Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

Every actor wants to be a drunk, and every actress wants to be a hooker.
I don't know why exactly, but I know you can take the straightest white-bread suburban nerd out of an acting class and say, "Hey, how would you like to play a crack-addicted serial killer?" and the guy will go, "Where do I sign up?"

I got to thinkin' about this because this gal I know named Debbie Rochon just got a starring role in Broadcast Bombshells, which is basically people aardvarking all over a TV station for two hours while getting ready for the big charity telethon.

In other words, there's no plot to get in the way of the story.
Debbie, who in real life is one of those soft-spoken lover-of-kittens types, plays an oversexed dominatrix in black leather who likes to torture the sports reporter with a whip and have monster sex in the control booth with the engineer.

Of course, I've already worn out the "Pause" button on my VCR.
Debbie, honey, I had no idea.
My kinda gal.

Anyhow, what we've got here is the latest from Private Screenings, which is a bunch of guys in Toronto who make ultralow-budget sex comedies for those channels at the Motel 6 that you watch at 2 a.m. and then deny any knowledge of the next morning.

They're the same guys who do the Marilyn Chambers movies, which, as you know, are the closest thing we have today to medieval torture.

The luscious Amy Lynn Baxter, the Howard Stern girl with the major legs, is the new weather girl and street reporter and producer and telethon hostess (actually, it's not too clear just what Amy Lynn is) and she's obsessed with finding out who's going around town planting soap bombs in the fountain at the mall.

Debbie is the nasty associate producer who wants Amy Lynn's job.
And Elizabeth Heyman is...well...Elizabeth has the two most enormous talents in this reporter's memory, and she basically hangs around the station and rips off her clothes on cue.

In other words, it doesn't make a lick of sense.
I loved it.
No dead bodies. Thirty-four breasts. Mouthwash torture.
Multiple aardvarking. Exploding TV station.

Gratuitous dominatrix montage, featuring the song "Kitten with a Whip" by the immortal Joey Mennonna.

Gratuitous aerobic dancing.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
* John Richardson, as the sports guy who likes S. and M. in the back room right before he goes on.

* Debbie Rochon, who uses that whip like she means it and says, "Honey, for you it's free."

* Scott Baker, as the sleazy, positive-thinking guru.
* Joseph Pallister, as the frustrated sculptor and weenie love interest, for saying, "Yep, that's me, an artist, living in a town where they think culture is what you find at the bottom of a yogurt cup."

*And Elizabeth Heyman, as the script girl who utters the immortal line, "Oh, Brian, do me, you stud muffin!"

Three stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's medulla-muddler comes from...Kurt Kuhlmann of Hillsborough, N.C.:

"This probably isn't a hard one, but it's been bugging me for a long time.
"The movie I'm looking for is a zombie movie, one of the comedy-horror variety, but not one of the big ones like Night of the Living Dead.

"The only scene that I remember is this:
"Zombies are inside a fast-food restaurant, killing and/or eating everyone inside.

"A car pulls up to the drive-through window. A zombie looks out at the horrified couple in the car and intones, ',' in his best zombie voice and slams the metal shutter down.

"Is that enough to go on?"
A video will be awarded to the correct answer. (The winner chooses from a list of about 1,000 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: [email protected]. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)

We have a winner!
Wes Pierce of Orlando, Fla., asked about a movie that "stars drive-in superstars Peter Weller and Shannon Tweed as a couple who, along with their children, are terrorized by a vicious, overgrown rat.

"I don't remember that much about this flick except it had a couple of good scenes in it, including one in which a bum who's going through some garbage cans is attacked by the rabid rat, and a nightmare sequence in which the oversized rodent bursts out of a birthday cake that Shannon Tweed has made for the kids.

"I remember lots of close-ups of the rat's slimy claws.
"Peter Weller turns into a suburban Rambo towards the end of this flick to hunt the thing down."

We received 26 correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...Alex Krislov of Shaker Heights, Ohio:

"The movie this fella's looking for is Of Unknown Origin.
"Peter Weller wasn't well known in those days, and Shannon Tweed was just an ex-Playmate, but it's Weller's movie all the way.

"The movie is about a young yuppie who is left alone in his condo. He gets into a continuing battle with The Rat From Hell.

"The rat shreds his condo--which he's lovingly redecorated himself--and his life.

"Damn thing even steals his blanket while he's in bed!
"But what makes the film special is that, as his life and home disintegrates, Weller's character goes from being a slimy yuppie dork on the make to an impressive, self-confident mensch--with a homemade battle suit that must be seen to be adored.

"The rat strips away the layers of smarm, and Weller finds a man underneath.
"The club Weller makes in his workshop is worth the price of admission all by itself.

"The special effects are nothing special, and the mandatory cheesecake scene with Tweed is but a brief distraction."

Copyright 1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales)