Sunday, January 15, 2006

A great underrated movie!

There are "cult classic" movies and then there are undiscovered gems. Luckily for me, I have a fave in each category that features Tim Curry, who is one of my all-time favorite actors. Everyone knows about him as the sweet tranvestite, Dr. Frank N. Furter (see "cult classic," above). But not everyone knows about him as Rev. Ray Porter (see "undiscovered gems").

The movie is Pass the Ammo, from 1988. It is a wonderful satire, which unfortunately fell victim to some bad timing. It was supposed to have been released in late 1987 (if I remember the story correctly), but ended up being postponed by over a year -- and unfortunately by then, the subject matter was "old news." It matters not to me. The satire is still just as biting nearly 20 years later, and it is a damn shame that this movie is so overlooked.

Jesse Wilkes (a younger Bill Paxton) and Claire Waters (Linda Koslowski as a stunning redhead) are a couple of Arkansas kids. She is a poor farmer, he's a con artist, and she loves him... Claire's poverty isn't helped by the fact that her grandmother changed the will 2 hours before her death, leaving all her worldly goods to The Tower of Bethlehem Ministries, headed by the Rev. Ray and Darla Porter (Tim Curry and Annie Potts). But Jesse has a plan -- one that includes Claire's two jailbird cousins (Dennis Burkeley and Glenn Withrow). With the help of an "inside man" their plan almost comes off without a hitch. Almost. Major hijinks ensue -- with a little additional help from a few ministry investors, a New Age producer who's been "goosed up with divine inspiration," a few angels in the choir, a gun-loving redneck militia, and a Cajun sheriff..... well, you can just imagine. Oh, and it's all being broadcast world-wide.

If you've never seen it, get thee posthaste to your nearest video rental place, FIND yourself a copy (warning: as of now, it's still not out on DVD -- just VHS), and watch. It is so friggin' hilarious, I don't even know where to begin. It's also a mighty powerful satire about televangelism, "prosperity gospel" and stuff that's still happening today in religious television. I lucked out a few years ago finding a copy on eBay. If the day ever comes that it is released on DVD, I will be "the happiest woman since Eve!"

Seriously, go. Rent it. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. Oh, and Arkansas people: there's a special cameo in there by a very well-known Arkansas broadcasting icon (radio and lately TV). Believe me, you can't miss him.

1 comment:

Talmadge G. said...

I concur ... especially after the weekend you came down and we all watched it.

Yeah, the guy truly is an "icon." I'll never forget seeing a familiar face, grabbing the remote and saying "whooooa, rewind ... is that who I think it is??!!"

Maaaaaan, I still can't believe it was really HIM.

Fact: we both have the same "piece of paper" documenting us as products of Arkansas State University's Radio-TV department.

But nobody from Hollywood has ever asked me to sit at a bar and yell profanity at a TV. :-D

I'll let Bolivar figure it out for himself, altho' I'm sure he already knows who we're talking about.

--Talmadge "Sherman says it's a balmy 52 degrees up here on th' roof!" Gleck