Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

Okay, I'm gonna describe this woman.
She's got fluffy blonde hair--teased, permed, and coiffed--about $300 worth.
She's got a straight nose, thin lips and large bedroomy eyes. She wears tiny pearl earrings and a simple pearl necklace that hangs down onto a tanned neck and chest.

Her dress is classic--either Ralph Lauren or Calvin or maybe Donna Karan--and it has a jacket that parts just the right distance from her breasts. She always wears black pumps.

But if you notice anything, you'll notice her fingernails. They're a little too long for her age. Her hands give her away. She's 40.

Okay. I've seen this woman over and over and over again. Every time there's a picture of some savings-and-loan executive entering a courtroom, or some defrocked minister entering a courtroom, or some bond trader entering a courtroom, or some Congressman entering a courtroom--any time some powerful guy is going in to argue why he shouldn't be going to jail, this woman is with him.

It's the same woman. Always the same woman. Do they rent out this woman?
Do they trade her back and forth? Who is she? She doesn't say anything, but when her eyes flash you can see that she says a lot in private. She has an iron grip on her man's hand at all times. She looks powerful--much more powerful than the guy we think is powerful. Is she a wife? She doesn't really look like a wife.

But then she doesn't look exactly like a mistress either. A mistress would be more affectionate and playful. This woman looks like she's ready to lead the French Foreign Legion into the Sahara.

What is this woman doing, and why do these men need her? Am I missing out on something? Do I need to get me one of these women?

Where do you find them? She doesn't look too country-clubby, although she spends a lot of money on her clothing. She doesn't look too country-western clubby, although she has the big hair required for admission.

She's not a singles-bar Lipstick Lizard, although she does enjoy caking on that makeup.

In fact, if you look closely at her, and you imagine her being, say, 20 years older, you might think she was the guy's mother instead of his wife.

She has that no-nonsense Mother Thing going. That Iron Maiden "Bring Me My Purse" Thing.

I wanna know if anybody else has noticed this. It's spooky. Where does she come from? Where is she going? Who is she?

And, judging by the look on her face, does she have a weapon?
Speaking of scary makeup jobs, this week's flick, Abducted II: The Reunion, is the story of what would happen if three old girlfriends from Swiss boarding school decided to spend the week camping in Canadian wild-sheep country.

They just might be kidnapped by a cockeyed mountain man wearing a goat head and carted off to his cave, where he'll decide later which one will become his "wife," if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Fortunately, two of the girls get away through masterful striptease dancing, kickboxing, spear-chucking, and loud screaming, and the third girl decides she kinda likes the weirdo. She, like, understands his pain.

And the stage is set for veteran B-movie actors Dan Haggerty and Jan-Michael Vincent to helicopter in for the big crossbow-wielding endangered-species-defending finale involving a subplot about the geek's long-lost father.

It's one of those deals that starts out decent and finishes big, but boy is it slooooooooooooooooow in the middle.

This is the old city-women-in-the-woods story first popularized by the immortal I Spit on Your Grave. But it doesn't have the real grit it needs to be the true female Deliverance they were trying for.

Nice shot, though.
Four dead bodies. One dead moose. One dead sheep. Six breasts. Stomach-gouging. One motor vehicle chase. Spear through the shoulder.

Deadly knife-flinging. Crossbow to the chest. Cliff-plunging. Gratuitous aardvarking in flashback. Five Kung Fu scenes, two with sharp sticks. Rifle-butt Fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
Lawrence King as the pelt-wearing wildman who dances around screaming "You've got nice things! I like nice things!" and telling his three hostages, "Choosing a wife is a big thing in a man's life."

Dan Haggerty as the gruff big-game guide who says, "I'm already dead, son--I died when you died."

Three stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.
Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's brain-baffler comes from...Lisa Small of Arlington, Va.:

"Joe Bob, honey, I once saw a tiny clip from a B movie in the early days of cable. It was some sort of vampire movie in which people were bitten on the wrist--a gay vampire flick?--and part of the theme music was Disco Beavers from Outer Space. Please, Joe Bob, please. I want to see this movie again. What's its name?"

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.

We Have a Winner!
In a recent column, Sally Vandershaf of Orinda, Calif., wrote:
"I'd like to know which movie this is! I remember one scene in particular. This guy in the movie got a package of binoculars as a present in the mail. Just as he received it, the screen did this blurry, wavy thing, which was really a warning to people that something bad might be coming. He put the binoculars up to his face, to his eyes, and suddenly daggers came out of the binoculars and went into his eyes. There were other scenes like that, too.

"One lady went into her bedroom and sat down at her dresser to get ready to go to bed. She does all the things she would normally do before going to bed and then lays down on the bed. The second she laid on the bed, she looked up and saw this guy looking down at her from a lamp over the bed.

"I screamed! I wasn't prepared for that kind of shock at four years old. He jumped down on her and cut off her head! They showed it. I saw it, even though I had my eyes covered. "

We received 15 correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...Brian Yelverton of Salem, Mass.:

"Another fairly easy one. The film Sally is looking for is Horrors of the Black Museum, a 1959 release, I believe. It was produced by Herman Cohen, who also did the giant ape film Konga.

"It's a nasty little story about an author of true crime books who decides to provide his own subject matter, doing some imaginative murders with the aid of a deformed assistant. The spike-ejecting binoculars were the highlight, but he also used ice tongs, acid and a booby-trapped bed. I read that it was advertised as being in Hypnovision."

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

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Joe Bob Briggs