The Halloween weekend is one of Hollywood's most lucrative, but this year's batch of films leaves something to be desired. This list of Labor Day "blockbusters" was passed to me by an executive at a major studio. Plot summaries are below.
PATCHES - Based on the heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, suicide-inducing blues ballad by Clarence Carter. Oprah Winfrey presents this mind-numbing tale of a boy (Nick Cannon) "forced to become a man," when his pappy (James Earl Jones) dies unexpectedly.
TRUTH OR DARE II - While the first version of this documentary was about singer Madonna, this one is about former chitrlin circuit comic LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther of Sanford and Son) and her sexual antics. Wait until you see her simulate her oral skills-you'll never eat another hot link as long as you live.
SEX WITH CHEF RAMSEY: HELL'S BEDROOM-If you think "America's angriest chef" is a pain in the wazoo on a cooking show, wait until you see what he demands from a bevy of beauties in what one critic calls Flavor of Love meets Ace Of Cakes. The cruel culinary master yells at one woman: "You are pathetic! Who taught you about foreplay, a mummy? Or maybe it was your mummy! I see that the rotten apple did fall far from the worm-filled tree!" That's nothing compared to his frequent cries of, "No! No! No!" The chef criticizes everything from foreplay to kissing. And get a load of the movie's tagline: "Come on in to Hell's bedroom-where there's no such thing as 'the wrong hole.'"
MEAT THE FOCKERS-Not to be confused with the same tribe from the Meet The Parents franchise, this one is the tale of a family of gluttons destined to eat themselves to death. The plot is thin even if some of the actors aren't. Ralphie May stars with Kevin Bacon, John Hamm, Chicken George, Lamb Chop, Meatloaf and the Jerky Boys.
CALCUTTA NIGHTS - Deepak Johanssen is a half-Indian/half-Swedish college student who drops out of school and travels from Sweden to India to find his real dad, who came to Sweden twenty years earlier and impregnated his mother. The only thing interesting about this films are the unpronounceable names of the actors. James Earl Akbarhajestikolambadujoisepok and Sara Jessica Cheekopawaiokurgebbapawea star.
PENITENTIARY 5: ENOUGH ALREADY - A once-promising boxer attempts a comeback despite being brain-damaged, blind in one eye, partially paralyzed in his right arm and wearing a colostomy bag. His manager, Dom King, finagles a number one ranking and a title shot, but only if he can have sex with the fighter's voluptuous daughter. Oscar Bonavena: Tony Danza; Chuck Wepner: Lisa Lampanelli; Don King: Damon Wayans.
PERCY SLEDGE AND THE OLYMPIANS - The Greek Gods desire a different, more soulful type of music. Or as Zeus (Wolfman Jack) puts it, "I'm tired of these foul ass lyres, lutes, sitars and harps. I want some sweet, soul music, man!" They finally call for 60's soul crooner Percy Sledge. Almost as bad as it sounds, except for the performance of Ivan Dixon, who lip-synchs to Sledge's biggest hits, including "Out Of Leftfield" and "When A Man Loves A Woman." The only other highlight? Jerry Lewis (not the rocker, but the comedian) das he performs a hilarious rendition of "Sweet Soul Music."
SADDAM AND YVES-The first film from the Man-Boy Love Association has often been called "a weird version of Romeo and Juliet, but with an all-male cast." Saddam (Freddie Prinze, Jr. giving his strongest performance to date) is a rich Arab sheik who hides his sexual preference from the royal family. Yves (Keanu Reeves) is the French pool boy who seduces him. Worst song performance in a film ever, as Yves croons, Brother Louie, to the accompaniment of sitars and lyres. Also, throughout the film Reeves uses a Scandinavian accent because he can't do a French one! Rap soundtrack by Steve and Idi (Steve Carrel and Idi Amin.)
R.A.D.I.O. (Rusty, the Attention Deficit Imbecile of Oakland)-Not the most politically correct movie title, but Cuba Gooding, Jr. didn't mind, not even after the ARP and NAACP set up picket lines outside the set. Just as long as his paycheck didn't bounce. The former Oscar winner plays Rusty, a scatterbrained man whose life is chronicled in several Saturday Night Live-style vignettes.
BYE-BYE BIRD BRAIN: THE SARAH PALIN STORY-Essentially this is nothing but a reel of her most famous gaffes, featuring her interview with Katie Couric and her butchering the story of Paul Revere. Produced by Michael Moore and the staff at MSNBC.
RISING SON-Called "The most racist movie ever made," Cheech Marin (wearing an oversized bucktoothed prosthesis and a "Moe Howard" haircut) plays a Chinese fellow who, much to the chagrin of his parents, drops out of college and seeks to become a blues singer. Whoever thought The Thrill Is Gone sounded good on a pan flute must have been insane. Cameo appearances by B.B. King and Eric Clapton. In one scene there is a horrible collaboration of Pan flutes, sitars and banjoes that is the musical equivalent of sharp fingernails being raked across a chalkboard. Mama Hung: Margaret Cho; Papa Hung: Jet Li; Whale Hung: Ron Jeremy.
BAD ASS MOTHER FOCKER-Gaylord Focker's mom (Barbra Streisand) becomes weary of her dull life and moves to Harlem where she becomes a ruthless drug kingpin. It is up to her son Gaylord (Stiller) and his father-in-law (Robert DeNiro) to hit the tough streets and "Bring little mama back to the 'burbs." Yes, the creators of this once-proud franchise are running on fumes. Jess B. Lucky: Eddie Griffin; Krazy Porky: Anthony Anderson
ONE NATION UNDER A GOON-A black perspective on the George W. Bush presidency. Financed by the Nation Of Islam. Soundtrack by George Clinton.
SEVEN - Remember the kid "Seven" on the television show Married…With Children? Well, someone thought it would be a good idea to make a movie about him as an adult-a drug-addled, sex-starved kook. Not the kid in the movie, but the producer!
CORNBREAD IN THE SKY-Comedian Bruce Bruce wrote and directed this farce centered on angels, who are busy whipping up a soul food feast when a pudgy trailer park denizen on earth (Kirstie Alley) smells it, and with the help of a demented carpenter (Charlie Sheen), builds a giant ladder and ascends into the clouds to leech a free meal.
SAPS ON "C"-This one was found in the vaults at Twentieth Century. Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel intended this anti-cocaine short to be a public service announcement against drug addiction. Instead, it became their funniest film ever, as the boys worked under the influence of the drug. Wait until you see Ollie drop his pants and do a rump-shake dance similar to the one performed by Shakira and Beyonce. You may never want to eat honey dew melons ever again!
TAKE IT UP THE WAZOO OR RUN - Woody Allen's take on prison rape is touching-especially since he thought it was something he would experience if he had been prosecuted and found guilty of molesting his adopted son, Satchel. Virgil Tibblets: Andy Dick.
SANFORD AND SON IN WHITE FACE-Whoever came up with the idea for making this 70's black sitcoms into a feature film with an all-white cast, should have been taken out and shot. (Instead he was lynched by NAACP members whose cases are still pending.) Fred G. Sanford: Ed O'Neill; Lamont Sanford: Jason Mewes; Aunt Esther: Betty White; Bubba: Louie Anderson; Grady: David Letterman; Julio: Hector Elizondo; Woodrow: Woody Harrelson; Skillet and Leroy: Brendan Fraser and Bill Hader.
LATE FOR DINNER - Louie Anderson stars as a man who goes on a killing spree when he arrives home late for dinner and finds no one has fixed a plate for him. The lone R-rated scene, where Anderson appears nude, decreased movie popcorn sales by 98% across the country. Artie, the Talking Seal: Jay Leno.
LAST TANGO IN PARIS II: MO BUTTER BLUES-This alleged sequel to Last Tango In Paris, has no connection to the original. This one stars a D-list cast of unknowns (reality show rejects), a salty mouth parrot (voiced by Jackie Mason), and a man in a cheesy-looking gorilla suit-which bears a striking resemblance to Bobcat Goldwaith. This odd collection of characters is train-bound to a New Year's Eve party at the Eiffel Tower. Directed by Spike Lee's cousin, Spark, and is as bad as it sounds.