Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

For some reason I wasn't getting any action on my new, improved personal ad for the '90s.

"Chain-Smoking Couch Potato, 35 (but looks 55), card-carrying NRA member. Hates to laugh but loves to drink pina coladas on a bass boat while watching you scuba dive. Seeking morose, big-breasted, bisexual lesbian with independent income and thong bikini. "Will take you out even during 'Monday Night Football,' but only to topless bars that have big-screen TVs. Nude photo gets mine."

It just wasn't pulling as many responses as I thought it should, so I switched over to the "voice personals."

These are those dealies where you basically troll for a mate while making a breather call.

These days, if you wanna score in the personals, you need to lay some whiskey-voiced downtown Attitude down on the tape.

You need to talk like Barry White. (Since I go for the kinky types, my message sounds a little like Peter Lorre after a three-day drunk.)

You say something like this:
"Hi, baby. I know you're out there. Let's do a little cappuccino and then head over to the Michael Bolton concert. Then I know a little bistro where we can dance till dawn.

"If you still like me, we can go listen to my New Age tree-frog tapes and talk about Matisse while the sun comes up over the Ukrainian cathedral."

You get the idea?
You get on there and you make up this fantasy that includes every single thing you hate in life. And the girls listen to it and they go: "Wow! That voice and that attitude. He sounds so fascinating."

One more thing, guys. Important tip for the '90s. Act like you're absolutely not interested in what the girl looks like. The great-looking ones will never tell you what they look like until you hook 'em with the whole Peter Lorre/Michael Bolton thing. They think you like 'em because of their voice on the phone and all the fascinating things they say about their astrologer.

Never, ever mention anything about beauty and eventually the foxes will say "Men have told me I'm easy on the eyes."

When you hear those magic words, then bingo! Set the date. Do the Ukrainian cathedral thing. You're in. Isn't technology great?

Speaking of interesting ways to meet women in the '90s, our flick this week is Private Obsession, the best evidence yet that the erotic thriller has just plumb petered out.

This time they don't even bother with a third character--an abusive husband, a long-suffering girlfriend. None of that stuff.

Michael Christian is a geekazoid with a special homemade dungeon in his El Lay apartment, and one day he poses as a limo driver and kidnaps supermodel Shannon Whirry and puts her in a room where he can watch her get nekkid on a monitor and try to talk her into making the sign of the twin-humped couch weasel with him.

Shannon Whirry is the "other" Shannon. Shannon Tweed is the undisputed box-office erotic thriller queen. But Whirry is the up-and-coming gal all the guys want to see more of.

Unfortunately, she's really scraping the bottom of the icing bowl on this one, spending most of her time sitting on a bed in her underwear, screaming stuff like, "Let me out of here!" and "I'd like something to eat!"

Meanwhile, creepy Michael cackles at his video-monitor control board, telling her exactly how she has to be trained so that they can be married and live happily ever after with her as his love slave.

Finally they've wasted so much screen time that Shannon goes, "Oh, what the heck, I'll get in the sack with the guy."

And here's what's creepy about it. She seems to it.
Twenty-six breasts. Multiple aardvarking.
The old ether-in-the-limo trick.

Lingerie-shopping montage to a lounge-lizard song called "How Many Ways Do I Love You?"

Toilet-tank drinking. Gratuitous Rip Taylor.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Shannon Whirry, her metallic-gold cocktail dress and her two enormous talents, for saying, "Men will tell you anything they want you to hear" and for getting stuck in a pet door in the nude.

*Michael Christian, as the creep, for saying, "I'm the guy with the key to your mind!"

*And Bo Svenson, as the private eye who has absolutely nothing to do in the movie, but who keeps a straight face as he does it.

Two stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.
WE HAVE A WINNER! In the May 28 column, Terry A. Lawson of Middletown, Ohio, asked about a movie that took place at a New Year's Eve party/concert: "I think the title had 'party' in it. Anyway, part of the movie revolved around this musician who is supposed to play that night.

"He is supposed to have been famous but hasn't been heard from in years. When the limo sent to pick him up gets to his house he and his lady are just sitting around, and they have been for a long time because they, and everything else, are covered in cobwebs. He doesn't want to go to the party because he thinks he has 'lost it,' but then some simple little thing gives him an idea for a song. The rest of the movie is about the people backstage and the people coming in to see the show...."

We received 28 correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is... Joe Coughlin of Boston:

"The movie Terry wants is Get Crazy, from the early '80s, one of the strangest party flicks ever made. It indeed takes place on New Year's Eve, and veiled references to Bill Graham and his Fillmore venues abound...

"Daniel Stern is the stagehand trying to get laid and fix up the hall in time. Ed Begley Jr. schemes to blow the place up while his flunkies (one of whom is Bobby Sherman!) repeat all his words, not unlike the Mothra twins. Grounded 'teen-age' bimbos try to sneak in, and a slew of burnout rockers all scramble to make the gig.

"The guy in cobwebs is none other than Lou Reed, who writes a new song around every random utterance he hears. Lee Ving, of the band Fear, is hilarious as Piggy, an over-the-top Sid Vicious clone who's kept chained in a car trunk between shows.

"There's a Hasidic Jewish blues band, and Malcolm McDowell plays Reggie Wanker, a British glam-rocker swimming in babes and coke. When he spies his wife with a high-school dweeb in the boiler room, he becomes suicidal and retires to the john, where his penis begins talking to him.

"Not only does an 8-foot joint attend the show, but a nattily-attired robot named Electric Larry arrives to supply the hall crew with drugs. Decent, new-wavey soundtrack, including Sparks. It's very bizarre and hit-or-miss, but the hits are well worth it.

Copyright 1995 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales)

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Joe Bob Briggs