Head of the Family (1996)

Welcome to B-Movie Enema! And welcome to another new theme month. However, what’s old is new again because this theme month is the third time I’ve come down with a case of FULL MOON FEVER! Oh yeah! In February 2017, I did my first ever Full Moon Fever and covered a quartet of classic flicks from Charles Band, the creator of both Empire Pictures in the mid 80s and then closed out the 80s with Full Moon Productions.

Full Moon came along during the boom of the video stores. They partnered up with Paramount Pictures to help stock the shelves of your local Blockbuster (or, my preference, the ma and pop video stores in strip malls or crammed into some dilapidated building somewhere dark and dangerous). However, by the mid 90s, that started to fade and Full Moon was producing stuff on their own, and those productions were shaky at best.

But Full Moon had another angle to their movies. Sure, they’d release some sci-fi and horror flicks – which were their most popular releases – yet they also had a soft core porn side to their business. That helped fill my second Full Moon Fever theme month in January 2021, Torchlight Diaries. For this third trip into the moonlight, I’m going to kind of do a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B and bridge the horror and sci-fi side with their more erotic type stuff through one spectacularly pretty actress that worked in many Full Moon films – Jacqueline Lovell.

Welcome to Full Moon Fever III – For the Love of Jacqueline Lovell and we start right here with 1996’s Head of the Family!

Jacqueline Lovell was born in 1974. By her early 20s, Lovell had carved out two careers for herself running side by side. Now, you see, Jacqueline Lovell is extremely pretty. She is kind of the quintessential Southern California beauty. She has a kind of girl next door look with her blonde hair and blue eyes, but she also had a quite sensual side to her too. So she could roll that not only into an acting career but also into a modeling career.

And when I say she had a modeling career, it should be read as she posed in magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. She ended up appearing in over 150 magazines in the 90s. When she appeared in magazines, or in videos for those magazines, she would go by the name Sara St. James. While she was doing that, she would appear in much less mature stuff under her stage name we know her best as, Jacqueline Lovell, and even appeared in some teen sitcoms like California Dreams and was an extra in Forrest Gump. So she could kind of have both an acting career and a more pornographic career. We’ve seen her before on this blog. During Full Moon Fever II: Torchlight Diaries, I covered Femalien. In that, she was the very friendly and super cute diner waitress, Sun, who shows her boobs in the back room to our TITular Femalien, Venesa Talor, and eventually ends up in a weird sex massage place with her where they watch a meditation fuck session together. Quite memorable and quite cute.

Lovell wasn’t just a ditz who played bimbos and such because she was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed nude model. She was a little bit known for being a brain too. She wrote for the magazine Femme Fatales (which I remember seeing at comic book stores in the late 90s all the time on the shelf next to Cinefantastique). Eventually, she became a publisher for a little while for a magazine called Babe.

So, yeah, because I’m a weirdo and I find Jacqueline Lovell so easy on my eyeballs, I’m dedicating a full month to some of her Full Moon movies. We’re getting ready to kick it off with a fun little horror comedy Head of the Family, but we’re going to cover a couple of the mature titles from her tenure at Full Moon like Lolida 2000 and The Killer Eye before wrapping things up with another monster comedy Hideous! Should be a pretty fun time, so let’s get it going!

Right out of the gate, you gotta love a monster movie that has a goofball score to open the movie. That’s what you hear as the credits play over a static shot of the house of the Stackpool family. This is a family of quadruplets who are kind of weird. Three of the siblings seemingly walk around like aliens or hypnotized drones or something. Wheeler is a skinny dude who wears sunglasses as if he’s blind. Ernestina is a big-boobed blonde. Then there’s the beefier brute of the bunch, Otis. Otis is played by Bob Schott who we’ve seen on this blog before in Russ Meyer’s Up! as well as playing the abominable Thorgg in a classic that we’ve yet to cover on this site, Gymkata.

So the movie mostly takes place in a relatively small town that seemingly has the look of a Southern California town but with a bunch of people with southern accents. But, because this is a relatively small town, there is no shortage of whispers and talk and drama between the folks. First of all, everyone stops and stares when the Stackpools come into the diner and general store to pick up groceries. There are also deals going on in this place too. We meet Howard, who is a long-haired Harley kind of guy if you catch my drift. He’s a thug and kind of acts like he’s hot shit with business deals and muscle to back up his mouth. Despite being married to Loretta, our star for this month, Lovell, he’s not above hitting on Ernestina when he sees her come in with her brothers to get those groceries. However, the guy who runs the local diner/grocery store (I think that’s what this place is, but I dunno), Lance, is quite sympathetic for Loretta based on how Howard talks to her. He belittles her eating ice cream and says it’s making her fat (it absolutely is NOT) and he says that Ernestina is “about as fuckable a piece of ass this side of a magazine.”

Does he not see Loretta? Does he not? Is this not good enough for him?

I rest my case.

Anyway, at least Lance knows what’s good because as soon as Loretta excuses herself to go to the bathroom at the diner, Lance follows her to the stockroom to fuck her. They have a whole thing where she wants to be called Scarlet. Lance wants her to talk about how big his dick is compared to Howard and so on. We find out that the only reason why she married Howard was for the Harley he rides.

Later, Loretta is asked to fetch Lance by Howard so they can have a little chat. Loretta doesn’t think he’s pissed at Lance for… you know… But she isn’t for sure. When Lance goes over to Howard’s table to talk to him, Howard’s putting together a gun. Lance nearly blows the secret about the affair, but what Howard wants is to enter into a partnership at the diner. Lance isn’t so sure about this because Howard is really not a business man… As Loretta puts it, he’s a shakedown artist. He doesn’t really give Lance a chance to say no. He just takes half of Lance’s business for himself.

When Lance’s loyal waitress, Suzie, says that he better watch his ass because Howard is going to eventually find out about he and Loretta plowing each other’s oats, Lance says he can’t let her go. As he puts it, being with her is like fuckin’ a firecracker. And… we get visual proof pretty much right away.

Now… You might be curious what the hell all this has to do with the weirdo trio that goes around town and the big headed fella that you mostly recognize for the movie appropriately called Head of the Family. Well, this movie is building a little bit of character and intrigue. Lance and Loretta are star-crossed lovers. Loretta is married to Howard. Howard is a bit of a loose cannon. If Lance isn’t careful, Howard will eventually discover they are fucking. The night we see them fucking in the back of Lance’s car also reveals two things: First, the Stackpools, and in particular, Wheeler and Otis, setting a trap by way of a fake detour on the road to force drivers onto a different path where Otis beats the crap out of them and he and Wheeler take the body into the house while Ernestina gets rid of the vehicle. Second, Loretta wants to bump her husband off so they can live happily ever after.

At this point, the seemingly disparate ideas of the movie, come together as Lance gets a bright idea…

Before we get there, we see the driver of a truck waking up after being knocked out by Otis earlier when he was sent down the detour. He’s horrified by something with a quite smooth and silky tenor voice telling him to be calm and that he’s done “this” many times before. He’s then gassed and we hear a drill and some gooey sound effects. The camera pans away and we see a dungeon full of people who’ve had their heads all operated on.

After being gone for a couple days, Lance shows back up at the diner much to Suzie’s relief. He said he was out of town handling some business and that everything is gonna be peachy keen from here on out. He’s especially happy to see the Stackpools coming in for another grocery run… er, walk. Anyway, Lance decides to approach the trio to tell them that he knows what they did with that guy the other night with the detour they set up. He attempts to blackmail them by saying he’s going to the police unless they can work out a deal. Otis has a counter offer for him.

They do eventually let him go, but, later that night, Otis collects Lance and brings him to the Stackpool house. There’s he’s introduced to the real brain of the Stackpool quadruplets, Myron. So here’s the deal with the Stackpools. Myron has psychic control over them. He’s exceptionally intelligent, but he’s physically unable to leave his wheelchair, nor would it be a very good idea for him to be outside in the world. Otis is incredibly strong. Ernestina is incredibly attractive. Wheeler wears those sunglasses because he has big, bulging eyeballs and has heightened senses. So basically, they are the individual perfect human being split into four people.

A couple of quick notes here. Ernestina is played by Alexandria Quinn. She was a porn actress at the end of the 80s and early 90s. By the time November 1991 rolled around, she had already made 100 porn films. Considering that she was born in 1973, you’d think that would be quite impressive that she made that many after turning 18 and before she turned 19, but uh oh spaghettios… She lied about her birth year when she entered the industry. She actually started making films at the age of 16. By the time the truth was revealed she was kicked out of the porn industry for a few years before making a comeback after appearing in this movie. Her name is usually linked to that of Traci Lords’ whenever the topic of underage porn actresses are brought up or discussed.

On the other hand, there’s Myron Stackpool. Just look at this guy…

This movie is actually brilliantly shot and staged. There are a couple special effects at play here. There is a headpiece that actor J.W. Perra is wearing, along with makeup, but the rest of it is just clever blocking. He’s inside a contraption that only shows his head with someone else behind him acting as his hands. Beyond that, he is simply positioned closer to the camera than the other actor in the above shot, James Jones. Every actor who appeared on frame with Myron had to be exact with where they looked to make the effect work and there is not one place in this movie where someone doesn’t look like they are on the same plane of positioning than Myron is. It’s fantastic. This is one of the purest and best examples I could ever give in defense of how pretty good Charles Band is as a director and figuring out some of the limitations of budget or effects. Kudos.

Lance and Myron talk about the threat of going to the police. However, Lance makes his appeal… Suppose Lance writes everything he saw down and hand it to a lawyer and, if he didn’t hear from Lance every couple days or so, turn that letter over to the Attorney General. He thinks this will keep Myron under his thumb. He then finds out that Myron does experiments. He looks for a normal human body to inhabit. He wants to have his brain (or intelligence) put into the body of one of these missing people. He basically tricks yokels with the detours and then grabs them and experiments on them, ya dig? Lance doesn’t really care about what Myron’s doing. He just wants Myron and the rest of the Stackpools to do their thing for him to get rid of Howard. If not, he’s going to spill the beans. Myron is left with a decision to make.

The next day, we see Lance and Loretta doing their normal thing in the stockroom and Lance gives her the plan. Howard’s going out of town – at least that’s what people will hear. She needs to set herself up with an airtight alibi. She needs to make sure people see her around town (trust me, if she was in my town, I’d certainly know it when and where she was going all the time – she’s someone you don’t misplace). While she does that, Lance is gonna set up the whole situation. So, yeah, Howard is riding his Harley down the road and sees Ernestina on the side of the road. He stops to talk her up, and Otis grabs him. Myron calls and says the deal is done. When Loretta finds out that Howard’s gone. She’s happy. And when Jacqueline Lovell is happy, we’re happy.

Well, Lance fucks it up… He’s not happy with just getting rid of Howard. He tells Loretta that the Stackpools are loaded. They have a ton of just about everything. He plans on ripping them off.

So he continues to play two things that will only serve to frustrate Loretta and Myron Stackpool. He tells Loretta that she needs to steer clear of him for a bit until it’s known that Howard is missing and presumed dead. He then tells Myron that he will not be handing over any letter with the evidence. The way Lance sees it, the minute he hands over letter, they will kill him deader than shit. So he plans to milk the Stackpools for $2000 a week. He gets his first payment and leaves. Incensed, Myron has Wheeler follow Lance so they can be ready to catch him when he makes a mistake.

A week or so passes and things are going the way Lance and Loretta planned. It’s about time for Loretta and Lance to get back to their sexual escapades. However, with Wheeler following them, Myron can hear everything going on between them. He now knows a way to get back at Lance. On top of that, he learns who Lance’s lawyer is, and the password he gives him to make sure he isn’t to release the letter to the Attorney General. So Wheeler and Otis go to North Carolina and force the lawyer to give them the letter. Otis punches out the lawyer’s secretary and then kills the lawyer before going back home.

What makes for some great comedy in this movie isn’t seeing Bob Schott punching out a middle-aged secretary, but it’s how Lance and Loretta communicate throughout this movie. Every scene in which they have something to say that is important, it is during sex or just before they have sex. I mean… I get it. Jacqueline Lovell is some kinda lady, but this is a couple that seem to only have serious contemplations over things during a peculiar circumstance. It’s like how I make all my most important decisions while droppin’ deuces in the bathroom.

They’ve talked about how they really like each other. He mentions how being with her is like fucking a firecracker then smash cut to them fucking – and just after, they talked about bumping Howard off. They’ve talked about how he got rid of Howard. They talked about how he’s got money flowing in from the Stackpools. Now they get engaged. All these things happened while he’s balls deep into the prettiest girl in any Full Moon movie bar none. This is a fun movie.

After finishing the deed, Lance gets a call from Myron telling him he’s getting a delivery and he’s to be alone. He gets a visit from Ernestina who comes in with Lance’s $2000 and shows him her giant tits. While she fucks him, Otis knocks him out. Then, Otis goes to Loretta’s place and kidnaps her, but not before admiring her beauty.

That’s a recent development… When Otis and Wheeler were at the train station to go to North Carolina to deal with Lance’s lawyer, he saw a young lady with her boyfriend and commented on her being a “pretty girl” before going to the train platform with his brother. When he sees Loretta, he struggles against Myron’s orders to snatch her because he doesn’t want to hurt a pretty girl. That’s going to be of use in our climax.

Alright, so Lance and Loretta have been captured by the Stackpools. Myron tells Lance that he had Wheeler follow him and get everything he needed to know about him and his little honey pot of a girlfriend and the lawyer shenanigans. He plans on taking his time with Lance to exact a certain measure of revenge. At least he won’t have to go about it alone because Loretta will be there to share in the pain.

Lance tries to bluff his way out of this scenario by telling Myron that there is a second lawyer that he’s sent info to and made calls and such. Myron wants to torture the information out of Lance. If he doesn’t tell him what he wants to know, Loretta will get hurt real bad. Lance actually holds his ground. So he has Loretta taken to be prepared for tonight’s “performance” that’s about to begin.

Loretta then tries seducing Myron. She tells him she’s always been into intellectual types. Sure, she scared him when she saw him for the first time, but a real man will always scare a woman. She drops her top to try to help him see what he could be passing up if he’s not into her. All the while Lance tries to tell Loretta that it’s gross what she’s doing only to have her tell him to shut up. Myron sticks his incredibly long tongue out and extends it to Loretta’s boob and gives it one good lick.

Alas, Myron is just too busy with his evil experiments and what not to enter into a sexy sexy relationship with Loretta. So, she’s off to be part of tonight’s performance for Myron.

Myron likes a particular play that depicts the burning at the stake of Joan of Arc. Myron’s original Joan has recently lost her ability to speak coherently. That means that Loretta’s gotta step into the role. Lance still won’t give a second lawyer’s name, so out come the performers. Each one is wearing a shock collar. If they screw up a line, they get shocked. If they don’t play by Myron’s expectations, as Loretta does at first, they get shocked.

This isn’t just a play, though. This WILL end with Joan of Arc being burned as a witch. Lance starts to get the idea that this is how things are gonna play out when she’s roughly tied to the stake that’s got quite a bit of kindling around it. Now, stripped naked and tied to this post, Loretta makes another plea for Lance to give up the name of the second lawyer. Lance says if he does that, there’s no more bargaining chip and they will be killed anyway. He then gives her the pep talk of, “Just hang in there!”

During the scene, Loretta says something about how she will perish in the flame and that makes her realize that, yeah, Myron’s not fucking around. One of the patients lights up a torch and sets the stage aflame. Now, remember when I said that Otis doesn’t like the idea of a pretty girl getting hurt? That comes in real handy right now. He saves Loretta and takes her to safety in the dungeon while an enraged Myron follows and Lance fights with Wheeler. In the dungeon, Loretta sees the still living, but a little worse for wear, Howard.

Otis tells Loretta that she isn’t going to burn… the house is going to burn. Upstairs, Lance finds Myron and launches him out of his chair and down the stairs where it appears that Myron is dead. Lance finds Howard too and Howard asks what’s going on. Lance says he’s gotta go and Howard’s okay with that – mostly because his brain ain’t so good no more and he’s missing an eye. Ernestina then tries to lure Lance into the dungeon where he’s jumped by Wheeler and stabbed to death. Otis takes Loretta outside where she realizes that she’s about to inherit all of the Stackpool fortune. Loretta likes the idea of being in charge of the money since Otis is a complete moron. They go to the Justice of the Peace and get hitched just a short time later.

Loretta believes this is her happy ending, and Otis? Well, I guess he agrees with a hearty laugh that might just suggest that Myron is still alive and controlling him.

This is quite the fun little horror comedy. Yeah, it’s in the late night Showtime or HBO level. And, sure, it’s got boobs and sex scenes on the level of a Skinamax feature, but it’s a little bit more than all of that. It’s just a fun little monster romp that isn’t taking itself very seriously at all and having fun knowing EXACTLY what it is. The stand out is most definitely Jacqueline Lovell who seems to be having a blast playing this Floridian girl with a sort of country bumpkin kind of accent. She’s been known to say that she always liked doing the love scenes in movies because, at her true nature, she is an exhibitionist.

Thank the lord for people like her.

But yeah, she’s deeply watchable. I came to the realization that I needed this theme month with this movie was featured on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs in June of 2022. Whenever she was on screen, I was rapt in interest and watching everything she was doing and hanging on every word. So, yeah… Want a reason for me doing this? Blame Joe Bob.

But the best thing? We still have three more movies to feature the lovely Ms. Lovell. For the next two weeks, we’re going to get a little more into the erotic starting with 1998’s Lolida 2000. That sounds like it might be kinda hot. The back of the box read like it’s gonna be kinda hot. I bet it’s kinda hot. Join me for that in seven short days and we’ll dig deep into that. Until then, I guess I better just HEAD on out of here!

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