Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)

From what I gather, many people told Stallone not to do this film. Those people either weren’t persuasive enough or Stallone is as bull-headed as we imagine him to be. Either way he made the right choice and the world was blessed with this wonderful/awful creation. Join us for a look at one of Sly‘s best films !

Plot

If you’re not aware of the premise, let me outline this gem for you – Sly is hard ass cop Joe, a detective in the LAPD and his mother Tutti is played by Estelle Getty (Golden Girls). That’s all you need to know. Somewhere in there is a plot but it becomes an afterthought once the mother/son dynamic is set up.

Tutti is coming to the LA to visit from New Jersey along with her tiny rat-dog Pixie, when she witnesses a gangland murder. This development enables her to get caught up in Joe’s settled but non commital lifestyle.

Cast And Characters

Getty works the character like a puppet and effortlessly at that. Estelle Getty absolutely owns each scene she’s in without breaking a sweat. She gets to stretch her legs for this one, compared to her expertly quippy one liners in the Golden Girls, she is able to nuance the delivery a bit more than she is known for.

Her character can be typified as overbearing and cringe-inducingly embarrassing, but a proud and loving mother which shines through the calamitous exchanges.

Apparently when Getty found out that the film would not feature the use of guns, she signed up (on that agreement). This, of course was a lie perpetrated by the producers to get her to sign on.

Sly doesn’t do much to work the character of Joe but then that’s not a fair criticism of the actor. Joe is either in the position of badass cop or shrugging and complaining son. These concepts work and are needed to tell the story, so in that aspect the delivery is spot on.

Joe has commitment issues which is addressed early in the film and combined with his stubborness sets the character up as a “relationship-fixer-upper”. The audience gets to see the duality of a tough guy but also a vulnerable one.

………….And there’s guns and stuff.

Production

It could even be said that Sly was tricked into doing Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot. According to Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger purposely started a rumor that he wanted the movie himself. Sly admitted in a conversation with journalist Sandro Monetti at Manchester Arena that he had heard the rumour and took the film on so Arnie couldn’t have it.

Ivan Reitman was attached as producer which adds up – the film has a fun, light hearted feel about it. Knowing his work, you’ll know what to expect.

The soundtrack dances playfully through the scenes with enough smooth Lethal Weapon saxophone jazz to make even Mel Gibson blush.

Reception

Despite receiving such terrible reviews upon release the film earned $70.6 Million worldwide.

Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot was nominated for Worst Picture at the Hastings Bad Cinema Society’s 15th Stinkers Bad Movie Awards in 1992.

On Siskel & Ebert At The Movies, Roger Ebert said “This is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. It has no funny moments. It has no interesting moments.”

Conclusion

Stallone plays the classic movie cop character, shooting first and asking questions later – complete with blowing smoke from the barrel and going for beers after a successful nights copping. Something we don’t see too much of in cinema these days.

Estelle Getty cleaning a gun in the sink and singing still remains a fantastic scene to this day. Instantly recognizable and makes for an accurate distillation of the character she plays.

Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot looks like it was an absolute hoot to film with both actors leaving a hefty image on the screen. It’s worth watching if only to see the film build to the eloquent delivery of the line “Stop, or my mom will shoot!”

I’m not sure why Sly considers it his worst film – for many of us it’s just a fun-filled outing between 2 bohemoths of tv and film.

“Go ahead! Make your bed.”

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