Saturday, April 19, 2014

PICTURE MOMMY DEAD - Mr. B.I.G. - "Flaming Passion" (1966)

We've paid homage multiple times to Mr. B.I.G and his colossal body of work before, and tonight's feature film is just another notch in that championship belt of his! I hate being redundant, but just in case you don't know who Bert I. Gordon is, he's the man responsible for one of the greatest runs of monster movies of all time with movies like KING DINOSAUR,  BEGINNING OF THE END, THE CYCLOPS, THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN, ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE, WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST, EARTH Vs. THE SPIDER, THE MAGIC SWORD, and VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS!

"Picture Mommy Dead" might not be the best movie in the world, but it is interesting, entertaining, and jam packed with talent!

But basically, it's just a vehicle to showcase Bert's daughter Susan's talents, so much, that the first line spoken in the film is "Daddy!" What's kind of funny is that Susan was tired of the whole gig, and gave it up after this movie, except for appearing on a couple of episodes of "My Three Sons!" Susan was about 13 years old when she appeared as Jenny in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The Fugitive!"

Susan's disengaged Father and step Mom are played by the always suave Don Ameche and the always gorgeous Martha Hyer! They've come to pick her up from the looney bin she's been in ever since the night her Mother died! They never came to visit her because they were too busy traveling around the world and partying!

The music in "Picture Mommy Dead" was written by Robert Drasnin who appears to have written the music for about half the TV shows of the 70's!! Here's "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..!" as just a taste! Now it's time to go back to the place where it all happened, the restored family estate!

It's explained to Susan by a lawyer that as long as she is of sound mind, then it all belongs to her!

The always entertaining Wendell ( AGENT FOR H.A.R.M., CYBORG 2087, THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES) Corey is that lawyer! He's asks Susan questions like, "Do you think it's right to get rewarded if you kill someone!"

Except for occasional flashbacks, Susan has blocked the whole night of her Mother's death out of her mind, and seems perplexed by the whole situation! "What do you mean?"

Since there are no giant monsters of any kind in this movie, Mr. B.I.G. resorts to super closeups of stuffed animals in one of Susan's first meltdown scenes! Personally, I find the stuffed bird toy to be kind of creepy!

During Susan's next implosion, she scratches her Mother's portrait and it bleeds, or was it just a dream?

The square root of all evil can always be found in some weird-ass doll like this!

Susan's deceased Mother was played by none other than Zsa Zsa (QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE) Gabor! I'm pretty sure she's not in the greatest of health these days, but Zsa Zsa just turned 97 a couple of months ago! Wow!

Maxwell Reed is Susan's Mom's cousin, former lover of her step Mom and third in line on the inheritance list! His face is scarred from pulling Susan's Mom from the raging inferno! Martha Heyer's character is a cheap slut who plans on following the money, no matter which way it goes, and she's really good at it! I find it intriguing that two years earlier Martha was in another fiery epic, "Fuego," or "Pyro, The Thing Without A Face," whatever you want to call it! Martha was also marvelous in "First Men In The Moon," and "House Of 1,000 Dolls!

Susan has another bad instance, and goes running screaming from the house followed by her Dad! It's causes enough commotion that these two totally forgot what they were doing! Oops!!

Martha Hyer dons the dress that Susan's Mom was wearing the night of her death! Now she just wants to find the jeweled necklace she was wearing that same fateful evening!

Things go awry and Martha is able to finally reveal her true nasty bitch character!

She decides she needs to have a talk with Susan, and a pair of scissors just might come in handy!

Luckily Susan's Dad shows back up, and it's revealed that maybe he's not as easy going as originally assumed, but then why should he be? Both his first and second wife totally disrespected him, and it turns out that both were going out on him too! Why shouldn't they deserve the same fate?

In The End, we find out that maybe Father and daughter aren't so different from each other after all!! In real life, Susan Gordon passed away in 2011 at the age of 62, but unbelievably, after 24 years of inactivity, Bert I. Gordon has got a movie in post production right now called "Secrets Of A Psychopath" that he wrote, directed, and produced at the age of 92!! Go Bert!!


Grant said...

I've always been attached to this one. Susan Gordon was such an underrated child actress, in and out of her father's movies.

Greg Goodsell said...

Great, under-rated psycho horror! I had the chance to get Susan's autograph just before she died, and I regret it! Bert I. Gordon is still making the convention route!

Anonymous said...

Martha Hyer was so good at playing villainesses, it was a waste whenever she was cast as a good girl. The same with Camilla Sparv and Elke Sommer. They should have all played more femme fatale parts, instead of playing the hero's bland girlfriend.

Eegah!! said...

Good point A! Couldn't agree more!

TC said...

Finally, a movie by "Mr. B.I.G." that did not involve gigantism (Amazing Colossal Man, Village of the Giants) or shrinking (Attack of the Puppet People).

The title is unappealing and even kind of sicko, but I don't know of anything more appropriate.

Martha Hyer did get to play a not-so-faithful wife in "The Happening." Another lousy movie that is kind of a guilty pleasure.

EEGAH!! said...

Glad to see somebody digging through the catacombs TC! Thanx!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??