Friday, June 10, 2016

Big Bad Mama (1974)

Director: Steve Carver

Writers: William W. Norton, Frances Doel

Composer: David Grisman

Starring: Angie Dickinson, William Shatner, Tom Skerritt, Susan Sennett, Robbie Lee, Noble Willingham, Dick Miller, Tom Signorelli, Joan Prather, Royal Dano, Sally Kirkland

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Men, Money And Moonshine: When It Comes To Vice, Mama Knows Best.

Plot: Mama and daughters get forced by circumstances into bootlegging and bank robbing, and travel across the country trailed by the law.

My rating:8/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!

This movie is a total gas.   It starts off with a bang and within minutes Mama and her gals are off to a life of crime (or at least for the next 80 minutes).  The cast is fantastic and fun and it's loaded with lots of familiar character actor faces.  There's no escaping that this picture is riding the, albeit late, popularity of BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967) and it's Roger Corman low budget origins, but it's still a fun ride.  The pacing is pretty damn solid.  You don't get to spend too much time in any one place and there's a good deal going on. Dickinson is just plain smokin' hot.  Forget that she gets naked a lot...

OK, don't forget it.  By the way, there's a good deal of naughty fun in this flick.

I'm willing to be that's more of Shatner than you ever expected to see.  This film is no masterpiece but it's a great example of how awesome 1970s drive-ins must have been.  Oh, to be able to go back and experience it first-hand.  Sigh.  The DVD set from Shout Factory has great looking anamorphic prints for both BBM films.  There's a bunch of extras.  For BBM1 you get a commentary with Corman and Dickenson, another commentary with the director Steve Carver and DP Bruce Logan, Leonard Maltin interviewing Corman (it's only 5 minutes long but there's a lot in it and it's all too short), a 14 minute making of featurette called Mama Knows Best, the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen), a TV trailer and a photo gallery.  For BBM2 you get a commentary from Jim Wynorski, 2 more minutes with Corman and Maltin, a 10 minute interview with Bruce Glover (filmed in 2010) the anamorphic widescreen trailer and an anamorphic widescreen trailers for CRAZY MAMA (1975), SMOKEY BITES THE DUST (1981), JACKSON COUNTY JAIL (1976) and THE LADY IN RED (1979).  Despite BBM2's failure to recapture any of what made the first film so good, this disc is great just for BBM1 and the boatload of extras.

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