Thursday, June 18, 2009


If I buy DVDs anymore these days, it's usually the random ones you find in the Wal-Mart value bin. That's where you'll find all the bargain hunters cheapskates gathered, their hands flipping and digging through dozens of discs, hoping to find a movie that doesn't suck (or at least one that, even if it kinda sucks, is still worth the five bucks).

One day not too long ago, I dug deep into the cheapo bin and pulled out what looked like a winner (and for the record, it actually is) , a movie called Bug, directed by William Friedkin, the guy that brought us The Exorcist. That fact combined with the title gave me the mistaken impression that the film was a remake of the 1975 Bug, which was written by the master of gimmicky low-budget horror, William Castle.

Expecting mutant bugs galore upon placing the disc into my DVD player, I knew this was one of those movies unsuitable for Mom. Mom is a movie watcher, and she'll frequently let me know of my deficiency in supplying her with gems from my personal collection. The few times I've tried to meet her demand, though, I've been subjected to listening to various versions of "How can you watch stuff like that?"

Now, what Mom actually means by that is any film that she doesn't consider "real". This includes anything that can be labeled science fiction, fantasy or supernatural horror, which pretty much means that about 80% of my collection flunks the Mom Watchability Test.

But after I'd finished watching this newest Bug, I knew it wasn't associated with the earlier film of the same name and I felt it was right up Mom's alley. Sure, the main characters were paranoid lunatics, but it was certainly "real" in the sense that Mom meant.

Intense, yes, but she watched crime and thriller movies all the time. So, when I next visited, I brought it along for her to view at her leisure (which is pretty much every single afternoon and evening). She seemed skeptical upon seeing the cover of the DVD case, but I pointed out it starred Ashley Judd. That seemed to convince her of its suitability.

When next we spoke, I asked her how she liked the movie.

"What were you trying to do, giving me a movie like that, kill me?" she said. "How can you watch horrible stuff like that? And how can you let your poor mother watch something that sick. You know I'm old. It's not funny, I can't take stuff like that. I'm still trembling."

She paused. "And besides, I've never seen Ashley Judd looking so terrible and ugly before."

Needless to say, I've had to do some serious rethinking on what qualifies as a "Mom movie".


  1. "She paused. "And besides, I've never seen Ashley Judd looking so terrible and ugly before.""

    Now that's just too funny. I haven't seen the movie though. What's the premise?

  2. Hi Tara,

    Well, my mom doesn't mean to be funny when she says certain things, but I frequently find them amusing anyway.

    The movie is based on a play (which I didn't know at the time I watched it) and has Judd playing a waitress who works in a bar. She lives at a subsistence level, her residence a rundown motel, and after her prone to violence ex-husband is released from prison, she befriends a stranger named Peter.

    Peter has no home of his own, he appears to be a drifter, but a disturbed one, and he believes he has been infected with bugs by the government.

    It takes off from that point, with Judd slowing descending into and sharing in her new boyfriend's madness.

    It's definitely one of the best "value bin" DVDs I've seen in along time. Worth checking out if you haven't seen it.


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