Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

How do you make the water stay in the bathroom sink?
You may think this is a stupid question, but take it from a man who's stayed in hundreds of motel rooms--it's IMPORTANT.

Here's how they want you to THINK you make the water stay in the bathroom sink:

By pulling on that gold upside-down plunger thingy that's located between the faucets on the back of the sink. Supposedly, if you pull up on that thing, a stopper will go down and hold all the water in the sink--seal that sucker off.

There's only one problem:
These remote-control plunger-stopper thingies have NEVER WORKED. EVER. IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. AT ANY TIME.

How is it possible for a bathroom fixture to be broken 100 percent of the time and NOBODY EVER NOTICES? I mean, it's never broken in the same way twice, but it's always broken. Sometimes the metal rod just comes off in your hand. Sometimes the metal rod stays in the thing but doesn't pull down the stopper. Sometimes the metal rod pulls down the stopper but doesn't pull it down far enough, so water seeps out. Sometimes the metal rod pulls down the stopper so airtight that it won't come back up, so there's no way to EMPTY the sink. It's different every time, but one thing that's always the same is: IT'S ALWAYS BUSTED.

After 30 years of using these things, wouldn't somebody NOTICE this? Wouldn't some guy who went to Hotel/Motel Executive Training School say, "We're annoying the guest with these nonfunctional sink stoppers''? Wouldn't a maid somewhere notice that long metal rods are lying around on bathroom counters in motel rooms all across America? Wouldn't someone at LEAST notice that people have stuffed washrags into the drain so they can TRY to make the sink fill up with water?

Because I've done a lotta research on this, and after extensive testing, consumer surveys, and engineering analyses, I can tell you what DOES work:

Rubber stopper on a chain.
Whatever happened to all the rubber stoppers on chains? Did we run out of rubber? Did we run out of chains? I'm just guessing here, but I would IMAGINE that a rubber stopper on a chain is even CHEAPER than a fancy-schmancy gold-plated remote-control plunger-stopper thingy. But even if it's not, the rubber stopper on a chain--EVEN IF YOU LOSE THE CHAIN--holds the water in the sink.

You can't beat it. You cannot improve on it. The rubber stopper will ALWAYS hold the water in the sink. You can pick up the rubber stopper, throw it against a brick wall and stomp on it--and it will STILL hold the water in the sink. I'm speaking to the hotel executives of America here when I say: The Stopper RULES. Understand, guys?

I do NOT wanna have to tell you again.
And speaking of scary modern trends, Sean Young is back, and it looks like she's started down that B-movie road paved by Brigitte Nielsen and Anna Nicole Smith. I'm talking about a depressing little flick called "Evil Has a Face,'' in which Sean wanders around like a zombie on Prozac the whole time, her eyes glazing over every time she has to deliver a line.

Sean is a sketch artist for the Chicago police who goes to a little town in Minnesota to help catch a serial child-molester. She works with a 6-year-old girl to get a make on the guy, only to recognize his face as Sean's own abusive stepdad who was supposed to be dead in a car wreck 30 years earlier.

The rest of the story is Psycho-By-The-Numbers as the FBI nab the wrong guy, the local investigator falls in love with Sean, and the real killer lies in wait for Sean and the 6-year-old, drooling creepily, dreaming of a bizarre threesome.

The whole thing is kinda depressing, as though somebody at the Lifetime Network decided to make a breather movie. Child molesters are the new B-movie villains--this is about the 30th flick with this theme--and they're so pure-dee ee-uh-vil that nobody even bothers to make them real. Add to this the fact that Sean Young seems to be requesting a nap in every scene, and it's pretty much of a snoozer.

Three dead bodies. No breasts. Closet imprisonment.
One motor vehicle chase. Gut-shooting. Chest-stabbing.
Gratuitous pushy FBI agents.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for:

*Brighton Hertford, as the molested little girl, for screaming: "I saw him! He was in my dream!''

*Joe Guzaldo, as the arrogant FBI agent who says, "Time for you to go home now--have a safe flight.''

*Sean Young, for babbling, "All those LIES!'' in her big emotional breakdown scene.

*Chelcie Ross, as the creepola molester, for saying, "We're gonna be one big happy family.''

*And William R. Moses, as the friendly local cop, for being in the movie but having nothing to DO in the movie, but doing it well.

One and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's lobal looper comes from...Jean Jackson of Fort Collins, Colo.:
"I saw this movie once about a deformed guy who gets a new face and starts knocking over steel mills (!).

"The bad guy looks like Christopher Lloyd's evil twin and has a psycho girlfriend who just about self-aardvarks whenever she gets to pistol whip somebody (I hate it when that happens).

"Morgan Freeman and Forest Whitaker were the good guys, but for the wrong reasons. The ending left me in awe, overwhelmed by nobility and grace. Great music, too.''

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. (The winner chooses from our library of titles.) In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held.

Send "Find That Flick'' questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221. You can also fax them to 213-462-5982 or e-mail them to Joe Bob on the Internet: 76702.1435@compuserve.com. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)

© 1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)

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