Monday, June 19, 2017

Mama’s Dirty Girls (1974)

The notion of a mother training her daughters in the arts of seduction and thievery is enjoyably kinky, so the low-budget thriller Mama’s Dirty Girls should have a scandalous quality. Unfortunately, because the storyline is so one-dimensional and predictable, the filmmakers never fully exploit the potential of their seedy premise. Moreover, because so much screen time gets chewed up on ogling nude scenes, Mama’s Dirty Girls devolves from its very first scenes into yet another drive-in flick pandering to low appetites. While this isn’t a completely brainless picture, it’s nowhere near smart enough to merit serious consideration. Gloria Grahame, a long way from her best work, stars as Mama Love—yep, that’s her character name—the mother of three sexy young-adult daughters. Mama’s favorite scheme involves roping a wealthy man into marriage, then tasking one of her kids, usually Becky (Candice Rialson), with teasing the man into such a sexual frenzy that he attempts rape. This gives Mama the pretext to kill the man and seize his property. Never mind how records of this sort of thing tend to follow a person from one municipality to another, and never mind that the first time we see Mama off a husband, she and two of her daughters slash the guy to death with straight razors. Hard to tell the cops a three-on-one slaughter was self-defense. Anyway, the filmmakers miss the obvious plot opportunity of having one of Mama’s daughters rebel against family tradition, so the plot is quite dull, with Mama beguiling a new man while daughters attempt separate gold-digging enterprises. As you might expect, the characterizations are weak and the dialogue is stiff, though some of the acting is okay. Seasoned pro Grahame and promising ingénue Rialson nearly make the movie palatable. Nearly.

Mama’s Dirty Girls: LAME

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