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The Gosh Darned Mortgage   B+

Siren Tales Productions

Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Director: Pamela Sutch
Writer: Jack Dastardly
Cast: Pamela Sutch, Tina Krause, Debbie D, Stephen McKay, Patrick M. O'Connor, Michael Grieco.

Review by Michael Scrutchin

The micro-budget shot-on-video arena is filled with gory horror flicks and softcore romps with lesbian vampires, so when a film comes along that does something different I tend to take notice. Well, The Gosh Darned Mortgage actually takes its cue from the damsel-in-distress melodramas of the Silent Era, but I'll be damned if it doesn't feel fresh and gosh-darned fun. And, just to let you guys know: Pamela Sutch, Tina Krause, and Debbie D all get naked in this movie. Yes, there's a decent amount of nudity. Now that's something those silent movies didn't have.

Producer-director Pamela Sutch plays our oft-distressed heroine Constance. At the start of the film, our scheming villain, Solomon Snakebite (Stephen McKay), comes to Constance demanding that she pay her mortgage. But she's low on cash and doesn't have the money. Snakebite suggests some solutions to her money problems and even requests that she marry him, but Constance declines, citing that her heart belongs to another. Later that day, however, Constance receives a lofty inheritance and it seems that her money problems may be over. But, of course, once Solomon Snakebite discovers this, he schemes to get the fortune for himself and places Constance in a series of perilous predicaments. This includes being trapped with a bomb, tied up in a sawmill to be sawed in half lest someone comes to her rescue, and, of course, the big finale of being tied to the railroad tracks in the path of a speeding train. Can Rock Manly (Patrick M. O'Connor), the brave and good-hearted Mounty that Constance loves from afar, save her from the dastardly villain Solomon Snakebite?

(Sorry, I just love saying Solomon Snakebite.)

Man, this movie is cute. It's fun. It's just plain zippy and enjoyable all the way through its brisk 65-minute running time. The Gosh Darned Mortgage is directed with such light-hearted, easygoing confidence by Pamela Sutch that it puts most sloppy and amateurish micro-budget productions to shame. Of course, the screenplay by Jack Dastardly should be acknowledged, since it's funny, clever, and peppered with many good bits of dialogue that playfully recall the old-fashioned melodramas of way back when. In short, this flick is great fun.

Pamela Sutch is wonderful as our distressed heroine Constance (and she's darn cute, too), while Patrick M. O'Connor is goofily perfect as the wholesome and clueless hero who also loves Constance from afar, but has no idea of her love for him. There's a great scene with them having a conversation, both wanting to reveal their unrequited love, but too afraid of rejection to say anything. Like I said, this movie is cute, man.

And then there's Tina Krause as Solomon Snakebite's sister, who is sent to seduce Rock Manly as part of their diabolical plan. And who can resist a naked Tina Krause? C'mon, tell me, who? Man, oh, man. Tina Krause has a knack for comedy, as displayed briefly in Matthew Walsh's Bloodletting, and she's really good here, too, as is pretty much all of the cast (including the very funny Debbie D as a bell girl at a hotel).

For fans of micro-budget films craving something other than horror or softcore lesbian action (not that there's anything wrong with those things), it might be a good idea to pick up a copy of The Gosh Darned Mortgage. It's funny, clever, silly, and sweet -- and it even manages to sneak in some naughty bits of nudity from three attractive ladies. Like I said before, that's definitely something those damsel-in-distress melodramas from the 1920s didn't have. If only.

Review published 09.02.2001.

Follow Michael Scrutchin on Twitter or Letterboxd.

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