Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

I have this friend Donovan who has a thing for flight attendants. You'd realize why right away if you got a look at Donovan. He's one of those Gucci-loafer-hanging-halfway-off-the-foot sorta guys. He's got a Movado watch that's so expensive it doesn't have hands OR digital readouts OR anything else on it. It's completely black. You have to have ESP to find out what time it is, because otherwise it would spoil the design that won all the awards at the Gesumtkraft Museo of Bonn.

Donovan's idea of a shirt is what most people would call a silk clerical caftan. His cuff links were once mistaken for the laser-guidance devices on the F-16. He carries one of these $9,000 baby-lambskin briefcases that are so small all you can get in there is a John Grisham novel and a copy of Robert Parker's pocket guide to the wines of Bordeaux. Are you starting to get the picture here? In other words, Donovan is a first-class jerk.

The stewardesses love him.
He barely has time to buckle his seat belt before the flight attendant is offering to take Donovan to her room at the Airport Sheraton, get nekkid, and demonstrate the multiplication tables with her thighs while serving his favorite beverage. (His favorite beverage, by the way, is a peach martini. This alone makes him a candidate for assassination.)

So last week I was on a flight with him and I said, "What is the DEAL with the flight attendants?"

"They're lonely," says Donovan. "They travel a lot. they don't have a lot to do during layovers."

Then why don't they lay over with ME, is what I wanted to say.
What I DID say is, "But why do YOU, a very successful man, spend this much time exploring the personalities of women who, let's face it, reached a point in their lives where they said: "You know what? I think I'll be a waitress in the world's worst restaurant while bumping into things all day and fetching extra pillows for fat guys."

"I think it's the uniform," he told me. "It's like a combination of a nurse and a cop. They go back and forth between bringing you things that make you feel good, and ordering you to remain seated with your seat belt fastened. It's like a yin and a yang thing. And they're required by law to be cheerful."

"Until you get to the Airport Sheraton. Then they're only required to be back at the airport by 6:34."

"Exactly," said Donovan.
And then it hit me. A flight attendant is the only woman who ALWAYS has to leave. Sooner or later, they have to stuff their underwear into that navy-blue wheelie bag and say: "That was wonderful. I hope I see you again."

It's, like, a total reversal. The woman who ALWAYS has more to do than you. The woman who can never spend too much time in the shower because she has to leave first. The woman who can never overpack because it's part of her job to underpack. The woman who knows that there's ALWAYSANOTHERFLIGHT. This is good. This is very good. You know, I've been thinking that Gucci loafers aren't THATbad if you avoid the ones with the little gold clasps on top.

OK. Speaking of mind-bending sexual manipulation, this week's flick is The Corporation, the latest from B-movie producer-director Andrew Stevens, he of the Shannon Tweed factory. And Andrew has come up with a story about an evil CD-ROM company that puts out cute little games that can turn you into a staring bug-eyed zombie as you're assaulted with hypnotic suggestions to do things like a) buy more CD-ROMs, b) have sex with the nice man, and c) commit suicide by jumping off the Hoover Dam.

Ian Ziering is the studly hotshot game designer hired by a company that, judging by the exterior shots, is apparently headquartered in the Las Vegas Convention Center. His wife (Katherine Kelly Lang) is a brain researcher who works at a clinic that, judging by the exterior shots, is located in the Thomas & Mack Center basketball arena at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. When they move to San Francisco, they think it's a LITTLE strange that all the wives show up to Stepford Katherine into giving up her job and staying home for three-Scotch lunches. Ian gets a little MORE weirded out when he watches a CD at work one day and ends up nekkid on his office couch with secretary Rainer Grant, but actually, once you see Rainer Grant, you don't think it's that strange at all.

Apparently it's all a master plot by Andrew Stevens himself, who walks around the Riviera Hotel with a cane, spouting sinister instructions to his sleazy assistants while bimbos are hooked up to brain electrodes and forced to have sex so their brainwaves can be mapped onto a CD.

Actually, I don't know WHAT it's about. There's a stoned computer programmer played by Marc Riffon who explains it all about an hour in, but I didn't quite follow it.

Three dead bodies. Ten breasts. Electrode-head hyperventilation. Bloody stroke.

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