When I first thought of doing, "A Man's Movie" O.C. and Stiggs was the kind of film I had in mind. No, that's wrong. O.C. and Stiggs was the film I had in mind. Every woman who has sat down to watch this with me hated it. And not just hated it but found it so annoying and stupid that I'm reminded of how a lot of women react to The Three Stooges.
Shelved in 1984 and released direct to video in 1987, Robert Altman took a lotta criticism for this and that's a shame because no one ever saw it. Wildly confusing on first viewing, it veers every damned where. It pokes fun at just about everything 'middle-class-white-watusi' including insurance agent, Randall Schwabb, whose company motto is, "Misery loves our company." It's totally unpredictable and maybe that's why women hate it. Safe and sound is put to the test through the insanity of this film.
A college buddy, Jeff, introduced me to O.C. and Stiggs via National Lampoon Magazine. There were a number of different stories but, "The O.C. and Stiggs Guaranteed Method of Porking the Vice President's Wife" in the June 'Do It Yourself' issue of 1982, gives you a taste for the concept.
Jeff had a movie poster in his dorm room for the obscure underground hard core film, "Cafe Flesh" with the sub title: "Post Nuke thrill seekers looking for a kick." After dumping Jeff, his ex girlfriend tried to make nice at a college dance and asked if he would like to dance. Jeff replied. "On your grave."
Jeff found a 1961 Lincoln Continental for $500. Five of us were going to split the cost but a $1,500 exhaust system would be needed for the car to pass state inspection. Our dream of living a scene from O.C. and Stiggs, "Utterly Monstrous, Mind Roasting Summer" (Oct 1982) was not worth $400 each.
Riding in a friend's Mustang convertible, Jeff found it impossible not to sit on top of the back seat and wave. 25 years later he's still certifiable. When I introduced him to a business colleague a few years ago over lunch - the unsuspecting underwriter asked, "So what do you do?" Jeff deadpanned, "I work in the adult film business." Never invite old college friends to business lunches.
This cast is pretty damned amazing. Tina Louise, Cynthia Nixon, Jane Curtin, Ray Walston, Dennis Hopper, Lois Nye, Melvin Van Peebles, Bob Uecker, John Cryer and Martin Mull in one of the most bizarre roles and yet he's pitch perfect... like it was written for him. King Sunny Ade rounds the whole thing out (and is a major plot point) with an amazing soundtrack. Hey, is it true Ade's US tour has been cancelled?
Look, I'm not gonna BS you -- This film is an acquired taste. But just like Tripe, try it 10 or 20 times and you may find it grows on you.
29 April 2010
A Man's Movie: OC and Stiggs
"If we could combine really loud noise with the ugliness of poverty, we'd have the ideal car." Mark Stiggs