Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

Have you ever heard this?
"Best movie I ever saw in my life! It's about this guy, and he goes to this place, and then a bunch of funny things happen to him, and then he escapes--but he doesn't really escape--and then this really goofy old friend of his whom he hasn't seen in 30 years shows up..."

Why do people do this to me?
Why do people tell the plots of movies in such a way that, after five minutes, I'm staring helplessly into their Cafe Olay, wondering why the white scum on the top of it is a different color than the white scum on top of my Cafe Olay?

"They had these really cool effects."
Yeah? Like what?
"I can't describe it. They were just really cool."
Well, if you can't describe it, then why the heck did you bring it up?
Or how about this one?
"And then you find out that the psycho Dennis Hopper!"

Yuk yuk yuk. You're going along with this, and then it occurs to you that, well, yeah, isn't Dennis Hopper always the psycho killer?

"Well, yeah, but I mean, he was the psycho killer in this movie, too."
Then there's the Nerd Continuity-Expert Version of the plot:
"Then they go to this warehouse that looks kinda like the ones they used in 'Mannix,' but it has a giant blue gloppity-glopita machine right in the middle of it and as soon as they get there, a baldheaded henchman of a Middle Eastern drug lord jumps off a catwalk and flies, like three stories through the air, and he has his legs scissor-kicking all the way down, and then just as he hits, Gary Busey is coming around the side of this oil drum..."

And you realize that the guy has just taken five minutes to describe five seconds of screen time!

If you listen to one of these guys tell the whole movie--and, believe me, they will tell the whole movie--you're gonna be collecting a pension before you ever get out of the restaurant.

Listen up, people. A good movie requires one--let me repeat, please--one sentence of description.

"Tom Hanks is a gay lawyer who gets AIDS, and the law firm fires him, so he has to talk Denzel Washington into suing his own law firm.

"Judy Garland is a Kansas farm girl who gets zonked into a fantasyland by a tornado and has to find her way back home with these weird singing and dancing character actors dressed up like stuffed toys.

"Jeff Bridges is a daredevil on the Boston Bomb Squad who doesn't tell anybody that he used to be a soldier in Belfast--until his old IRA enemy Tommy Lee Jones busts out of prison and starts blowing up all Jeff's friends."

You get the idea?
This is all I wanna know. Don't make me tell you this again.
Speaking of plotlines, "Turnaround" is the story of this gal, who goes to this place, and then a lot of cool stuff...

Only kidding.
This is the old familiar story of an unemployed actress who daydreams about drinking hallucinogenic jungle juice with nekkid Indians and then having wild sex like they do in paperback novels.

One day she goes to the natural history museum to admire the primitive phallus statue and pretty soon she's being chased by masked gunmen and aardvarking all over the kitchen with a goofball undercover agent.

Wondering why her life is out of control, she gets on a plane to Costa Rica and goes wandering around nightclubs trying to evade drug dealers and link up with kinky sex merchants who will lead her to the valley of the white-faced, sex-crazed, flesh-worshipping, cuckoo-juice-drinking natives.

In other words, we've got the old plot-in-search-of-a-story problem here, but fortunately we've also got the luscious Steen as the globetrotting, oversexed heroine who's ready to jump out of that miniskirt at the drop of a loincloth.

Add to that the peekaboo-lingerie legend Monique Parent as the mysterious Other Woman, and you've got...well, I don't know exactly what you've got, but it's not your standard erotic jungle-sex comedy.

Twenty-two dead bodies. Twenty-two breasts. Blood sacrifice. Multiple erotic shaman rituals. Multiple aardvarking. Four shootouts. One motor vehicle chase, with crash and burn. Gratuitous Indian body-painting. Bimbo Fu. S&M Fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Steen, for co-writing the script, for trekking through the jungle in hot pants and high heels and for saying, "But soon these roots and herbs will live again in me, living to shape my desire, filling my heart, my soul and my mound of Venus."

*And Jeff Mandel, creator of the underrated "Super Force," for doing things the drive-in way.

Three stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Dear Joe Bob:
Are you hairy? I go for guys with hair everywhere except the tops of their heads. (I read somewhere that means they have more male hormones.)

Just one thing, if you had five wives, does that mean I get to have five husbands?

We nymphomaniacs have a hard time with just one husband, and if we have to share him with five wives, that would be enough to make me crazy! Maybe that explains Suzy's problem.

I worship your literary style and try to emulate it in all my letters, especially to men I barely know.

One question: How come you tally up breasts and naked women, but seem to ignore fine scenes of men's cute asses; bare, hairy chests; and (only in my dreams) full frontal shots of men running with no pants on?

Have a heart and give us nymphos a clue as to where to look for such stimulating artistry.

God bless you, sweetheart. We love you.
Deb, North Bay, Calif.

Dear Deb:
Wouldn't a full frontal shot of a man running with no pants on be dangerous to small animals?

(To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get free junk in the mail or his world-famous newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221. Joe Bob's fax line at his trailer house is always open: 214-985-7448. Joe Bob even hangs out on CompuServe: 76702,1435.)

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

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joe Bob Briggs