Big Bad Mama

Trashy yet tedious
★★
☆☆☆
Released: 
1974
Director: 
Steve Carver
Starring: 
Angie Dickenson, Tom Skerritt, William Shatner
The Setup: 
1932 woman goes on a crime and sex spree with her two saucy daughters and Captain Kirk.
Discussion: 

This is a Roger Corman film, and for some reason I did not inherit the gene that allows me to really enjoy Roger Corman films. To me they're just too intentionally low and trashy [as opposed to ending up low and trashy purely by accident] to be much fun.

This is a rip-off of Bloody Mama, which was a rip-off of Bonnie & Clyde. In it, Angie Dickenson plays a yokel spitfire who takes to the road after disrupting her daughter's wedding. They take to the road and eventually fall in with bank robber Tom Skerritt, who was still somewhat hunky then, and progress to further crimes that are all pretty much the same.

Angie hops in bed with Tom, and her daughters get jealous, until she inexplicably dumps him for William Shatner, and first one daughter and then both take up with Tom. The whole thing has the tone of a slightly more explicit Dukes of Hazzard episode. Multitudinous tits are on display, including Angie's quite often. At one point you see her back and, yikes, that girl was muscled and lean. She sort of has the skinned-animal look that Madonna has. You are also treated to seeing William Shatner porking Angie from behind, showing all the but Kirk wang, and that's a little more disturbing than anything. Seeing Captain Kirk in the sack. it's a little bit like walking in on your parents.

There are a few notable elements, but I found them more curious than hootworthy:

> A man who is apparently a good friend of Angie's gets shot and there's just something funny about the disinterested way she says, two seconds after he expires a foot away from her, "God rest his soul," as though talking about a distant relative who died several years ago.

> I like this little dialogue exchange: Bible-thumper: "The road to damnation is paved with those whiskey bottles!" Angie: "Must be hell on tires."

> There's an amusing pair of gauzy, misty close-ups of Angie and Tom during the middle of the final shootout, which is apparently meant to convey a sort of "we've been through so much together, I really know and love you" feeling, but unfortunately very little in the movie up until then supports the level of emotion being asked of the audience.

The DVD of this features some very amusing trailers for other 70s Roger Corman films, including a women-in-prison movie with Pam Grier, and two hot rod movies starring Ron Howard, in which he apparently plays a randy, sexy outlaw hot-rodding teen. That's not the image I have of him, but, you know, the 70s.. I also see on the IMDb that the third movie he directed was the appealingly-titled Cards, Cads, Guns, Gore, and Death. From that to the horror of Cinderella Man. From purveyor of cheesy trash to the paragon of stillborn maudlin populist cinematic excrement. It's a wacky world.

SPOILER > > >  There is also apparently a Big Bad Mama II, made in 1987, when Angie would have been in her 50s, apparently playing a reanimated corpse? It would be interesting to see how they bring her back to life, as she dies at the end of this film. But probably not THAT interesting.

Should you watch it: 

If you like Roger Corman, and you've already seen so many trashy movies that you need to do a little barrel-bottom scraping. Or you want to see Angie's tits.