Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Douglas Michael Show with Suzanne Whang

Time for a summer rerun of THE DOUGLAS MICHAEL SHOW, my blog interview series. Today's guest is the lovely Suzanne Whang, who will be performing her hysterical stand-up show this coming Friday & Saturday (June 4th and 5th) at The Cavern Club @ Casita Del Campo in Silver Lake, CA. Get tickets here.
Suzanne is a woman of many talents. She has been the host of the top rated HGTV show, HOUSE HUNTERS since 1999, as well as the popular spin-off series, HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL. Her other credits include co-hosting TV's CENSORED BLOOPERS and a red carpet host for ABC's ACADEMY AWARDS coverage. Aside from her numerous hosting duties, Ms. Whang has also fostered a career as an R-rated stand-up comedian, winning the Andy Kaufman Award at the New York Comedy Festival! She also won Best Up & Coming Comedian at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, epitomized by her outrageous slogan: "Don't judge a gook by her cover."

Doug: Hi Suzanne, let me first tell you how much I loved seeing you perform last October. A friend of mine saw your show in Provincetown over the summer and told me "if you ever get the chance to see her, do it.". So I did. And I laughed till I cried.

Suzanne: Wow, that's high praise coming from someone who seems to really speak his mind. Thank you! I absolutely love performing in Provincetown. I'm sure I'll be going back again this summer -- it's become a Whang tradition. I have never gotten such huge audience reaction and felt so embraced by a community as I have in Provincetown. I hope you'll be there sometime when I'm performing!
Doug: P-Town is one of my favorite places in the world, so it might just happen! Your act is beyond words. Some of the outrageous topics you cover are things that make most people very uncomfortable. I have to ask you, do get any fans who know you from HOUSE HUNTERS and come to see you perform and are shocked by some of the material?

Suzanne: YES! And it's secretly (not anymore) one of my favorite things -- to know that people are there there expecting sweet little Suzanne, and I start talking and their heads explode. It can get messy to clean up. I've also gotten a plethora of email from people asking me to settle a bet- Is there any way that the host of HOUSE HUNTERS could possibly also be that crazy character Polly on LAS VEGAS? I'm happy to stir up the status quo -- all of the people I admire have huge balls. Mine are gigantic -- I have to get my panties custom made. There's a magnet on my refrigerator that says, "Well-behaved women rarely make history." Woo hoo!Doug: Oh my god - that was you on LAS VEGAS? That was a cool show. Thanks for that ball image, by the way. Your cousin, Sung Hee Park is a unique character. Is she based on anyone you know?
Suzanne: She's an amalgam of my mother (who can't tell a joke to save her life) and a bunch of middle-aged Korean women who used to attend my Korean church when I was a little kid. These women were very abrupt and had no social filter, but were somehow still charming. The character was born in 2002 in my acting class at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, when I tried my hand at stand-up comedy and it went so well that I got hooked. My teacher Richard Lawson encouraged me to start doing my act in comedy clubs. But he also suggested that I try embracing the stereotype of Asian women that I hate so much. What??? Why would I want to do that? I've been spending all my energy proving to everyone that I'm NOTHING like that stereotype. And he explained that I'm spending so much energy resisting it, that I'm still at the effect of it. Whatever we resist, persists. Whatever we fight against, we empower and perpetuate. What would happen if I just tried embracing it as part of my artistic palette, just to see what happens? I was livid and silently decided he was an idiot and that I was going to quit class. But then I decided that it's crazy to take an acting class and not even try what the teacher suggests. So the next day, since I still didn't want to try his assignment, I decided to work from the outside-in, like the British actors often do. I went to Koreatown and bought a hanbok (traditional Korean dress) and a Korean fan and Korean shoes. I came home and put it all on, and I was still livid. But I stood there and was patient enough to wait for an idea to come to me. And that is how Sung Hee Park was born. Embracing that which I formerly resisted has brought me to a feeling of wholeness, both as a person and as an artist. I'm using my comedy as a satire of racism and stereotypes in America. And it's been a wild ride. Thank you, Richard Lawson.

Doug: WOW - The secret origin of Sung Hee! The race issues you touch upon with the character certainly are funny, but also thought-provoking. How long does it take most audiences to "get
the joke"?
Suzanne: It depends on the audience. Some get it right away, some never get it. I find that Los Angeles audiences are sometimes too concerned about appearing politically correct. I think political correctness is so damaging -- putting a big fake plastic smile over everything, pretending it's all ideal. I use my comedy to shine a light on the dark places, and my goal is to break down people's defenses, level the playing field, and sneak my message in with a spoonful of laughter. New York City audiences usually scream with laughter immediately -- they're not as concerned with what other people will think if they laugh. The smarter the audience, the better for me. And the best audience of all is a room full of gay men.

Doug: I guess I'm your best audience - a semi-smart gay man FROM New York City! Is there any topic that you or Sung Hee won't touch?
Suzanne: Theoretically, no. But they say that Comedy = Tragedy + Time, so sometimes you have to wait a certain amount of time before people will have perspective on a particular event.

Doug: So, no Haiti jokes yet, right? Who are your comedy heroes?

Suzanne: I have many. Here are some of them, in no particular order. Bill Hicks, Steve Martin, Andy Kaufman, Margaret Cho, Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Bill Cosby, Chris Rock, George Carlin, Kristen Wiig, Ray Romano, Roseanne, Lucille Ball, Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Johnny Carson, Jake Johannsen, Jon Stewart, Larry David, the two guys in Flight of the Conchords, Chevy Chase, Alan Arkin, Catherine O'Hara, Christopher Guest, Judd Apatow, my father, and my grandfather. Ask me again tomorrow and it will be a new list.

Doug: That's the Who's Who of Funny right there. I agree with about 98% of your choices. For some reason Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell always rubbed me the wrong way. I've grown to love Chevy Chase on COMMUNITY, so maybe there's hope for Jim and Will. Let's talk about some other things you've done. You've appeared on a bunch of "procedural dramas" like COLD CASE and sitcoms like TWO AND A HALF MEN. Which do you prefer?

Suzanne: That's like SOPHIE'S CHOICE -- impossible to answer. I prefer a well-written script, whether it's drama or comedy. You actually picked two very well-written shows as your examples. I had one of the best dramatic acting experiences of my career on COLD CASE. I loved the writing, I loved my character, I loved the other actors that I worked with, I loved the director, and I loved the collaborative experience on set. And it was an absolute ball working on TWO AND A HALF MEN. Both Jon Cryer and Charlie Sheen are flawless in their delivery and timing, and once again, it's great writing. Even though I only worked on one episode, they invited me to the season's wrap party, which I thought was incredibly generous, and indicative of the whole atmosphere on that show.

Doug: You were also in CONSTANTINE starring Keanu Reeves, based on the comic book HELLBLAZER. What was that like?

Suzanne: That was a milestone for me because I had never been in a film with special effects or prosthetics. I played a poor mother living in a tenement, with no makeup on, wearing a ratty housecoat. I'm making tea for my daughter who has the flu (or so I think), and when I bring it into her bedroom, she's not in her bed. Why not? Because she's... wait for it... HANGING UPSIDE DOWN FROM THE CEILING, WITH YELLOW EYES AND BULGING VEINS, SPEAKING IN TONGUES, POSSESSED BY SOLDIER DEMONS! Don't you hate when that happens? It ruins your whole day. It was fascinating to see the prosthetics they used for her, and the harnesses to hang her upside down. When I first saw the film in a theater, even though I obviously had read the script and knew the story, I jumped out of my seat and screamed at one particular moment. People who've seen it will know which moment I'm talking about. And I loved working with Pruitt Taylor Vince.

Doug: I remember that scene - it was pretty wild. But not as wild as TV's CENSORED BLOOPERS - was that with Ed McMahon or Dick Clark...or both?
Suzanne: I was Dick Clark's co-host sidekick, so Ed McMahon wasn't there, although Ed was a guest on a FOX morning show I hosted and he was incredibly kind and wonderful. I met Dick Clark when he was a guest on this same morning show, FOX AFTER BREAKFAST. Tom Bergeron and I were interviewing Dick, and we had great rapport with him. The interview probably lasted 10 minutes. Cut to one year later, I'm now living in Los Angeles, hosting NEW ATTITUDES on Lifetime, when my agent calls me and tells me that I've been offered the job of being Dick Clark's co-host on BLOOPERS on NBC. What??? I didn't even audition for that gig -- where did the offer come from? Well apparently NBC had told Dick Clark that they wanted him to have a young, attractive, hip female co-host for BLOOPERS, and Dick said, "Find that woman Suzanne Whang from FOX AFTER BREAKFAST, and offer it to her." We hadn't had any communication whatsoever since I had met him, but he remembered me and he was confident in his choice. Working with him was a dream come true -- he was the consummate professional, and it all ran like a well-oiled machine. He let me ad-lib and make fun of him too! It was surreal to think that I was on stage with the host of AMERICAN BANDSTAND!!! I have enormous love and appreciation for him.

Doug: What a cool story! I was in the audience of the AMERICAN BANDSTAND 50TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL a few years back and Dick seems pretty cool. It's amazing how he's still working, against all odds. So, what is your dream role?
Suzanne: There's not one dream role. There are dream experiences... I'd love to work on a show at the caliber of ALL IN THE FAMILY, with the same humor, pathos, depth, and courage. I'd love to work on a show like ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, with that level of outrageous comedic risk. I'd love to collaborate with people like the Coen Brothers, Judd Apatow, David Fincher... I'd love to host my own talk show, open my own spiritual center (I'm also a minister and I give guest sermons which are always irreverent and funny). I'm writing my second book (autobiographical essays), pitching my own television series ideas to networks (so exciting), and doing stand-up all over the U.S. and Canada. I do professional keynote speaking and would love to do more of that. I'm passionate about all of it, and I'm happy in my personal life, so I'm always living my dream role -- as my authentic self. (puke -- was that too corny?)
Doug: Not corny at all. Great answer. I'd love to see a sitcom starring you. In the meantime, I heard you have an upcoming show at one of my favorite night spots, Casita del Campo in Silver Lake! I can't tell you have many times I've squeezed into that basement and laughed my ass off. That crowd is gonna eat you up. They know you're not a drag queen, right?

Suzanne: YAY!!! I hope you can come to the show -- it's Fri June 4 and Sat June 5 at 8 pm. $20. Or send people to come bask in the insanity of the Crazian (my word for a crazy Asian). Tickets are also available at Please encourage people to buy tickets in advance, since it will probably sell out. Yes they know I'm not a drag queen. I sometimes wish I were -- because I absolutely LOVE drag queens! I love Jackie Beat, Dina Martina, Varla Jean, Thirsty Burlington, and Shangela!

Doug: I will be there! Well, thanks so much for taking time to chat with me. So are you available to help me find my next house?

Suzanne: Fuck off.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Coleman 1968-2010

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

In honor of the recent screening as a part of LAST REMAINING SEATS, here's a post from November 2008, when I decided I needed to just relax and enjoy a good, simple, mindless old-fashioned musical.
What's more simple and mindless than the film version of the broadway classic, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING? (1967, directed by David Swift) Well, there's probably dumber and less complex movies out there, but somehow the story of overly ambitious J. Pierpont Finch's meteoric rise from window-washer to chairman of the board was just what I needed!I remember watching this film when it was on TV in the 1970s and loving every minute of it. It's easy to see why - Robert Morse as Finch is a grinning, grimacing, galloping gremlin - like a cartoon character come to life. His body language, his manic energy and innocent, yet seductive charm make him possibly one of the most magnetically watchable cinematic characters ever. Even though Finch does some despicable things to get ahead, we never stop cheering for him. I have to admit, he was my first gay crush. It's so funny to see him today, at age 77 back in the business world as Bertram Cooper on MAD MEN.Supporting actors, notably the women, like cute, perky Michele Lee (as Rosemary), commandingly funny Ruth Kobart (as Miss Jones) and the outrageously curvaceous Maureen Arthur (as Hedy LaRue) are also a joy to watch. One wonders why Kobart and Arthur didn't become bigger stars after this film.The music by Frank Loesser is quite enjoyable, with some great hummable tunes-but this story could almost work without the musical numbers. What makes this film work is the look. With brilliant color design by Disney legend Mary Blair, the sets and costumes POP off the screen and into your living room. Here's a great clip:
Set in the oh so not politically correct 1960s, it's really MAD MEN meets 9 to 5 without the irony or righteousness. It's a celebration of the old school world of businessmen, where smoking, drinking and sexual harassment were all part of the work day. The rules may have changed over the years, but the back-stabbing, ass-kissing, nepotism and corporate politics still exist - just ask anyone who works for a certain nameless movie studio.
So, if you are looking to escape into a silly saccharin 60s screwball sitcom for two hours - I highly recommend either watching this film - or playing the board game!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


In honor of the L.A. premiere of the documentary BEST WORST MOVIE (Opening THIS FRIDAY, May 21, at the Landmark NuArt), I re-present my post about TROLL 2!
ATROLL 2 (1990 directed by Claudio Fragasso aka Drake Floyd) is one of those rare sequels that requires that you know nothing about the first film because it is, in fact NOT a sequel to TROLL. Not only that, but no actual trolls appear in TROLL 2- only Goblins. One wonders why it wasn't called TROLL 2: RISE OF THE GOBLINS or something to that effect. This film has gained quite a cult following in the past few years and I needed to see why.The plot of this oddball exercise in filmmaking concerns an average suburban family (Mom, Dad, two kids and a dead grandpa), who decide to swap houses with a Amish-like countrified clan from the nearby small "half-empty" town called Nilbog–and the madness that ensues.
We first meet a likable freckle-faced boy named Joshua and his dead grandfather, Seth. Yup - gramps died 6 months earlier but he just can't stop hanging out in Joshua's room, reading him scary bedtime stories. Tonight he's telling the tale of THE GOBLINS - the mischievous vegetarian creatures who trick humans into consuming magical food which will turn them into vegetables–so the goblins can eat them!Meanwhile Joshua's horny sister, Holly- a Jazzercise junkie– is visited by her beau Elliot. She thinks he might be gay because he spends too much time with his male friends. Holly wants Elliot to join her family on vacation in Nilbog–but Holly insists–only if he comes without his buddies. Here's a sample of the snappy dialogue between them:
Elliott: I'm the victim of a nocturnal rapture. I have to release my lowest instincts with a woman.
Holly: [slams Elliott in the balls]
Release your instincts in the bathroom.
Are you nuts? You tryin' to turn me into a homo?
Wouldn't be too hard. If my father discovers you here, he'd cut off your little nuts and eat them. He can't stand you.

Later, in the car, after mom coaxes Joshua to "sing that song I like so much" (aka "Row, Row, Row Your Boat"), Joshua has a feverish nightmare about his family turning into goblins. Grandpa Seth appears again, posing as a hitchhiker on the side of the road. Joshua tells his parents to stop the car because he has to puke. Ghostly Seth informs urges him to convince his parents to turn back or else they'll be eaten by goblins in Nilbog! The family coax Joshua back into the car and away from the homeless man. They think that Joshua is making up stories. I have to point out here that the poor actors playing the parents are among the worst I've ever seen - you have to wonder if it's the director's fault.

When they arrive in Nilbog, the townspeople seem a bit odd and aloof, very Stepford. Their doppelganger family has left them a meal that is covered in green cake frosting. Grampa the friendly ghost tells Joshua he must stop his family from eating the food. So, Seth pulls a Hiro from HEROES and freezes time (WTF?) and crafty Joshua whips out his little Joshua and urinates all over the dinner table. I'm not kidding.
Actual dialogue:
Father: You can't piss on hospitality! I WON'T ALLOW IT!
What are you going to do to me, Daddy?
Father: Tightening my belt one loop so that I don't feel hunger pains, and your sister and mother will have to do likewise.

Meanwhile, Elliot and his three "gay" friends have arrived via a RV in search of Nilbog poontang, much to Holly's chagrin. One of the guys goes out for a stroll and comes across a woman who looks like she was attacked with a green cake decorator kit.

The dude and the chick are captured by a young over-acting woman in bad old-woman makeup (she's called Creedence Leonore Gielgud), who forces the duo to drink a cup of smoking, bubbling green brew that paralyses them.

The woman is soon eaten alive by goblins and the dude morphs into a green plant. The goblins' costumes: burlap potato sacks for clothes and latex masks with painted eyes.Later, Grandpa Seth appears to Holly in a mirror and she briefly freaks out. After she and Joshua swap rooms, Gramps reappears and tells Seth tells him he must convince his parents to return home!!! The next day, Joshua and pop go into town to get food that isn't covered in piss. Little Joshua looks into a car side-view mirror hoping to contact Grandpa again, but instead discovers is reflection that "Nilbog" is "Goblin" backwards. Creepy. Not.Before you know it, the friendly townsfolk have Joshua in the Church basement where the local preacher man attempts to force feed him "ice cream". Apparently dairy is still part of the Nilbog diet. Dad shows up just in time!

Another one of Elliot's "gay" friends is sent to buy food, and is offered a ride by the seductive Sheriff, who tricks him into eating a sandwich covered in green shit. The kid gets all queasy but makes his way into the store-and asks for non-veg breakfast foods.
Shopkeeper: Are you crazy, boy? We're vegetarians here in Nilbog. Didn't you know that? Here's some Nilbog milk. Special milk. High in vitamin content. Here, it's free.Somewhere around here is a seduction scene involving Creedence Leonore Gielgud , a corn cob and a teen-age boy who likes popcorn. Nuff said.

Later, Creedence Leonore Gielgud brings a housewarming gift to Joshua's mother. She says its pudding, but it looks like cake with green icing to me. Dad and Joshua return to the house to find that the village have prepared a housewarming celebration to welcome them to town and apologize for earlier misunderstanding earlier. Joshua thinks this is a trap – and runs upstairs where he is attacked by a goblin. Grandpa Seth suddenly appears and chops off the goblin's hand! Turns out the goblin was Creedence Leonore Gielgud! I think. Super Gramps soon hurls a Molotov Cocktail at the townsfolk - and the preacher man catches on fire - as he burns it is revealed that he and all the towns people are goblins!The family runs back inside the house. Now they believe that Joshua was telling the truth and that they need to contact Granpa Seth somehow.
Holly: But how are we going to make grandpa come?
We NEED Grandpa Seth here!
But how do we get him to come? By having a seance maybe?Joshua: You're genius big sister!

So the family (plus Elliot- who seems to have forgotten about his 3 buddies) hold a séance to contact Grandpas, who tells them that he has only ten minutes left in the mortal world. Of course, then the goblins bust into the house and Dad demands that they run upstairs. Somehow Joshua and Seth are now in the church and Joshua needs put his hands on the Magic Stone Henge wall in order to defeat the goblins. Gramps then and gives him a grocery bag and vanishes.Creedence Leonore Gielgud appears (having grown her hand back!) and corners Joshua. He reaches into the the bag and pulls out a double decker baloney sandwich, which he promptly eats. How does it all end? I won't spoil it for you, but as a vegan I find it slightly offensive. Just kidding.

As mentioned above, Michael Stephenson, the child actor who played Joshua in TROLL 2, has recently made a feature-length documentary about the film called BEST WORST MOVIE. The film has been playing to sold-out crowds in New York, has its L.A. premiere tomorrow night - I am so looking forward to seeing it. It was recently announced that TROLL 2: PART 2 is in pre-production. Check all it out here. As for TROLL 2 - WOW - 10 outta 10.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


For our third cult classic "Mama" film (and vintage review from 2007), we've got Jonathan Demme's CRAZY MAMA (1975). An all-star cast brings this BONNIE & CLYDE wannabe to life, sort of. It's PG rating is a foreshadowing of what we are in for.

The backstory is that in the early 1930s, a family farm in Arkansas is taken over by law enforcement, killing the farmer, leaving his wife Sheba (Ann Sothern) and daughter Melba (Cloris Leachman) fleeing the state. They wind up years later running a beauty salon in California. They still not have recovered from losing the farm and Papa.

Soon "Mr. Howell" (Jim Backus) shows up and repossesses all of their belongings. They've out of luck, out of money and Melba's teenage daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl) is knocked up by "Ralph Malph" (Don Most). What else can go possibly go wrong? Well, then they decide to head back to Arkansas and reclaim the farmland that should be theirs! Wonder if they'll ever get there?

So they steal Mr. Howell's car, rob a gas station and head to Arkansas via Las Vegas!. While in Vegas, Sheba picks up a new friend named Bertha, and Cheryl picks up a second boyfriend, a biker named Snake. Not to be left out, Melba wins the heart of married Texas sheriff Jim Bob (Stuart Whitman). This is starting to feel like BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS all over again. Except without the whores.

Despite being married to Ella Mae (Sally Kirkland), Jim Bob also marries Melba while Snake and Ralph Malph rob the chapel. Somehow Cheryl's two boyfriends have become friends and partners-in-crime. Why all three even share a bed! But there's NOTHING dirty going on. What follows is a silly crime spree with stunts like Sheba pretending to faint in a grocery store, in order to grab the cash. More heists, car chases and scams ensue.

The big money-making scheme involves "kidnapping" Jim Bob and holding him hostage, for a ransom that they will all split. Of course things don't go as smoothly as planned and somebody ends up dead. Somewhere during all these shenanigans, Cloris (Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award winner) wears a see-thru top without a bra. It feels highly disturbing to see Phyllis Lindstrom's nipple. Betty White would never show us her nipple, would she? Hey, I thought this was rated PG! I guess Cloris has a family-friendly nipple.

This film wasn't BAD enough to be BAD, And it wasn't GOOD enough to be GOOD. It wasn't funny enough to be a comedy and it wasn't serious enough to be a crime drama. While the acting was good and the cinematography superb, I was expecting the film to overall be much more FUN - instead it turned out to be a big, crazy bore. Maybe if it was rated R, there would be more sex, more realistic violence and a more spicy script. Instead, we have basically an episode of BEVERLY HILLBILLIES with a nipple.

For those of you who watch those PBS "1950's oldtime rock n roll reunion pledge break specials", the soundtrack might be appealing to you. I found it wretched. I give the film 4 out of 10, because my only "Huh?" had to do with the previously mentioned nipple. Let's hope BLOODY MAMA with Shelley Winters is better - or at least has less nipple!


Since Danny gave such a fun review of BIG BAD MAMA, I asked him to share his comments on another MAMA movie classic. (This review is also from 2007) Take it away Danny... BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA aka WOMEN IN CHAINS (1972, Eddie Romero) simply put, starts out like an episode of CHARLIE'S ANGELS, but then withers into a JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS cartoon gone awfully awry. 

It begins with our heroines (Black Mama Pam Grier and White Mama Margaret Markov) arriving at the prison somewhere in Central America (although, for some reason most of the extras look Filipino!!!). They are soon treated to a shower where the "meaner of the two mean lesbian matrons" watches the girlie inmates shower and frolic, like that scene in PORKY'S. 

After freshening up, the girls all report to their bunks...and it turns out prison in Central America isn't so much punishment as it is a slumber party! The "meaner of the two mean lesbian matrons" calls on Black Mama that first night, but Pam clearly shows that she doesn't swing that way. This was way before THE L WORD, though I'm not sure she swings that way there either.

The story is totally different when White Mama goes to see miss "meaner of the two mean lesbian matrons" -  Pam calls her out on it and she simply replies, "you had you chance."  I agreed.  Then there were these two sets of bad guys and they wanted something or other from either White Mama or Black Mama...and they all seemed to really, really like the Filipino-looking extras.  

Anyway, for some reason the Mamas were being transferred (maybe to the Tea Party prison?), and we all knew something was going to go all wrong.  I was sure a tidal wave was gonna come and knock the bus over, thus releasing our heroines (I don't know, maybe it's because the location had that miniature look to it...) everyone else thought it would be a train wreck, like in THE FUGITIVE or an "accident" like in ANOTHER 48 HOURS, but nobody guessed it would be the old "yak in the road" ploy! 

Yeah, there's a yak and the bus stops and there's shooting and both mean lesbian matrons get shot dead (as usual)... and our heroines escape, chained together!!! Black Mama tugs on the chain and White Mama says, "I'm not a yo-yo!". Well, she's not!

So they fight, walk through a stream, wrestle, get attacked by a fat guy ( whom they kill and burn up) and lots of other stuff.
But most of all, they learn to get along. Meanwhile, those two sets of bad guys keep tracking them and wanting something from each of them while they continue to enjoy the Filipino girlie extras, of which there seems to be an endless supply. I hope they at least got paid in craft services.

So, finally one set of guys finds the girls, releases them from each other and takes them to a pier where the other set of guys is waiting!!! There's gun fire, things blow up good, Black Mama gets on a boat and White Mama is shot dead. Oops - did I give away the ending? Sorry. The End. Looking forward to the sequel, BLACK MAMA, BIG BAD WHITE MAMA!

Doug gives this one a 6 outta 10. Not great, but enjoyable in small doses.


This was a guest blog post from my good friend Danny...originally from 2007! Enjoy...Hi bad movie fans, Danny here - BIG BAD MAMA (1974, directed by some guy called Steve Carver) is drive-in classic I remember my father taking me to see when I was six. I consider it the best "Mother As A Role Model" movie ever made!

First off, let me tell you how excited I was to learn that this movie starred Robbie Lee who some of you might know as the baaaaad girl from SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (Maybe Doug will let me review that too one day)! Not three minutes into the movie and she was already showing her left booby.

Actually, this movie was just full of boobies and tushies and even Angie Dickenson got in on the act!!! As a six year old, it was all the same to me, but I don't think I was really ready to see Sgt. Pepper Anderson's fleshy badges all up in the windshield of dad's 1969 Thunderbird. I was confused, was she America's favorite POLICE WOMAN or a tit-flinging bank robber?And just why is she having sex with Captain Kirk when she just had sex with that guy who's gonna be attacked by an ALIEN in about five years? (Tom Skerritt)

Getting back to a more serious issue...what's with all this booby & tushie? Is this really appropriate viewing for a six year old? What was my father thinking??? And if I'm old enough for this, why aren't I old enough to go to Disneyland four years from now???

Also... why aren't things exploding? For the amount of gunfire there was in this movie, NOT ONE thing blowed up good and that was very disheartening. No one even got shot in the cooch, but William Shatner got shot dead and that was good enough.

I think if you examine the movie poster above, you'll get what the movie is and you'll probably ask, "Who's driving that car?" Beats me.

Did we learn anything from this movie? Yes, and that is... it's never too late to start a new life... or rent a different movie.

Doug gives this one 7 outta 10.

Mother's Day

From last year: Of all the mother-themed films that I could have watched for Mother's Day, MOTHER'S DAY (directed by Charles Kaufman) was chosen by proxy.  Never having been a fan of misogynistic slasher films or torture porn, this 1980 Troma release has always intrigued and repelled me at the same time.
The story goes like this: former college roommates Abbey (Nancy Hendrickson), Jackie (Deborah Luce) and Trina (Tiana Pierce) have gone their own ways in the world, but manage to meet once a year for a surprise getaway. Abbey's got a bed-ridden mother, Jackie is trapped in an unloving relationship and Trina's a Beverly Hills blonde, so they look forward to seeing each other and escaping their lives for a bit. Jackie decides this year's surprise trip will be camping in New Jersey! Yay! 

Meanwhile, we meet Mother (1950s TV sitcom actress Beatrice Pons) and her two unattractive and mentally challenged sons Ike (Holden McGuire) and Addley (Billy Ray McQuade) – a white trash trio who get off on torturing and killing random strangers. Fun!

Mother attends a motivational seminar by a group called E.G.O. where she ensnares two group members and takes them back to her cabin where her boys have their way with them. Pretty gruesome stuff. Mother's house is a redneck GREY GARDENS, filled with garbage, junk food and lots of dirty graffiti on the walls. 
After some fun and games (and a charming college flashback of the girls) Ike and Addley kidnap our three heroines and take them home to visit Mother. They decide to tie them up in their weight room and enact demented role-playing games with them for Mother's amusement. While the movie has its share of light and satirical moments, the brutal assualt and murder of Jackie is hard to watch. The film gets much better when Abbey and Trina exact their well-deserved revenge on Mother and her lunkhead sons.
Beatrice Pons' spirited performance is quite enjoyable, but you have to imagine what made her take on this role - since she probably did not get paid much. I guess that's why she's credited as "Rose Ross". The rest of the cast is watchable, and likeable - only I kept wishing they were in a different movie - more MOMMIE DEAREST and less I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.

As far as recommending MOTHER'S DAY, I would say only if you are a fan of this genre, otherwise stay clear. I'd give it a 7 outta 10. Any ideas for Father's Day???