Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

You ever know a woman who says, "It's so nice to meet a guy who's not a JERK"?

Is this supposed to be a compliment?
Isn't this about like saying, "Your intelligence appears to be higher than a sea otter. That's great."

When did being a non-jerk become a sign of distinction? And what exactly did I do to evade jerkdom?

The other variation on this is, "Yep, all I meet are JERKS. One jerk after another. Jerk jerk jerk jerk. I'm a magnet for jerks."

And it's always women who say this. You never hear a man say, "Every dang woman I meet is a revolting sack of worthless roadkill." After a relationship is over, a man tends to go on with life.

But when I hear a woman say, "It's sooooooo nice to know you're not a jerk," I have one thing on my mind: How much time do I have before I become a jerk?

And if you ask a woman what a guy has to do to avoid being a jerk, they all say the same thing: "Just be honest with me."

So let's check in on my friend Rodney, who used to tell women, "I'm not looking for a permanent relationship. I like to date several women at the same time."

Of course, Rodney was stupid, but he was definitely honest.
The female verdict on Rodney: El Jerk-o.
Rodney was assigned to the Jerk Hall of Fame by every woman who ever met him. But, as far as I know, he never lied to 'em.

Remember those psychedelic free-love hippie movies from the late '60s and early '70s, where Peter Fonda or Bruce Dern or Dennis Hopper would find some long-haired babe in hip-hugger bell-bottoms and say, "Just because I dig other chicks doesn't mean I don't dig you, too"?

Rodney was like that. In fact, he probably watched too many acid-trip hippie movies from the '60s, which is how he got that way.

Anyhow, it always worked for Peter Fonda!
I don't understand the Jerk Factor. Somebody explain it to me.
Or does not understanding it automatically make me a jerk?

Modern relationships are way too complicated for me. And speaking of sociology class, this week's flick is Red Sun Rising, the kung-fu movie that asks the question, "What if the El Lay gang wars were really caused entirely by Japanese samurai drug lords and their armies of black-magic killer ninjas?"

Hey, it could happen.
The great thing about this movie is that somebody got an actual acting performance out of Don "The Dragon" Wilson.

I mean, he still has that high-pitched voice that makes him come across as sort of a weenie, but at least you believe him when he says, "Yes, I must kick butt now."

The thing that doesn't work is the idea that there's this war going on inside his soul, over whether he's more Japanese or more American, and his grizzled Japaheeno kung-fu teacher keeps saying things like "You must make peace with yourself," and you look at Don The Dragon's face and you don't see the slightest furrowed brow.

It's like telling Brooke Shields she has a multiple personality. I don't think so.

Don The Dragon plays a half-Japanese, half-American cop who's working in Kyoto when his partner gets killed by a long-haired Michael Bolton-lookin' assassin who does this thing with his finger called the "death touch."

He sticks his finger in your ribs, like he's about to tickle your belly button, and it causes you to start throwin' up and then keel over dead on the pavement.

Don The Dragon feels so awful about his partner getting wasted by ninjas that he goes to El Lay and searches for Soon-Teck Oh, the great oriental character actor, who plays a wealthy gangster who's selling weapons to both the black gang and the Meskin gangs in El Lay.

Unfortunately, a lady cop played by Terry Farrell is not too happy to see him--until they almost die together, bringing on extracurriculus aardvarkus, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

A pretty decent one. They really worked on this story.
Twenty-five dead bodies. One dead bird. No breasts. One samurai swordfight. Strangling. One motor vehicle chase. Crucifixion.

Neck-snapping. Heads roll. Gratuitous rap music. Seven Kung Fu scenes. Long sticks. Nunchucks.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for:
Mako, as the jive-talking oriental sensei who travels with a babe on each arm and sells cheap Chinese warrior statues, for spouting stuff like "When day meets night, only one can survive" and "First you must tame the anger that lives in your belly";

Terry Farrell, as the tough detective in high heels who thinks the gangs should work together but hates the Japanese because they took her dad's job in a Detroit car plant and caused him to work at a liquor store where he got murdered, for saying "Men think they own women after sexnobody owns me."

And Don The Dragon, for learning to fight blindfolded with only his mind, because "When he thinks like the mountains, fight like the sea."

Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's stovetop-stuffer comes from...J.W. Narins of Scarsdale, N.Y.: "I'm looking for a B-movie science-fiction flick which I saw in the late '70s, if memory serves.

"The single salient feature of the film which I still recall is one of the male protagonists, who is possessed of enormous supernatural powers, largely latent. He has a habit of sitting on the bridge of their spaceship and playing with a circle of light, which plays up and down between his palms like an oscilloscope reading, only without the oscilloscope. On this little ship, they travel to a number of planets, one of which is covered with ice. After semi-extensive research, I'm proud to say, I have managed to come up with absolutely nothing."

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, or fax them to 214-985-7448, or E-mail them to Joe Bob's CompuServe mailbox: 76702,1435.

We Have a Winner! In the Oct. 17 column, Chuck Hush of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., wrote: "I remember seeing on TV once a movie about a travelling bra salesman. The only scene I remember is where a stacked housewife is trying on one of the salesman's sample bras when her husband pulls up and she tells the salesman to beat it, and he says, 'Wait, my sample,' so Mrs. Well-Endowed Suburbia takes off the bra and hands it to him. The look on his face was hilarious! Okay, Joe Bob readers, put on your stuponotronic helmets and tell me the name of this titillating comedy."

We received only one correct answer, so our winner is...Smilin' Jack Daly of Braintree, Mass.: "Sounds to me like What's Up Front?, an early Russ Meyer-like nudie-cutie, with Arch Hall Sr., as the bra-company exec."

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

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Joe Bob Briggs