26 March 2012 | ascheland
Naked Women and a Surprising Number of Drag Queens, but Not Much Else
There is potential for this movie to be, if not good, at least satisfying. All it would take is a complete script. The story, about a scheming cad (Sebastian Gregory, who seldom played anything else) seducing wealthy nightclub owner Jamie (Joann Morgan) for her money but taking a genuine interest in her sexually confused daughter Virginia (Vicky Todd), is built for sexploitation, but, as filmo70's review points out, director and co-writer Robert Vincent O'Neill only spends 20 minutes on it. Filling the gaps are random scenes of sex and nudity that have nothing to do with the movie (e.g., a couple getting busy in a parked car; a three-way in a back bedroom during an overlong party sequence). Even scenes in which Virginia is seduced by her roommate and then raped, minutes later, by a hunky tennis instructor seem to be from a different movie, introduced without any real context.
There also are frequent side trips focusing, surprisingly, on gay male characters: a swishy gay patron at Jamie's club and his tangle with some bikers; a drag queen — Jamie's housekeeper, San Francisco Bill — lip-synching Marilyn Monroe's "Diamond's are a Girl's Best Friend." Still more gay men and drag queens populate a party thrown by Jamie. This makes sense, I suppose, since San Francisco Bill handled the guest list, but it's still kind of odd given this movie is aimed at straight men. But don't worry guys, there is plenty of female flesh on display, and it's displayed early and often. (For the record, there's no male nudity, save an accidental flash of Gregory's rear end). There's also a fair amount of lesbian action, pretty much required in this type of movie, though it's filmed rather chastely, O'Neill cutting away before things get explicit.
Like filmo70, I've enjoyed O'Neill's other movies -- "The Psycho Lover," "Blood Mania," and even "Angel" -- so I guess I had higher expectations. I'll cut O'Neill some slack here as "Like Mother, Like Daughter" is his debut movie and there are some attempts at making it a bit meatier than the typical sleazefest. Though Gregory looks more like an ex-husband than a gigolo, he does acquit the part quite well, and Morgan really tucks into the role of Jamie. There are even some flashes of cleverness in the random sex scenes, like the way O'Neill shoots the "manual stimulation" of the woman in that parked car, explicitly implying the action without showing it. But taken as a whole "Like Mother, Like Daughter" feels more like a vague idea of a movie padded out to feature length with naked women and drag queens. On a positive note, I enjoyed it more than O'Neill's "Avenging Angel."