Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

Why is every election between the Republican Idiot and the Democratic Idiot?
And then if some third guy shows up, everybody says, "I can't vote for him. He's an idiot."

Why is the third guy always an idiot? He's the only one who doesn't have 150 years of history behind him, proving he's an idiot.

Why don't we choose our own Idiot?
There's always a "third-party candidate" on the ballot, right? We've never heard of him. But if you say, "What about this guy--you know, the dude from the Green Liberal Citizenship Party?"--everybody automatically says, "He's an idiot."

I think there are good reasons to believe the weirdo is not an Idiot. First off, he's the only one who refused to join the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. After all, what exactly do you have to do to rise up through the ranks of the Republicans or the Democrats?

Pass out buttons.
That's how you get in.
Then, when you get real good at that, you get to mail out bumper stickers.

And then, if you're a really good party member and show lots of promise, you get to call people up on the phone and ask 'em if they'll put up a yard sign.

Why don't we just go down to Home Shopping Network and send all their phone operators to Congress? After all, they've put in more hours at it than Newt Gingrich.

Then, after the election is over, we have to listen to 16,000 hours of What It All Means.

Oh my god, the republicans took over the senate.
Oh my god, somebody we never heard of is governor of New York.
And all the time we refuse to vote for the Wild Card Guy.

I mean, we used to kinda sorta like Ross Perot, but then there he was this year, making speeches for the Democrats.

Does anybody really believe there are only two points of view in America and they're summed up totally in the words "Republican" and "Democrat"?

Judging by their convention bullstuff speeches, they're both way too meddlesome to hold public office. All they talk about is changing this, changing that.

I haven't heard a politician yet who's started out a speech by saying, "Now here's some stuff we should just leave alone, exactly as it is."

You know what I mean?
Are you following me here?
These parties were created in the last century and we're already headed into the next century.

I'm really surprised I have to explain this stuff.
Speaking of countries that believe in doing politics the old-fashioned way, Mexico is turning out horror flicks again, including Cronos, one of the finest mechanical-insect bloodsucking-vampire family dramas ever made.

This is one of those artsy-fartsy dealies where, when somebody walks across a room, the camera follows 'em all the way across the dang room.

Closeup of face.
Big green eyes.
Little girl staring, clutching her doll.
Blood spurting out of a man's hand.

It's kinda like what PBS would do if they decided to use a zombie flick for a pledge drive. The only thing that saves it is some intense gross-out footage when this guy starts turning into an insectlike vampire whose face keeps peeling off while he's sticking his hand inside his stomach to see what it feels like in there.

It's the story of an elderly antiques dealer who accidentally discovers an eternal-youth machine in the form of a golden insect. He takes it home and finds out that every time it clamps onto his body, causing excruciating pain, he gets a lot younger.

So he decides to play games with it, showing his little granddaughter how it works. But then an evil businessman and his dimwit hired-killer nephew decide they want the blood-sucking fountain-of-youth insect too, and pus-filled zaniness ensues.

Seven dead bodies. No breasts. Eye-gouging. Cockroach attack. Hand-ripping. Oozing chest wounds. Blood-licking. Corpse-sewing. Facial-skin ripping. Neck-stomping. Head-bashing. One motor vehicle crash. Stomach-peeling. Gratuitous tango lessons. Fist Fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Frederico Luppi, as the antiques dealer who goes insect on us and learns to love pain; and Stephen Pearlman, as the broken-nose killer who dances on his uncle's dead body and screams "Everything is mine!"

Two and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's mind-diddler comes from...
John Combs of Harrodsburg, Kentucky: "I saw a Three Stooges full-length movie in the early 1970s. The Stooges got aboard a rocket ship and ended up on another planet. I remember them meeting up with a horse that changed colors, and they even sang a song with it. The planet was populated with robots who looked human. I vividly recall the Stooges opening access panels on the backs of the robots and dumping glasses of water or monkey wrenches inside, which made the robots go up in smoke."

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. 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, TX 75221, or fax them to 214-985-7448.

We Have a Winner!
In a previous column, Wes Pierce of Orlando, Fla., described "this flick on cable television about 10 years ago starring Carroll Baker...She played this woman being terrorized by a sinister duo of brother-and-sister twins who she invites into her home...they torture her by locking her in a room and blasting this horrible song over and over again..."

We received three correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...

Fred Morse of Austin, Texas: "The answer is Paranoia. Kathryn West (Carroll Baby Doll Baker) arrives in Italy after the death of her wealthy husband. Soon restless, she meets Peter, a young American. Debauchery deviates into lesbianism and drugs when Peter's friend, Eva, arrives at the villa. Several years ago, Paranoia was available from Spotlite Video, P.O. Box 66930, Los Angeles, CA 90066-0930.'

Additional information came from our two runners-up...
Richard Wright of Albuquerque, N.M.: "The film Wes remembers is Orgasmo (1968-Italy/France), aka Paranoia; Crazy Desire; Orgasm. The evil duo was Lou Castel as Peter Donovan and Colette Descombes as Eva. Umberto Lenzi was the director.

"NOTE: There is another film also titled Paranoia starring Baker and directed by Lenzi! Originally titled A Quiet Place to Kill (1969-Italy/Spain), this film was later cut to 77 minutes and retitled Paranoia. Baker played Helen, a race car driver. A couple of video guides I have seen have confused the two films. A Quiet Place to Kill is available on video from Unicorn Video, Inc."

Copyright 1994 Joe Bob Briggs. Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales.

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Joe Bob Briggs