Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Review of Rifftrax's "Ruby": Carrie On, My Exorcist/Psycho/Tennessee Williams Puree
This tweet from Rifftrax says it all about the latest VOD title:
It's been days and we're still not sure
What IS Ruby?
Well, it was Piper Laurie's first movie after getting an Oscar nomination as Carrie's crazy religious mom. Judging by this character, it's hard to say who's more nuts: Margaret White, the mom who was driven insane by the shame of illicit sex that she enjoyed and convinced the product of that sin is her telekinetic daughter, or Ruby, a woman who lives in a former roadhouse in a swamp next to a drive-in that shows a movie that was made seven years after the movie is set. Then again, Ruby also feels guilty that maybe it's partially her fault the father of her mute crazy daughter got gunned down by the mob--who now works at her drive-in.
Rifftrax has several bad horror movies in its library, like The Last Slumber Party, Fever Lake, Sisters of Death, Terror at Tenkiller, Ghosthouse and Troll 2. However, none can compare with Ruby, made by a guy who decided to take chunks of Carrie, The Exorcist, maybe a dash of Sunset Boulevard and every Tennessee Williams play, put it in a movie blender and push "puree".
Ruby Claire was a singer who was in love with a gangster named Nicky and got pregnant by him. In 1935, they were about to have a rendezvous at a Florida swamp when several mobsters decided to shoot him down. She then went into labor, and gave birth to a daughter named Leslie
Sixteen years later, Ruby runs a drive-in next to the swamp, and the mobsters are her employees. No explanation why, of course. She drinks a lot and walks around in slinky clothes. Actually, she looks better than Mrs. White in Carrie. For some reason, the drive-in is showing Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (which should be an MST target someday since the title character is played by Alison Hayes, the evil bar owner in past MST target Gunslinger), which was made seven years after the movie is set. If the movie decided it was set in 1958, it would have looked a little better.
While people watch a movie from the future, the staff gets killed in pretty strange ways, One is found dead in a vending machine, while another is impaled on the drive-in screen. Ruby, meanwhile, is convinced Nicky has come back from the grave for revenge. He even possesses his mute daughter Leslie and literally speaks through her at one point. Thing is, when he does that, he tries to come on to Ruby. Yep, dead Nicky is in Leslie's body trying to seduce Ruby. He didn't think this one out.
Still, he knows how to make his presence known, driving in his ghost car with bullet wounds on his face, or trying to talk to Ruby through the drive-in speakers.
There's a doctor of parapsychology played by Roger Davis who tries to exorcise Leslie, but only succeeds in seeing how flexible she is. Also, for some reason, the movie poster emphasizes Leslie over the title character...
In the end, Ruby decides to walk into the swamp to be reunited in death with Nicky, and looking damn good in a slinky red dress. Too bad the director decided at the last second to have Nicky's skeleton kill Ruby.
And you thought what happened to Zindy the Swamp Boy made less sense.
It's a miracle Piper Laurie washed this "movie" out of her hair and the rest of her body. She would go on to success in TV and movies (including an Emmy and a third Oscar nomination), but it's safe to say she'd rather not talk about making Ruby, unless she finds her way to a Comic-Con or two.
Enough of this, though. The important thing is that the Rifftrax crew gets in some really good riffs.
The start of the credits
Can we skip to the ending where Jason Voorhees jumps out of that water?
The projectionist notices something is wrong
Did I forget to pay the evil bill last month?
Ruby recalling the old days when she could sing and dance
This is if the Three Stooges made Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Ruby looks at her mute daughter Leslie, and wonders what she's thinking.
Are you thinking you look like Truman Capote in a wig and a nightgown?
There's also riffs on Back to the Future, Kenny Rogers, Zooey Deschanel, Swamp of the Ravens and Game of Thrones.
If you dare, you can find Ruby here, and other titles at rifftrax.com.