Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

How come when you go to an Indian casino, there aren't any Indians?
There USED to be Indians. There were Indians out the wahzoo. Indians parked your car. Indians ran the bingo game. Indians sold you your overpriced Wampum Breakfast Special in the Teepee Coffee Shop.

But now you go to some place that's supposedly run by the Lackawanna Indians of the South Bronx--the ones who didn't realize they were Indians until they found out they could open a casino--and nobody's willing to do the headdress duty.

You got the occasional place that'll still put on the old war paint. I saw this heavyweight fight at the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Bingo Casino in Orley, Idaho, and before the fighters came out, they had four old Indians come into the ring and beat a drum and chant the "Veterans Honor Song" while a spear-carrying warrior and an old woman stood at attention, like they were advertising a cigar store.

At least they were trying. Instead of saying, "Let's get ready to rumble," the announcer screamed, "Warriors, let's hit the warpath!"

During the warm-up fight, Carl McGrew, a 290-pound flab monster who drools every time he punches, took a hit to his gut from olympic boxer Maurice May in the second round, went to his knees, and keeled over.

In other words, the fights at Indian casinos aren't any better than the slot-machine payoffs.

At most Indian casinos you, can't even play poker. It's like they don't understand it or something. It's slots and blackjack, and occasionally one little puny roulette table. And, oh yeah, VIDEO POKER. Which bears the same relation to real poker that porno movies bear to real sex. It can amuse you for a while, but eventually you're gonna get FRUSTRATED, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Somebody explain it to me: Exactly what crowd are they going after? Because it's not gamblers, it's not fight fans, and it's sure not people who like floor shows. I don't get it. This SEEMED like a good idea in the '80s, but they came to a fork in the tongue.

Speaking of '80s ideas that we've just run plumb into the ground, Vamps: Deadly Dreamgirls is the latest topless-bar horror flick, and this time we've got bodacious lap-dancers who moonlight as bloodsucking vampires. They get a little upset when a Catholic priest starts hanging around the club, but what they don't understand is that he's there JUST FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT.

Half the movie is about the priest battling with his URGES, if you know what I mean and I think you do, especially when he finds out that his high school drama partner is now a blonde dancer who strips out of her cheerleading uniform. So one night, the priest invites her back to his apartment, and pretty soon he's making the redheaded Head Vampire Mama at the club nervous.

The problem is, you keep thinking, "Oh, he's a PRIEST, right, so he's the only man who will be a match for the topless vampire babes." But he happens to be a priest with NO PRIESTLY POWERS. Didn't these people watch The Exorcist? All he has to do is bless a little tap water, but nooo. Apparently a vampire who works in a gentlemen's club is immune to crucifixes, too.

Of course, there's not that much plot to begin with, because it would get in the way of the hard-rockin' topless routines.

My kinda movie.
Eight dead bodies. Twenty breasts. Monster sex (literally).
Seven topless routines, including one in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. Neck-munching. Full-body blood-draining. Strangulation.

Plunger through the heart. Baseball bat to the head. Kung fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for:
*Jenny Wallace, as the redhead mastermind vampire stripper who says to the dancer who sucks all the blood out of a customer, "Randi, did I say you could break for lunch?"

*Jennifer Huss, as the innocent ex-cheerleader who learns to love vampire stripping, for saying "What kind of a freak ARE you?"

*And Mark Burchett and Michael D. Fox, the writer/producer/directors, for the line, "Let's cut off his head and fill it with candy and use it as a pinata on your next birthday."

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

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's medulla-mystifier comes from...John Hoar of San Francisco:
"When I was around 8 (1971) the kids who baby-sat me and my sisters used to torture us by making us watch bad horror films on TV, which would give us endless nightmares.

"There was one that I found particularly frightening, and the only thing I can remember about it haunts me to this day.

"This 'film' featured a 'family' living in some creepy old house in the middle of nowhere. Some child who lived in the house had died and was buried out in a field near the house. In the scene I remember, this child came out of her grave and went back to the house and started banging on the door. The house was all locked up to prevent ghouls from getting in. The child kept banging and banging, and saying something like: 'Mommy, let me in. I'm cold.' (Or, 'I'm hungry,' or something.)

"The child's mother was overwhelmed by maternal instinct and wanted to let her in, but the others knew that the corpse at the door was evil incarnate and would not allow it.

"This movie must have aired on TV between 1968 and 1972, so it would have be in the theaters somewhat earlier than that. Any ideas?"

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held. Send 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 [email protected]. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)

1997 Joe Bob Briggs. Distributed by NYT Special Features