STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT
zero asterisks (1992, 87 minutes, Rated PG-13)
a.k.a. Throw Momma From The Police Investigation
This is supposed to be a comedy.
I had to remind myself of that throughout Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’s endless 87-minute runtime.
This is supposed to be a comedy. It had the trappings of a comedy: animated title sequence that’s
reminiscent of The Pink Panther, car chases accompanied by the Horns of ‘70s Hilarity, that kind
of thing. And yet, I never laughed. Not even a smirk or a snicker.
The premise had potential: Supercop has to deal with overbearing mother. That could have
worked, but the overbearing mother type can be tricky. Play her as too overbearing, and she’s a
monster (which is fine if you’re making Throw Momma From the Train). Play her as too human, and
then the son looks like a turd.
Play it down the middle? Then everyone looks like a jerk.
Exhibit A: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.
Sylvester Stallone stars as the world most unconvincing
undercover cop. He may be good at supercopping the crap
out of baddies, but he’s pretty terrible at everything else.
Case in point: He’s in a not-so-secret relationship with his
lieutenant, played by the mom from Poltergeist. This
immediately struck me as a very poor managerial decision
-- a human resources fiasco at best, a public relations
nightmare with long-reaching legal consequences at
Sly gets called into Lt. Poltergeist’s office, where she starts
chewing him out for not calling her after his night of
supercopping. She demands to know who he did call, and
here comes the mealy-mouthed reveal: Sly called his
Mommy is played by Estelle Getty of “The Golden Girls”
fame. Getty played the breakout character of that show,
Sophia, and she‘s more or less the same character here.
Every now and then, Nolahn will take a break from
reviewing crappy films no one has ever heard of to review
spectacularly bad films that everyone has heard of. Brace
yourself for another installment of...
CRAP OF THE TITANS!
I’m about to head off for my 20th Class Reunion. I admit, it has me
feeling nostalgic and old (not necessarily in that order), but I am
looking forward to going. I’m one of those odd ducks who, for all the
drama, actually liked high school and hope to find my old classmates -- people I spent the first
18 years of my life with -- happy and healthy.
In honor of the occasion, I’m putting in a special Class of ‘92 entry into THE GAUNTLET II.
Because, boy howdy, 1992 had its fare share of stinkers.
Class of '92
|Obviously, you'd be better off
watching this movie than Stop!
Or My Mom Will Shoot.
The showrunners of “The Golden Girls” wisely used Sophia sparingly, which is why she’s still
remembered fondly. But 87 minutes of Sophia-like inhumanity? Not so much.
|If you've ever wondered what would come up if
you Googled "Estelle Getty hot," here it is.
When we first meet Mom, she’s told an
entire plane full of people countless
embarrassing stories about her “Little
[Sly].” “You’ll always be my Little [Sly],”
Mom says early on, and I naively thought
that was the crux of the movie. Sure, the
movie would have veered into rom-com
territory where a single conversation
would bring the story to a quick
conclusion, but when that conversation
did happen, at least it would have
resembled character growth. Not so much
In fact, Mom barely resembles a human being. She vacuums Sly’s apartment at 3:15 in the
morning. She barges into his shower to tell him that breakfast is ready. She washes his service
revolver and then wakes him up by pointing it at him, because she thinks that’s funny. She tries to
buy Sly a new gun but gets all huffy over the waiting period (ha ha, gun control?) and buys a black
market uzi instead. And after witnessing a crime during said illegal transaction, she actively
stonewalls the investigation.
She does all this without a shred of awareness that maybe, just maybe, her actions are
inappropriate. And through it all, we’re supposed to think she’s lovably incorrigible?
Not that Sly’s character is any better. He’s incapable of clearly explaining to Mom that she’s
crossing numerous boundaries, instead fixating on such things as “Stop telling me that breakfast
is the most important meal of the day!” He then, for reasons I still can’t work out, thinks it’s a good
idea to bring his mother along on an official police investigation. And yes, Sly does shout out the
title of the film during a shoot-out. What kind of cop brings his mother to a shoot-out? Why does
this guy still have a badge?
|I can't imagine this scenario is covered in the
Ayeah, he’s schtupping his boss.
So we’ve met an unlikeable cop, his
unlikeable mom and his unlikable
girlfriend/boss. Spoiler alert: None of
them change at the end of the story. Sly
has been cowed into getting engaged
to Lt. Poltergeist, who is still his boss,
and Mom is still meddling and treating
Sly like a child. I wish I could say that at
least the villain was interesting, but
he's so unmemorable he’s barely a
blip in the film.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is not funny, or exciting, or tied to reality in ways that allow you to
identify with… well, pretty much anyone on screen. Consider this a bullet I’ve taken for you.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was reviewed as part of THE GAUNTLET II. For a
second opinion on this film check out this writeup at