Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If You Think Your Life Sucks, Watch...

Think your life sucks? Maybe you are just going through a bad patch. Maybe you are just having a bad day. Or maybe your life does suck. Before you jump to any big conclusions, please remember this: someone, somewhere has it even worse. Don't believe me? Then please beg, borrow or steal a copy of today's installment of our regular feature "If You Think Your Life Sucks, Watch...
"Mother May I Sleep With Danger?"(1996)

Bland, blond and utterly boneheaded Tori Spelling proves she is every inch the daughter of the late Sultan of Schlock Aaron Spelling in this hysterically crack-pot thrill-less thriller from the Lifetime Channel.

Tor Tor is cast as (get this) a co-ed majoring in languages who hopes to study in China one day. How she manages to fit her studies into her hectic jogging schedule is never explained. Like a lot of gals her age, Tori still feels her mom is trying to control her life, especially in the boyfriend department. But how could mom object to her latest beau, a rich handsome pre-med student named Kevin (Ivan Sergei)?

Kev certainly is a looker, but it quickly becomes clear that he's also a dangerously unhinged control freak with a nasty temper and a talent for identity theft.

Oh, and he's a killer, too.

In fact, the flick's first 15 minutes or so are devoted to the gruesome sight of Kevin pummelling his current girlfriend to death with a kitchen cutting board.

However, this being a Lifetime movie and a Lifetime movie starring Tori Spelling, it will take a L-O-N-G time for our featured actress to figure out that Kev is a psycho. Even after he pressures her into going blond, goes totally berserk when Tori talks to other guys, bulges his eyes and declares her mom is "against him", stops Tori from seeing her friends, insists he must be around her 24-hours a day and is given to such insane outbursts as "I have no life if you're not in it!", Tori doesn't seem too concerned.

Yet when Kevin rents them a secluded house to share and lies about the phones being installed, Tori gets a brain wave that maybe Kevin is just, you know, a little weird and breaks up with him. Doing so will be the first and only intelligent thing she does in the entire picture.

Two seconds later, she's back to being as thick as a plank. When Tori goes up to Kevin's to collect her things, she foolishly goes alone. Then she downs his "farewell drink" and passes out cold. See what I mean?

Drugged into unconsciousness, Kevin easily totes Tori up to her mother's cabin. Why? I have no idea. Once she comes to, it's clear that if Tori wants to escape in one piece she'll have to go one-on-one with the increasingly unhinged Kevin. Spelling fans and devotees of " Beverly Hills 90210" will be thrilled to learn that even though Kevin is over 6 feet tall, can punch out parking meters and once beat up two guys at the same time, Tori can knock him out with one slap.

Running for her dear life into the wilderness, Tori comes to the edge of a lake. There she magically finds a canoe (!) tied to the dock and starts furiously paddling away. Close at her heels, though, is Kevin, looking like a maniac and waving a hatchet. He dives into the water, hacks away at the canoe, the vessel flips over...Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Tori?

Of course not; she has top billing, after all. Plucky Tori manages to swim to safety and is reunited with her mom, who was conveniently out searching for her daughter in the exact same place Tori happened to be. Yet the movie is still not over! There must be one more confrontation between Tori and Kev. Needless to say, Spelling's skills using a canoe paddle as an instrument of death are even more impressive than her language skills (although she doesn't utter a peep in anything but English).

Viewers may wonder how an actress of such limited ability as Tori could handle the demands of a character that switches from a Henry James quoting co-ed to an Olympic caliber jogger to a canoe paddling super heroine without breaking a sweat.

Well, she can't.

Even in a movie as ridiculous as "Mother May I Sleep With Danger?", poor Tori is out of her depth. Cursed with only one facial expression and in desperate need of a personality, Spelling stumbles through this movie as if she was whacked in the back of the head with a cast iron skillet before each take. She is no match for hunky Ivan Sergei, who at least gets to rolls his eyes and froth at the mouth as the seriously mental Kevin.

During the filming of "Mother May I Sleep With Danger?", Tori was bitten by an allegedly tame pangolin, a "toothless, scaly mammal" that eats ants and termites and "rolls into a ball when attacked." The pangolin was starring in a production shooting close by Tori's set and he must have seen the rushes of her film. Anyway, the critter's teeth marks are visible on Tori's legs and provide "Mother May I Sleep With Danger?" its only realistic element.

Thus, if you think your life sucks, watch "Mother May I Sleep With Danger?" and remember that as bad as things may be for you, Tori Spelling has it even worse--and has the bite marks to prove it.