Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fancy Aprons - Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1980)

I do adore The Stepford Wives. But this ain't 1975 anymore. Nor is it a film. It's the made for TV sequel The Revenge of the Stepford Wives, starring Don Johnson. Need I say more? I stumbled on this gem while I was tracking down a couple hard to find DVDs at Eyesore Cinema and the gleaming pink cover featuring Johnson's pursed lips was calling my name. The owner of Eyesore mentioned that there were Dutch subtitles on the film. Sale made.

We pick up a few years after the events of the original film. The Men's Association is still fighting female individualism. But instead of having their wives killed by robot versions of themselves, they hypnotize them using Lite Brights, noises and pills that have to be taken when an alarm sounds throughout the town. This time around it's television producer Kay (Sharon Gless) visiting Stepford with an eye to produce a segment on how Stepford has the lowest divorce and crime rate in the country. Her arrival in the town immediately draws the attention of the Men's Association. Kay befriends the newly arrived Megan (Julie Kavner, Marge on The Simpsons) and Andy (Don "Trout Mouth" Johnson). Megan is still herself, meaning she's messy and doesn't care about her appearance. Andy is being groomed to join the Stepford community which of course means a significant other overhaul.

Kay then spends the rest of the movie doing the worst investigative journalism EVER. What are those sirens? You say all the women take pills for their thyroid problem, has anyone looked into that? Why do "accidents" keep happening to me? But noooooooooooooooooo. Kay wanders around the town, not so much doing anything related to journalism but living her life in a super creepy weird town that doesn't sell pants to women.

Kay actually seems to start, y'know, breaking into people's houses and listening in on conversations when Megan starts acting funny and gets addicted to daytime pinafores. From there it's a race against time (ish) to figure out if she can reverse the procedure and bring Stepford down. For all the promise this set up mercifully silly and it's actually a real pleasure to see Don Johnson's original face. If you thought the original lacked subtlety, you need to rent Revenge stat.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished watching the aforementioned Dutch subtitled version on Youtube. You are right about the lack of subtlety...

    "Barbara, come to me! Now!" calling an unruly pet, and that damn siren! So annoying.

    At least the end was properly violent.