Joe Bob Briggs
Yes indeed, it's Dinosaur Week in the 1997 Drive-In Academy Award nominations, time for our annual recognition of those who have just made too goldurn many B movies. This has always been a popular category, even though Morgan Fairchild once won it three years in a row and her dominance threatened to turn the whole business into a farce. (Happy to see she's back again this year.) Fortunately, along came Jan-Michael Vincent.
Without further adieu, the nominees for...
THE "WHAT? THEY'RE STILL DOING THAT?" AWARD
*James Brolin, Tracks of a Killer, as the dimwit marble-mouth husband who goes for help.
*Morgan Fairchild, Venus Rising, as the sinister bar owner.
*Soleil Moon Frye, Piranha, as the sensitive camp counselor.
*Elliott Gould, Cover Me, as the mean ole slimeball police captain who caves in to political correctness.
*Joel Grey, Venus Rising, as the computer-nerd roommate.
*Michelle Johnson, When the Bullet Hits the Bone, as a kung-fu hooker who does what she has to do to preserve the illegitimate child she had by an evil drug weasel.
*William Katt, Piranha, as the sullen novelist who poles down the river on a log raft chasing giant mutant fish that were bred at a secret military installation and are now devouring skinny-dipping teen-agers and careless motorboating enthusiasts.
*Diane Ladd, Mother, as the greeting-card-shop owner who forgets to take her medication and goes off her rocker when her 19-year-old son decides he likes girls more than he likes her.
*Kelly LeBrock, Tracks of a Killer, as the terrorized hostage who gets tied to a bed, tortured with a butcher knife, taped to a chair, chased through the snow and has her hand ripped away from the steel door handle it's frozen to.
*Monique Parent, Masseuse, as the loving best friend who suggests doing "massages" for a thousand bucks a pop as a way for them to become independent modern women.
*Mickey Rooney, Making Waves, as Gabriel, the cigar-chomping head angel who says, "We don't mention the loins and the lust thereof up here."
*Ally Sheedy, One Night Stand, as the sensitive- professional-woman-grieving-over-her-broken-marriage-and-her-dead-mother-who-gets-into-a-dangerous-affair-with-a-sexy-hunkola-Antonio-Banderas-type-but-starts-to-think-he-might-be-a-serial-killer.
*Marc Singer, Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus, still flexing those deltoids and traveling the world with his psychic pets in search of cheesy costume-jewelry amulets that he needs to invade a desert fortress, rescue his weenie beefcake brother the king and kill Lord Agon before he turns into an indestructible fire-spitting lizard-headed beast.
*Shannon Tweed, Electra, as the creepy mom in upstate New York who lusts after her stepson and wants to sleep with him so she can get impregnated with the powerful secret formula that his dad fed him when he was a boy and makes him into a superhuman kung fu master.
*Michael York, Not of This Earth, as the telepathic alien with the sinister silver briefcase and the cool shades who sticks three-pronged suction needles into the necks of innocent young girls so he can drain their blood, hollow out their eyes and mummify their bodies.
Obviously, Mickey Rooney is the sentimental choice here, but for sheer number of truly awful international co-productions, you have to think that Michael York might finally get the recognition he's long deserved. I leave it to you, the voters. You know the address.
Get those ballots in NOW. I do NOT wanna have to tell you again.
Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's mental marathon comes from Tony Midadeo of San Marcos, Texas: "The movie I am looking for is actually a cartoon. The characters run around in front of black-and-white photographs of cities. They are searching for a magic spring that lived in some magic clock and when the spring ran away time stopped.
"I don't remember how the good guys were able to move around. The bad guy had this henchman that was a big gorilla with a television for a head. The gorilla's TV only played holocaust pictures. I think he was also on roller skates.
"I have looked everywhere for this picture; maybe you can help."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)
We Have a Winner!
In the Feb.16 column, Deb Klinger of Gordon, Pa., wrote:
"Hope you'll be able to help UNBUG me. I'm trying to remember the title of a movie, circa 1980, starring (I thought) Elliot Gould as a bank teller who foils an attempted bank robbery by a villain (Christopher Plummer-type) dressed as Santa Claus.
"Gould intercepts a note requesting the money prior to the attempted robbery. He then comes up with a master plan to steal the money himself, and he does. There's a really great scene that involves the smashing of a fish tank.
"I thought the title was $. Saw it on HBO many years ago...couldn't seem to find any reference to it when I did a search on Elliot Gould. Wrong actor?"
We had 54 correct answers, so the winner was chosen at random.
And he is...Michael J. Blazin of Dallas:
"The film is Silent Partner. Released in 1978, it stars Elliot Gould, Christopher Plummer and Susannah York. The woman whose head ends up in the fish tank is Celine Lomez, a French-Canadian singer.
"The story is about how Gould uses the robbery by Plummer to steal a much larger amount and Plummer acts to get that money, believing it's his. Plummer plays a focused sociopathic villain. It is actually a very good movie, several cuts above the usual targets of these searches."
1997 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.