Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

La Femme Nikita

"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 8/23/91

Anne Parillaud proves that assassins in high heels have to work a LOT harder in "La Femme Nikita"
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas
Our license finally came through and we dedicated the Chloris Sturtivant Day Care Center last week. Our motto is "Guilt-Free Toddler Dumping."
It was Ugly-on-a-Stick's idea. She wanted the motto to be "Guilt-Free Toddler Dumping for the Financially Independent Family." But I vetoed that.
"I think we should take money from everyone," I told her, "regardless of their ability to pay. After all, this is America."
Anyhow, Chloris Sturtivant is Ugly-on-a-Stick's Christian name, which she's been using ever since Wanda Bodine told her it would be bad for business to name it the Ugly-on-a-Stick Day Care Center. And here's how it works:
Ugly-on-a-Stick interviews each parent individually, and asks em questions like, "Have you ever tried to murder this child, and what was he doing at the time?"
Then she takes the answer to this question and develops an educational program for the kid. For example, let's say the kid likes to ram crooked sticks through the screen door all day long because he "likes the way it feels."
Ugly-on-a-Stick will actually PURCHASE a screen door AND a crooked stick for the kid to play with all day long.
Or here's another example. Let's say little Teresa HATES Mama's new boyfriend. Let's say his name is Arthur. And every time he comes over to take Mama out on a date, little Teresa throws Play-Dough on his silk jacket. And Mama has to say "Normally she NEVER does things like this."
And Arthur acts like it doesn't bother him. "Oh, I'm sure Teresa and I will become GREAT friends one of these days," he says.

This is where I come in. Three times a week, Chloris pays me to come down to the day-care center and dress up like various lame boyfriends of various desperate mothers. And then Teresa is ENCOURAGED to throw all the Play-Dough on me she wants, and I throw it back at her, and then we both jump into a mud pile and sling dirt all over a leather couch, and then we have a heart-to-heart conversation, where I say encouraging things like, "Your mom is probly not rootin around on the floor with Arthur right now, and if she is, she's probly not ENJOYING it."
See, the idea of guilt-free day care is that we let the kid do everything that the parent HATES for him to do at home. We GET IT OUT OF HIS SYSTEM. By the time that kid gets home, he's punched so many holes in the screen door that all he wants to do is listen to German operas on PBS. And Little Teresa has taken out ALL her frustrations against Arthur, so that, the next time the subject comes up, she can more clearly ARTICULATE her emotions.
"Mom," she'll say, "I have this problem with Arthur. Let's be grown-up about it. I don't like to see you dating a bald-headed weenie with moss on his teeth."
You can imagine the relief all the parents will feel. Believe me, we're gonna make a fortune with this stuff.

Speaking of people who can't decide whether to make love or kill people, "La Femme Nikita" is the first French flick I've reviewed since "Emmanuelle V," because everyone kept writing in to me to tell me it was a drive-in movie with subtitles. I tried to tell these people that, if you put subtitles on a drive-in screen, there will very quickly be submachine-gun holes in that screen. But, fortunately for us, Vidmark Entertainment decided to put it out on video in two versions--subtitled and dubbed--so now I can report to you:

It's a combination of The Terminator, "The Playboy Lingerie Video" and "Gidget Goes to Paris." Anne Parillaud is one of those skinny French gals who's always hanging sideways out of her clothes and shaking her head so her hair sticks out like a ragmop, and she has this tendency to fall in love with those French guys who talk like snakes and never change expressions. Are these guys bored or stoned or what? I never have figured out what the deal is with French actors.

Anyhow, she's a junkie who wears really clingy silk dresses until she gets arrested for killing a cop and thrown into the puke-your-guts-out drug-withdrawal prison and sentenced to a life term. Fortunately for her, the French government is looking for an undercover political assassin, so they make believe she's dead and start teaching her karate and how to use a computer mouse. Pretty soon she's running around in high heels and mini-skirts, blowing the brains out of ambassadors, so that all the men fall in love with her.

It's one of those "Hey! Women are people, too!" movies.
Twenty-three dead bodies.
No breasts.
Kneecap shattering.
Two gunbattles.
Ballet dancing.
Kung Fu.
Strait-jacket Fu.
Syringe Fu.
Mouse Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Anne Parillaud, as the Terminator-in-high-heels, for saying "Why ain't my mother here?"
and "Mister, is this heaven here or not?"
and "I'll never kiss you again";
Jeanne Moreau, who's been in every French movie since the beginning of time, as the expert on "making her a woman," for saying "Let your pleasure be your guide";
and Jean-Hugues Anglade, as the weenie boyfriend, for saying "Stop before it's too late."
Four stars by French standards. In other words . . .
Three stars American. Joe Bob says check it out.


Victory Over Communism! The Rose Bowl Drive-In on Route 1, outside Richmond, Va., was totally remodeled this year and is packing em in. And, of course, the Rose Bowl is the home of the greatest cheeseburger in Virginia--the "Wallyburger." Ron Smith of Richmond and Noah Scalin of New York remind us that, with eternal vigilance, it won't happen in your town. To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get free junk in the mail and Joe Bob's world-famous "We Are the Weird" newsletter, write P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221. Joe Bob's Fax line is 214-368-2310.

Dear Joe Bob,
Any idea why some articulate fool was yelling "Safe Sex" during Gary Pinunn's show at Poor David's Pub September 29th?
Thanks, just for bein' you,
Robert Holdridge

Dear Robert:
I was having temporary hallucinations about the woman I was with. It happens when I drink Tequila.
I'll try not to let it happen again.

Dear Editor (Aspen Times Daily):
Joe Bob Briggs is not a literary genius, nor does he pretend to be. Some of his columns are incredibly stupid, some are very funny and some are very insightful.
The saying "Laughter is the best medicine" is very meaningful to me. It seems many people are becoming too busy being offended to allow themselves to find humor in anything. I feel very sorry for these people.
Joe Bob is not a KKK member, nor is he a skinhead. He is not out to hurt or belittle anyone; he wants everybody to be able to laugh. Nothing he writes is meant to be taken seriously. It is all humor, which is often (although not always) sort of insightful, for a Texan, that is.
In Kris' letter she stated that she had only read his column once, but people had told her that it is "always like that" (whatever "that" may be).

Well, Kris, why don't you think for a while about how dangerous and ignorant it is to allow other people to make your judgments and form your opinions. If you didn't like Joe Bob and you don't ever want to read his articles, then just don't.
If you want to form an opinion on his writing then you must read more than a few hundred words, all by yourself.
Whatever your choice is, please never assume to enforce your narrow, humorless uninformed viewpoint on my choice of reading.
Please, Times Daily--keep Joe Bob here.
Kevin Heinecken
Snowmass Village, Colo.

Dear Kevin:
Did I let those KKK dues lapse?

Dear Joe Bob,
I work as an Opera Director, and I've always wondered if you had a fondness for opera since often the plots are so similar to drive-in movie plots. Hear me out on this, Joe Bob.
In almost every opera your requirements for an entertaining drive-in movie are met. Consider:
"Tosca": Torture, lust, stabbing, execution, etc.
"Salome": More lust, nekkid dancer, severed head fu, etc.
"Susannah": lustful preacher, nekkid swim, shotgun fu, etc.
. . . and I've just scratched the surface. There has never been a real women's prison opera ever written. I think the market is there. If for nothing else, it would give us one hell of a double bill with "Suor Angelica." Any ideas?
John Hoomes
Louisville, Ky.

Dear John:
I'm working on a new libretto now. It's called "Fat Nymphos in Chains." (I've seen your opera stars. Easier to cast.)

Hey Joe Bob,
Travel Tip: Somewhere between Dallas and San Antonio or somewhere in Texas on the front of a Lone Star brewery is a mutation museum. Lots of two-headed animals, ones with or without important parts. There's a sheep there with legs and extra heads stickin out everywhere. A true museum, not like the northern brain-dead hell holes with third-rate exhibits or ones with any modern impressionist bullstuff, white-rocks-in-a-circle waste-of-time garbage.
Love and Happy Birthday,
Elizabeth Henderson
Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Dear Elizabeth:
Are you really the kind of girl that likes to drive around searching for two-headed animals?
Would you marry me?

Dear Joe Bob:
I read your Rules for Behavior in the Gulf. Now I'm confused, so please help me out. When you shake hands with an Ayrab, is it okay to use your left hand or should you use your right hand, which you then have to eat with?
Gregg Hughes
Downey, Calif.

Dear Gregg:
If you wanna really gross em out, then shake with your right hand and ACCIDENTALLY brush your left hand against their burnoose (the hand you only use to . . . well . . . you know).
As Ernest P. Worrell would say, "Eeeeyewwwwwwwwwww."

1991 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved
For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews archive over yonder at Joe Bob

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