Friday, June 17, 2016

Big Bad Mama II (1987)

Director: Jim Wynorski

Writers: R.J. Roberston, Jim Wynorski

Composer: Chuck Cirino

Starring: Angie Dickenson, Robert Culp, Danielle Brisebois, Julie McCullough, Jeff Yagher, Bruce Glover, Ebbe Roe Smith, Jacque Lynn Colton, Charles Cyphers

More info: IMDb

Tagline:Mama makes money the old fashioned way...she steals it!

Plot: When their home is repossessed, Wilma McClatchie's husband is killed and she and her two nubile young daughters set out to rob anything belonging to the owner of the bank concerned. With their exploits being chronicled by a newspaperman who has fallen for Wilma, the girls kidnap the banker's son who in turn falls for the younger daughter and joins in the gang's exploits with increasing enthusiasm.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I LOVE BIG BAD MAMA (1974).  It's funner'n'hell.  The pacing was fast, the action was good, it's loaded with casting awesomeness (which even included Wiliam Shatner) and it had that 1970s drive-in movie energy that a film like that should have.  It's just a real hoot of a picture.  Cut to 13 years later and this sequel is made and it's a shadow of its predecessor.  The dialogue is pretty bad, the performances are OK with some people and poor with others, there's a little bit of nudity (which is welcome in pictures like this) and the big action chase sequence is a montage completely lifted from the chase scenes from the first picture (!!!).  The music is synthesizer cheesy and there's a lot that's over-the-top.  Oh, and I can't let it go that SPOILER ALER, Mama died in the first one and now she's back.  There's no soul to it.  I can't tell if the film makers were even realized what made the first one so much damn fun.  But then this is 1980s Roger Corman and not 70s.  He's still, first and foremost, looking to make money but it's like that 70s film making spirit is gone from this flick.  The only thing I really liked about it was Robert Culp.  He's fun in every scene he's in but that's really it.  I liked seeing Bruce Glover again (as always) but he's hamming it up almost like a silent film era villain.  Yeah, it's a cheap picture but it's a cheap 80s picture versus a 70s one and that often makes a difference in my book. 

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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