Mill Creek’s line of retro VHS artwork Blu-ray releases rolls on this March with another four releases in the series. This time, all four of the films interested me enough to watch them so in addition to this review of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, you should see reviews of the other two releases (The Babe and Gorillas in the Mist) appear on Geeky Hobbies in the next few days. As usual, the releases in this line have an ’80s/’90s VHS theme to their slipcovers (now glossy for the first time instead of just being made of cardboard) but offer no other amenities. However, most of the releases in this series (but not all) mark the films’ debuts on high-definition Blu-ray. In this case, both Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain are making their American debut on Blu-ray while the other two had been released on the format previously.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot has a reputation of being one of the worst films ever made. It has a 4.3 rating on IMDB, a 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, was nominated for three Golden Raspberry Awards (for worst actor, worst supporting actress, and worst screenplay), and was apparently part of a prank Arnold Schwarzenegger played on rival Sylvester Stallone to play up his own interest in order to get Stallone to commit to what he already knew was a “terrible” screenplay. If you’ve read a lot of my reviews though, you probably know that I like a lot of B-movies and supposedly terrible films that I don’t think are as bad as everyone makes them out to be. Even if a movie isn’t good from an artistic standpoint, if it’s entertaining enough (or bad enough that it’s good), I can overlook a film’s flaws (or even lovingly mock them) and have fun anyway. I’m the type of film fan who rarely hates a movie, at worst, I usually just find them to be boring or pointless. I know Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is incredibly predictable and far from a great movie, but there’s enough comedy here that it doesn’t deserve the vitriol it received when it was released. The humor is usually pretty obvious and it isn’t quite as consistent as I would have liked, but I surprisingly found myself laughing a decent amount during this supposedly terrible comedy. I don’t think Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is the terrible movie everyone says it is, however, I also wouldn’t say it’s anything better than average either.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a buddy cop comedy film starring Sylvester Stallone as a tough guy police sergeant (Joe Bomowski), who’s mom Tutti (played by Estelle Getty) is in town for awhile. This wouldn’t be a bad thing as Joe seems to love his mom and is maybe even a bit of a mama’s boy. However, Tutti still seems to think of him as her “Little Joey,” treating him like he’s still a child. This quick visit quickly turns into a nightmare for Joe, as Tutti begins to drive him crazy cleaning everything up, making him gigantic breakfasts that could feed an entire NFL team, and worst of all cleaning his gun with soap, water, and bleach making it inoperable. When Tutti tries to make up for her mistake and buy Joe a new gun, she winds up illegally buying one off the street and witnesses a murder. Wanting her Little Joey to solve the crime before his rival can, she withholds evidence and constantly gets herself involved in this investigation. Wacky hijinks ensue as she becomes Joe’s de facto partner in this case.
As I wrote earlier, I laughed on far too many occasions for me to give this an awful rating. This isn’t that bad of a comedy, just an inconsistent and very predictable one. You can guess the joke on almost every occasion in this film, but some of them are still funny anyway. This is the type of film that will even name drop itself for a joke (as the title is said by Stallone towards the end of the movie). Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is about as by the numbers as it gets. You’ve got the tough cop who’s a bit of a mama’s boy being constantly embarrassed by his mother telling stories of his childhood. Then there’s the naive mom who gets him into trouble and messes up his life. Basically, Estelle Getty annoys Sylvester Stallone for an hour and a half (and you can kind of tell Stallone already knew this was a “turkey” of a film even while shooting it). It’s a dumb comedy but also one that will occasionally make you laugh anyway. There were a lot of these silly, pretty stupid comedies back in the ’90s but I grew up with them and have a bit of a love for them.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is an okay film that’s gotten more of a bad rap than it deserves in my opinion. Despite occasionally looking like he’s having a miserable time, Stallone is still fine and Getty is trying her absolute best (the two are actually pretty believable as mother and son). The comedy could have been better, the case is kind of boring (it’s basically insurance fraud with guns), and the action is a bit lacking outside of one halfway decent set piece at the end, but I still somewhat enjoyed the film. It’s stupid but reasonably entertaining nonetheless. I’m not sure I’d ever watch it again but it was worth my 87 minutes. 3/5 (but just barely)
Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain
I’m a big believer in the nostalgia factor when it comes to kid’s movies like Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain. I know there are a lot of viewers who are incredibly nostalgic for this movie but I’m also pretty sure this is the type of film you need to see as a child to truly love it. I have my own guilty pleasure kid’s movies I enjoyed when I was young like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slam Dunk Ernest, Little Giants, and many other not so great films that I have nostalgic blinders for. It’s almost a requirement to watch these kid’s/teen movies when you’re younger to think of them as anything better than average. With that in mind, not only did I never see this movie as a kid (despite being around the right age for it), I had never even heard of it until a few years ago. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised by Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain even if I was a bit disappointed with the relative lack of actual treasure hunting. I think I would have liked it even more if I watched it as a kid but the movie is still a slightly above average film anyway.
With a title like Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, you would think this would be a treasure hunting film (I sure thought so at least). There’s still a treasure hunting component, but this is more of a kid’s/teen adventure film than anything else. Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (I would abbreviate this to Gold Diggers but that would sound like a whole different kind of film) is about two very different teenage girls in a small Oregon town. Christina Ricci is Beth Easton, a former city-slicker from Los Angeles who is new to the town. She befriends the town’s troubled tomboy (and budding adventurer) Jody (Anna Chlumsky) who is obsessed with a local legend about long-lost gold that can be found in Bear Mountain. While Beth is unconvinced that the treasure actually exists, she does tag along on the adventure with Jody. The two become fast friends but obstacles come up in their hunt for the gold. While I was attracted to the treasure hunting aspect, this is honestly more of an adventure film about the power of friendship than anything else.
One thing I need to give Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain some major props for is trying something new for a “girls” film (I’m not even sure if I would even consider this to just be a girls film in the first place, I found it to be quite good even as a grown man). While I obviously don’t watch a lot of “girls” movies, they are usually about princesses, boys/dating, or other “girly” things. While it’s still about the “power of friendship” (like many other titles in this genre), it just feels a lot different from your typical film in this genre. This is probably mostly due to utilizing the adventure genre and letting the two girls explore and do things usually reserved for boys. I love it and I’m sure a lot of the people who fell in love with this film as a kid have this as one of their reasons.
My only two real negatives are the relative lack of treasure hunting and humor in the film. Otherwise, this is a pretty fun movie even for a guy who is just now watching it well after their childhood had expired. It’s quick, fun, the acting is quite good especially for child actors, and I particularly enjoyed Jody as a character. Also, how is the music in this budget kid’s movie so darn good? The opening song (The Flying Song by Colin Hay) is great and the score is surprisingly epic for a film like this, reminding me more of a big-budget blockbuster title. While Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain is not a masterpiece, I do think it is worthy of a 3.5/5. I just wish there was a bit more comedy and treasure hunting.
Video Quality and Conclusion
Both Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain are receiving their first Blu-ray releases via Mill Creek’s Retro VHS art line (the latter wasn’t even available on DVD until 2017 and now has been upgraded even further). As you likely know though, Mill Creek caters more towards budget releases meaning that they don’t spend a lot of time on upgrading the transfers or making them look crystal clear. Like usual, these two films are mediocre-looking on Blu-ray but maybe slightly better than some of the recent releases (like their January titles for example). They are both pretty similar from a video quality standpoint, usually looking solid throughout but with some occasional moderate flaws. I didn’t own Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot at all and my previous copy of Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain was a VHS tape (which I never got around to watching), so I can’t really compare these to their DVD copies. I would guess that both are moderate upgrades at best. No bonus features are included on either title.
Ultimately, if you are interested in the concepts of these two films, I think they are both worth a watch. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a reasonably fun (but pretty stupid) comedy that I would say is slightly better than it’s reputation. Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain wasn’t really the treasure hunting movie I was expecting, but it surprised me anyway. While neither Blu-ray looks amazing, they both likely make for solid upgrades over their past releases.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain were released on Blu-ray on March 9, 2021.
We would like to thank Mill Creek Entertainment for the review copies of Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain used for this review. Other than receiving the review copy we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation. Receiving the review copy had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.