Drive-in movie critic extraordinaire Joe Bob Briggs is back in Austin to present three very special screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, featuring Angie Dickinson, Don Knotts, and the guy who played Skippy on “Family Ties.”
Briggs guest hosts this week’s “Terror Tuesday” on January 29th, introducing a rare 35mm print of the 1986 horror flick “Trick or Treat” at 10:30 p.m. The film stars Marc Price, a/k/a Skippy, as Eddie Weinbauer, a metal-loving geek who uses black magic to resurrect a dead rock star, then deploys him as his instrument of revenge on all who had tormented him. Directed by Charles Martin Smith, best known as Terry the Toad in “American Graffiti,” co-starring Tony Fields as the reanimated rock god Sammi Curr, with Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons in walk-on roles. Despite their minimal screen time, Oz and Gene get top billing on the DVD release.
Wednesday, Briggs hosts a double bill for the ages (separate admission required), introducing a newly struck 35mm print of the 1969 Don Knotts comedy “The Love God” at 7 p.m. and the “Weird Wednesday” presentation of the 1974 Angie Dickinson classic “Big Bad Mama” at 10.
“The Love God,” written and directed by Nat Hiken (“Sgt. Bilko,” “Car 54, Where Are You?”), casts Knotts as a would-be Hugh Hefner, to great comic effect. Here’s the hype direct from the Alamo: “Don Knotts was comedy in the shape of a man. An underweight, neurotic wreck of a man who had the ability to make both children and oldsters laugh ‘til they puked…Knotts’ ‘The Love God’ is THE FUNNIEST COMEDY OF ALL TIME. This isn’t opinion. It’s inarguable FACT. You may have thought you busted every gut ya got with “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure’ or ‘Ghostbusters’ or ‘The King’s Speech’ or whatever, but the truth is that Don Knotts broke every barrier of taste and laughter in his all-but-unseen funnybone-blasting masterpiece…In 1969, America’s most beloved G-rated entertainer unleashed his comic masterwork, in which he plays the reluctant overlord of a massive porn empire! See the perennial virginal goofball knee-deep in lady-lust, cowering on his heart-shaped bed as dame after dame throw themselves at his trembling, tiny frame! It’s a chaotic typhoon of sex, organized crime, sex, rock n’ roll and S!E!!X!!!”
At 10 p.m., Briggs brings back a drive-in classic from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, the 1930s outlaw tale “Big Bad Mama.” Lars Nilsen writes in the Alamo blog, “Angie Dickinson, looking like the centerfold of Reader’s Digest, stars as the foxy no-good mother of two foxy no-good daughters: Robbie Lee (‘Switchblade Sisters’) and Susan Sennett (Candy from ‘The Candy Snatchers’) Together they ramble all over the depression-era heartland, conning and fleecing every sucker they can find. It’s a violent, funny, fast-paced classic and you’ll love it. Co-starring Big Bill Shatner as the only man in the universe who could tame ‘Big Bad Mama.'”
The film also stars Tom Skerritt, whose character manages to sleep with all three of the female leads, and was directed by Steve Carver (“Drum”).
“Trick or Treat” screens Tuesday January 29th at 10:30 p.m., “The Love God” at 7 p.m. and “Big Bad Mama” at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30th at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 East Sixth Street in Austin.
J.M. Dobies, Austin Classic Movies Examiner Facebook Page