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The archetypal 70s drive-in movie
on 31 January 2008
Big Bad Mama is the archetypal Roger Corman 70s b-movie, with the monsters and sci-fi of the 50s and 60s replaced by plentiful low-budget action, tongue-in-cheek humor and mandatory nudity from almost every actress in the cast in a fast-moving Depression-era backroads gangster flick. Angie Dickinson is the Ma Barker figure tryin' to do right by her two gals, stumbling her way from bootlegging to armed robbery to kidnapping with the aid of Tom Skerritt's bank robber and William Shatner's Southern conman (unfortunately the mandatory nudity rule also applies to him, though we are spared the sight of the captain's log). While not as smart as John Sayles' and Jonathan Demme's Corman flicks there are occasional nods to history - not least the resistance of hypocritical establishment figures and the Big Rich to the New Deal, leaving the poor to fend for themselves as best they can - and some mildly anarchic sight gags (watch out for the cripple `healed' by William O'Connell's phoney preacher) but mostly this has few aspirations beyond throwing in as many shootouts, car chases and nude scenes from Ms Dickinson as it can in its 83-minute running time.
Unlike the US DVD, which includes an audio commentary by Corman and Dickinson, there are no real extras on the UK DVD - just a handful of trailers for straight-to-video films like Carnosaur and Ankle Biters.