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Rated R
Copyright 1996 Full Moon Entertainment
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 23 July 2001

The Characters:  

  • Lorretta - Jacqueline Lovell! When Full Moon needs a naked woman, she'll be there. This time she comes complete with an authentic southern accent. No really, she sounds like a Georgia Peach! Why doesn't anybody believe me?
  • Lance - Sophisticated gentleman (that means he doesn't take his suit off to have sex) who runs a family restaurant. Stabbed multiple times and then buried under a burning house.
  • Howard - The town's bad apple. He shakes down local businessmen, is prone to violence, and rides a Harley. Experimented on and ends up looking like a zombie film reject.
  • Otis Stackpool - Big dude. Likes pretty girls. Pretty. Shiny. Muh.
  • Ernestina Stackpool - This is where all those jokes about blondes came from. Turned into charcoal.
  • Wheeler Stackpool - Equipped with superhuman hearing and sight (dude has some serious bug eyes), this member of the family is in close proximity to Lance when the house burns down.
  • Myron Stackpool - Well, we have the big strong one, the sexy one, and the freak with super eyes and ears. Of course he is the thinker and has a giant thing-on-top-your-shoulders (I really refuse to make that pun again, once in the title was enough) to accommodate his intellect. Sustains a fatal head injury, which is kind of strange since he has no obvious Fissure of Rolando.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

It finally happened. Not the fall of Western Civilization, a movie based entirely on a single pun. They might seem very closely related, but I can still drive to the beach and shake my fist in the general direction of China before going inside and watching "Head of the Family" on DVD. Turn on the faucet, water comes out. Pick up the phone and, if you've paid the bill lately, get a dial tone. The world didn't end when this movie was made and the scary thing is: it actually is not all that bad.

Notice I didn't say it was all that good either, though generous helpings of the leading actress' body (please sir, could I have some more?) are fine and dandy with me. The novelty wears off around the same time that Howard is sacked, which is only about halfway through the film. Let's just start from the beginning.

Lorretta married the very large and very aggressive Howard at some indeterminate point in the past, but is madly in lust with Lance. They meet in the restaurant's storeroom and like places to have quickies since loverboy is no match for Howard in a fight. He loves her truly for being the best lay in town, while she goes crazy when he calls her "Scarlet" during sex. Stop right there! Don't you go running off to jump the girlfriend or wife and scream out the name of a character from "Gone With the Wind." I tried and can tell you it only results in a bruised cheek, plus some a hasty explanation. Showing her the movie will not set things straight either; she'll just be mad at you for other reasons.

During their choreographed lovemaking (engines look irregular and chaotic in comparison) the two have long discussions. Not just points of immediate concern like "Does this feel good?" or "No, put your foot there." Involved exchanges about their relationship and recent events are mulled over while coitus progresses. I was just waiting for them to start talking about the weather. With the fear of Howard discovering the affair and probably killing everyone involved they soon begin entertaining thoughts of his demise.

Yeah, why not kill Lorretta's husband? First off, Howard is a big boy with a mean streak four counties wide. At one point, just prior to forcing Lance into a "partnership," he is sitting in the diner assembling a new pistol. It arrived in pieces since he purchased them separately via mail order. Forget all the problems with this idea, it's not worth stressing over. The other stumbling block is that nearly everybody in town knows about the affair. Law enforcement officers might have a long list of people with motives, but the two adulterers would be near the top. Being at the top of any list that can result in having a fatal amount of electric current applied to your body is bad.

Here is where the Stackpools (Stackpooles?) come in handy, because Lance watches them doing something very naughty one night. Occasionally the family of freaks puts up a fake detour and waylays hapless travelers. The vehicles are sunk into the swamp and the people are experimented on by Myron in his search for answers. You see, despite being different ages, all four of the Stackpools were born of the same egg. Each is highly specialized in different areas and the big brain guy exerts a telepathic control over his siblings. Myron's physiology means that he is confined to a wheelchair and acting through the others is poor at best (imagine playing Quake III with an Atari). Transplanting his intellect into a normal body is the only rational choice. Many a night is spent using power tools and other required instruments on the latest catch.

Reasoning that by blackmailing the rich weirdoes he can have his heart's desires, Lance sets up an elaborate insurance policy. A lawyer in Raleigh is given an envelope and instructions, then Lance goes to work on Myron. Conversational tic-tac-toe (I refuse to think of it as chess) results as both the rules are laid out. Yep, you guessed it, more talking. Lots of talking.

Howard's sudden disappearance is the first favor that Lance asks for, but he is soon back and demanding a weekly salary to keep silent. This infuriates the leader of Clan Stackpool; he instructs Wheeler to follow every move made by their enemy. Soon they learn the name of the lawyer and pay him a visit (Hell became one soul richer that day). Lance and Lorretta find themselves in Myron's laboratory faster than you can say "sweet potato pie."

The good thing is that our little blackmailer was thinking ahead and retained another lawyer just in case this happened. The bad thing is that Myron's annoyed enough to carry on with his plan. Lorretta gives a mighty bad performance trying to seduce her way out of trouble, even ignoring Myron's pasty skin, bloated jowls, big old mole, and lolling tongue. It doesn't work though; he wants her to play Joan of Arc.

Remember all the people that Myron has been experimenting on? After sticking sharp instruments in their heads they often wind up less than productive human beings, but he has taught a few to reenact classic plays in the mansion's theater. Lorretta is cast as the girl who France would call a saint and England a devil. Not good, especially since she was eventually burned at the stake and Myron is a stickler for realism. Mademoiselle flambé is averted when Otis climbs on stage to rescue the "pretty girl." About now things get out of hand.

Every story can have a happy ending (writers willing) and this one does. Well, in a way. Lorretta might have married Myron by accident, but it's a long story and the hour is late. I'm still particular to the first half hour or so. The exchanges between Howard and others usually made me grin at the very least.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Men hate it when women talk dirty.
  • The Mob is an organization of entrepreneurs.
  • Hypothetical situations are annoying. Especially when they resemble a real situation in every detail.
  • Irony is a respiratory irritant.
  • Musty storerooms are not exactly romantic.
  • Want to make sure a woman accepts when you propose? Ask just before she has an orgasm. (You have to be the one responsible for said moment of bliss.)
  • Southerners think more clearly when they are upside down.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • Opening Credits - This is great, the house just carries the scene and keeps me from getting bored. *Groan*
  • 6 mins - You must not know very many women...
  • 34 mins - Raw potatoes for dinner. Yum!
  • 35 mins - What if the cheese had active cultures?
  • 41 mins - How convenient, the Stackpools just happen to keep two thousand dollar straps of cash on hand.
  • 50 mins - Stop and think for a minute; you're actually having sex with Myron by proxy! Damn it man, listen to me!
  • 68 mins - I'd try to say something witty, but the breasts will not let me get a word in edgewise.


  • Lance: "All right, that's fine. You want to act like a bunch of retards, go ahead."
  • Myron: "We're going to see if we can find out what the second lawyer's name is. Sort of like a guessing game, only with torture!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note headfamily1.wav Howard: "You know Susie, sometimes I feel like a big old turd in small toilet."
Susie: "Whatever makes you happy, honey."
Green Music Note headfamily2.wav Lance: "All right, all right!"
Otis: "You fight, Otis hit you. You yell, Otis hit you."
Lance: "I think I got the game plan here Otis."
Green Music Note headfamily3.wav Myron: "Keep on talking you little country con man. Every stupid word's a deposit in the pain bank."
Green Music Note headfamily4.wav Otis: "Otis...pretty girl."
Lorretta: "Yeah, yeah. You Tarzan, me Jane. I'm sure we'd just make a swell couple."

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipheadfamily1.mpg - 2.1m
One of the great things about having a sadistic director is being able to use negative reinforcement. That collar is a neat idea; I wonder where I can get one.

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