HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
   
 
  Die, Mommie, Die! Eat Your Heart Out, Joan!
Year: 2003
Director: Mark Rucker
Stars: Charles Busch, Jason Priestly, Natasha Lyonne, Philip Baker Hall, Frances Conroy, Stark Sands, Nora Dunn, Stanley DeSantis, Angela Paton, Victor Raider-Wexler, Joshua Farrell, Christopher McDaniel, Tom Hughes, Paul Vinson
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Los Angeles' biggest cemetery, and a vision in white wanders through the tombstones until one woman tending a grave calls out to her: didn't she used to be Angela Arden (Charles Busch), the famous singer? Angela turns and acknowledges her, then thanks her for the flowers, but bristles a little when the lady suggests she make a return to the stage; she knows that is not going to happen any time soon, or perhaps ever. As she walks over to the stone marking her twin sister's grave, she remembers the adulation they received as performers, and once again it sinks in how miserable her home life is: she may be married to a rich movie producer (Philip Baker Hall), but she is deeply unhappy...

This was the movie drag queen extraordinaire Charles Busch made after his cult hit Psycho Beach Party, and like that effort it was a spoof of a certain style of Hollywood entertainment from the past, in that case the beach movies of the nineteen-sixties that proved lucrative for around five years or so. This time it was the women's pictures of that decade that were in his sights, and he penned the script based on his stage play which was a blatant tribute to the likes of Joan Crawford and Lana Turner whose fans loved to watch suffering in mink, and subsequently became much appreciated by those who entertained a camp sensibility, which Busch assuredly did - if you liked those, you'd get the references.

It wasn't only the sixties, either, as there were call backs to more critically esteemed classics such as Mildred Pierce and Sunset Boulevard, but really the heart of Die, Mommie, Die! lay with the point when those glamorous ladies began to mature and find that while they still had a strong following, they could no longer play the ingenue and troubled mothers were what they were landed with, usually with their offspring or ungrateful husbands at the centre of their heartache. Busch's Angela was more of a villainess than Lana would have essayed, but the spirit of Joan's trashier pictures of her late career was strong here, so if you caught where they were coming from you would be in on the rather arch joke.

What was important was whether it was funny or not, and the fact was this played to a very niche audience where the Venn diagram of classic Hollywood buffs and kitsch-loving gay men intersected. Everyone else may wonder where the joke was, especially as the writer-star was not below including some jarringly blunt language of the sort that his idols would never have dreamt of speaking in public, in their films or otherwise. Nevertheless, if you found the notion of Bette Davis swearing like a trooper once the cameras stopped rolling amusing, then this was the comedy for you, or indeed any others in her contemporaries in the leading ladies of the Golden Age who clung onto fame like grim death as they began to find their options were either growing more ridiculous or more lurid.

Angela has Jason Priestly as her gigolo and lives in her mansion with her mogul partner, housekeeper (Frances Conroy) and two teenage kids, Edith (Natasha Lyonne) and Lance (Stark Sands), the former who is overfond of daddy and the latter overfond of mommie, to the extent that Edith is Angela's enemy and Lance is struggling with his sexuality (we're told he was expelled from college for inadvertently encouraging the male faculty into a gay orgy). That saucy business was laid on with a trowel, and it's true this was far from subtle, but there were times when we seemed to be watching Busch present his sexual fantasies on the big screen: he even had a sex scene with two men and clever use of a female body double. The primmer aficionado of the material he plainly adored was not going to get along with this, but if you watched them to revel in their artificiality and unintentional humour you would be better disposed to the aims here, and more than that, if you loved watching, say, Susan Hayward or Rosalind Russell bulldoze their way through the cast of her movies, you could sympathise with Angela in the same, surprisingly non-ironic manner. Although this was a preposterous send-up, the admiration for classic stars was nothing but sincere. Music by Dennis McCarthy.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1950 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: