A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

08 March 2007

Mugsy's Girls, 1985

STARRING: Laura Branigan (Monica)

Laura Branigan’s big screen debut (*laughs*). After achieving a whole host of hits including the classics ‘Gloria’ and ‘Self Control’, Branigan tried her hand at acting. The venture didn’t last long and she was back with a new album before the end of the year. The hits were drying up by the late 80’s and she made another movie called Backstage in Australia, which is about a singer who wants to make it as an actress. The film was unsuccessful and poorly received. Branigan continued to record with Atlantic Records, with modest success, up until 1995. Shortly afterwards her husband died and she took some time out of show business, reappearing sometime later in the stage musical Love, Janis in which she portrayed Janis Joplin. The role gained her very favourable reviews. While recording a brand new album she died suddenly in 2004 of a brain aneurysm, she was 47.

Ruth Gordon (Mugsy)

Gordon was a very popular stage actress and screenwriter before she really made it as a Hollywood star. She finally won her first Oscar aged 72 for her amazing turn in Rosemary’s Baby in 1969. She continued to act to great success right up until her death in 1988.

Eddie Deezen (Lane)

Best known for playing Eugene in Grease and Grease 2. He went on to be very popular in

b-movies and recently voiced a character for the animated feature The Polar Express.

with Kristi Somers and James Marcel.

PLOT: The Delta Pi girls are the worst sorority

on campus. They are so poor they’ve got themselves into $2000 worth of debt with a loan shark and no means of paying it back. They live with their Sorority Mother, Mugsy (Gordon) an eccentric and forgetful old lady who doesn’t even know what time of day it is. They decide that the only way to make the cash they need is to hold a whipped cream wrestling contest and fight each other for the amusement, and the cash, of their fellow students. The fight is so successful that they are noticed by a couple of young talent scouts (Deezen & Marcel) who enter them in a mud wrestling competition in Las Vegas, the prize money is $100,000! The only trouble is that they are up against the Nevada Nasties, the

meanest mud wrestlers in town! The event promoters have offered them $5,000 to throw the fight – should they concede defeat and take the cash or battle it out for the whole 100k and buy themselves a new sorority house?

THOUGHTS: The box to this video looks like a porno so I’ve had it under the bed for a good few years. I finally pulled it out, so to speak, and gave it a go. To be honest it’s pretty good for the genre. The Delta Pi (delt-a-pi(e), get it?) sorority girls headed by Laura Branigan are very likable and Ruth Gordon is great as Mugsy. It’s also not all that sleazy for a movie about mud wrestling ‘teenage’ girls. There are a few bottoms and breasts on show, but this is more of a comedy than a soft core flick, and that’s in its favour for me. It’s a chick flick rather than top-to-middle shelf material for teenage boys. There is lots of pot smoking and if the sight of a stoned rabbit isn’t going to tickle your sense of humour then don’t bother. The dance/pop soundtrack is pretty decent and it complements the carefree tone of the movie perfectly. One of the sorority girls, actress Joanna Dierck (also wife of the director), sings quite a few of the songs and doesn't sound too dissimilar to Laura Branigan!
The script is the only let down, but you can’t expect miracles, this is still a low budget comedy from the mid 80’s. The finale is pretty impressive involving 80-odd year old Mugsy helping out in the ring, a hostage situation, and a small hovercraft manned by Deezen! By all that's holy this movie should be virtually unwatchable, but it has a great deal of charm and it's pretty funny. Get yourself a copy now!

CAN I BUY IT? It’s quite widely available used on VHS in the USA, but pretty scarce in the UK.

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