Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

I ran into Rusty Tisworthy down at the pool hall, where he normally takes up space by making bets on how many times you can twist the wingnut on the bottom of a Mixmaster. And Rusty started tellin' this nasty story about the sex he had last weekend, and lemme tell you, Rusty is one of those guys who, when he talks about sex, you don't even REALIZE it's sex, because he uses words that make it sound like an AUTOPSY. Sometimes Rusty can even gross out Fender Strock, and Fender Strock served six years in the state prison.

So we were all gaggin' and divin' under tables and orderin' Ozark spring water to wash the taste out of our mouth, when I tried to get him off the subject by saying, "OK, Rusty, what girl was bimbo enough to make the sign of the epileptic orangutan with you, and what birth-control clinic is she visiting this morning?"

And Rusty kinda leans back up against the table and crosses one boot over the other and grins at me and says, "Sharla Bolt."

And the whole pool hall got eerily quiet, like that sound just before the tornado sucks your toilet up into a tree. I didn't know if the room was in ADMIRATION of Rusty, or whether they were JEALOUS of Rusty, or whether they were just plain disgusted.

Since nobody else was saying anything, I said, "Uh, Rusty, I think she's about...oh...has she turned 16 yet?

"Turned 16 Saturday night. We were celebratin'."
"Rusty, if anybody in this pool hall knows the words of the Miranda warning, I think we should run get him right now." And he goes: "WHAT? That's legal in Texas."

Have you ever noticed that, if somebody doesn't KNOW whether something is legal or not, they always add "in Texas" to it? People who have never picked up a book in their life, much less a law book, always know EXACTLY what's legal IN TEXAS.

"Rusty," I said, "remember when Steve Sturgis almost went to jail last year over that girl?"

"Yeah, well that's when she was 15, and, besides, they didn't do nothin' to him."

"That's because Steve was 18.
"Eighteen's legal and 15's illegal. So you're telling me they didn't do nothin' to Steve Sturgis even though he was legal and she was illegal, and now they're gonna do something to ME when it's the same thing."

"Rusty, you're 37."
"That's right. OVER 18. Same difference."
"I thought you said it was 16 IN TEXAS."
"It is. It's 16 in Texas. And she didn't produce no ID."
"Oh! That's DIFFERENT! Why didn't you tell me that?"

"Sixteen is legal anyhow. According to the Texas Legislature. How else could Tanya Scranton get married last year?"

"Her parents gave their consent. Did you get the consent of Sharla's parents to CELEBRATE HER BIRTHDAY?"

All arguments with Rusty Tisworthy eventually end with the word "Oh."
We've got Bubba Barclay flying in from Bossier City to start workin' on the case. Unfortunately, Sharla says the only way she'll protect Rusty is if he agrees to go on a date with her EVERY Saturday. Fortunately, there were only 30 witnesses to what he said. We're shootin' for supervised probation.

And speaking of dark, slimy underbellies, Point Dume is one of the best independent made-on-a-shoestring film nwahrs I've seen all year--and I see THOUSANDS of these babies. The most surprising thing in it is Robert Z'Dar, the original "Maniac Cop" himself, in a dramatic role--and the man is AWESOME. Creepy. Sleazy. Menacing. But not NEARLY as creepy, sleazy, menacing as Joe "Which-Estevez-Is-He-Oh-The-Black-Sheep-Older-Brother" Estevez as a murderous cop looking for cocaine loot who likes to play double roulette while doing scenes from his favorite movies. I've seen a lot of Joe Estevez movies, but the man has NEVER shown this level of pure-dee acting.

Anyhow, what we got here is basically Hollywood sleazeballs whuppin' up on one another, lying, cheating, jumping in and out of beds, conning, blackmailing, holding one another hostage, and executing one another in one fun-filled Malibu weekend. It's kinda like "Deathtrap" with f-words.

Of course, the plot gets a little farfetched at times, and the script has more loose ends than a gay bar. But I loved every second of it.

Five dead bodies. Two breasts. Cliff death-lunge.
Aardvarking. Dart to the back. Slugfest.
Bullet to the chest, with cliff plunge. Bullet to the head.
Switchblade fu. Russian roulette fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for:

*Monique Parent, as the buxom drug courier who remains nekkid for at least half of her screen time.

*John Cassini, in the lead role, as the lonely-guy production assistant who gets caught up in the world's most complicated drug deal, for saying, "I have a dead pimp in my bedroom."

*Tara Subkoff, as the hot little con-girl prostitute who likes to give her phone number on the people she rips off.

*Adelaide Miller, as the is-she-or-isn't-she wife of Klarr, for welding a mean pistol.

*Joe Estevez, as the psycho cop, for saying, "Let's pretend we're doing a western and I'm the big bad sheriff" and "I just love instant justice--it saves the taxpayers so much money."

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