Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

OK, we're into the mopping-up phase now. It's the fifth and final week of the Drive-In Academy Award nominations, and so far we've received a total of 34 ballots--54 if you count inmates.

This is the kind of apathy that led to Nazi Germany.
Nevertheless, we begin with the increasingly popular fringe category...
Best Gross-Out Scene
*Blood & Donuts: Live rat-eating.
*The Death Artist: Tiramisu-spitting.
*The Grave: Prison toilet communications system. (You don't wanna know.)
*Head of the Family: Giant mutant tongue-licking.

*Hourglass: C. Thomas Howell gets warm and fuzzy while whacked out on Ecstasy.

*Making Waves: Water fowl used as an aquatic Greek chorus, accompanied by Jewish talking seals.

*Mother: Olympia Dukakis rubbing blood on her cheeks and REMOVING HER WIG.
*One Night Stand: Plastic-surgery stitch-ripping.
*Polymorph: Close-up razor-blade self-surgery.
*Tracks of a Killer: Hot tongs to the open wound.
*Transgression: Corpse-licking.

*When the Bullet Hits the Bone: The old scalpel-under-the- fingernails torture.

Best Poster
*Blood & Donuts: "There's a place between the living and the dead, and it's open 24 hours."

*Caged Heat 3000: "3,000 Years! 2,000 Women! 1,000 Ways to Punish Them!"
*Mother: "She'll love you to death."
Best Quirky Character Actor

*Richard Belzer, Not of This Earth, as the scuzzy chauffeur who works for alien Michael York.

*Darleen Carr, Piranha, as the crazed, grapple-hook-wielding piranha expert who says: "Razorteeth! They breed! There's no way to stop them!"

*Richard Gabai, Vice Girls, as the nerdy camcorder buff who thinks the story of his life should be a "neurotic thriller."

*Gordon Jennison, Head of the Family, as the thuggish husband who refers to his wife as "Chubby Cheeks."

*C.T. Miller, Lap Dancing, as the blind topless-bar patron and retired acting teacher who can smell people on the street and tell who they are.

*Shadoe Stevens, The Death Artist, as the showy street poet in dark shades, so committed to his art that he instantly forgets everything he says, because "Repetition is death."

*Shelia Traviss, The Death Artist, as the "patron saint of anger" who works with a monkey puppet, raging across the stage in her black leotard for her signature piece, "Who Can Make the Monkey Laugh?"

*Catherine Walsh, Jack-o, as the creepy, prophesying brunette who looks like a witch and tells the monster, "I'm the last of the ones who brought you into this world--now go back to hell!"

Best Kung Fu
*Donny Hair, Hard Way Out, as the straightlaced CIA henchman who engages in a hellacious kung-fu battle to the death with Don the Dragon on the deck of a ship, for excellent fight choreography.

*Cassandra Leigh, Caged Heat 3000, as the feisty prisoner of the future, dressed like a customized Edsel in a thong bikini, who does a little bikini kung fu, nude head-butting, cafeteria-scene food-in-the-face-mashing, and spike-through-the-body lesbo- spearing.

*Joan Severance, Black Scorpion, as the vigilante in leather who deals with pimps and environmental terrorists in her own kickboxing way.

*Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Hard Way Out, as the mild-mannered math teacher who turns out to be a retired CIA killer who's being pursued by an army of Uzi-wielding Guidos.

*Jeff Wincott, When the Bullet Hits the Bone, as a trauma doctor who gets sick of watching drug addicts die in the emergency

room, so he trades in his stethoscope for a couple of really cool handguns and takes on the biggest drug cartel in the world.

Best Sidekick
*Ariauna Albright, Polymorph, as the feisty redhead who makes conversation around the campfire by saying, "So, how's your weiner?"

*Justin Louis, Blood & Donuts, as the eccentric, dog-loving cabbie who says, "What's, like, your take on heaven?"

*Tane McClure, Lap Dancing, as the hard-bitten, worldly-wise stripper who says, "If I could act, I wouldn't be stripping."

*Garrett Morris, Black Scorpion, as the jive-talkin' stolen-car specialist who saves the day with his custom military computer car.

*Gerald Okamura, Day of the Warrior, as the undercover Elvis-impersonator lounge singer, Elvis Fu, who performs the hit "Bragging On Me."

*Linnea Quigley, Jack-o, as the sexy babysitter who helps a young boy in his battle to the death with a guy who rises up out of the Florida swamps with a giant pumpkin on his head and a nasty-lookin' scythe.

*Tony Todd, Beastmaster III: The Eye of Braxus, as the tight-lipped black Tonto in a loincloth.

Best Director
*Holly Dale, Blood & Donuts.
*Frank Laloggia, Mother.
*Michael James MacDonald, The Death Artist.
*Mark Manos, Huntress: Spirit of the Night.
*Robert Talbot, Head of the Family.
*Jonathan Winfrey, Black Scorpion.
*Terence Winkless, Not of This Earth.
*Paul Ziller, Virtual Seduction.
I'm gonna tell you one more time: send me those ballots. Now.

1997 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)