasts. Multiple aardvarking.
Gratuitous art gallery opening (haven't we had about 384 of those this year?). Gratuitous transvestite flashbacks of a tortured childhood. Gratuitous nude photography session montage. Gratuitous topless-bar footage. (Hey, it's Playboy.) Gratuitous Paul Sorvino.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Stephen Nichols, for doing a pretty decent job in the thankless creepola role even though he's not that convincing in a dress.

*Elliott Gould, as the slimeball captain who says, "She's good people and a good cop" right after he fires her.

*Rick Rossovich, as the oversexed boyfriend cop who says, "I just wanna take that bag of skin off the street, that's all."

*Corbin Bernsen, as the porn editor who says, "What about my privacy?"
*Betsy Monroe, as the good-time gal topless dancer who says: "I know! You could be a shower dancer!"

*Karen Kim, as the lesbo topless dancer who says, "Would you like to see me naked?"

*Frank Medrano, as the rotund club-owner who says, "Ginger's my only other shower dancer and she's waterlogged."

*And Courtney Taylor, for having more sex in one movie than any actress in the past five years.

Three stars.

Yo Joe Bob:
You surely hit the nail on the head about this "Iran of the West" business.
Did you know Minnesota has arrested somewhere between one-eighth to one-tenth of its population in this, the "Just Say No" MADD decade?

Joe Stalin, eat your heart out.
You better not even think of coming up here, Joe Bob--they'll have you doing the Twelve Goosesteps to Hell for sure.

Social control is what it's about. And don't think you're safe down there in Cowboy-land, Joe Bob--their reach is long, their greed insatiable and their sense of humor nonexistent.

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