‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ – ’92 Cinema Revue

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot – #2 film in the US (Feb. 21 – 23)

All-Time Domestic Gross $28,411,210 | All-Time International Gross: $42,200,000
All-Time Worldwide Gross $70,611,210

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is the most successful punchline to a joke made for only Arnold Schwarzenegger to laugh at as we all suffer.

“The worst film I’ve ever made by far… maybe one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we’ve never seen… a flatworm could write a better script than Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. In some countries – China, I believe – running Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot once a week on government television has lowered the birth rate to zero. If they ran it twice a week, I believe in twenty years China would be extinct.”

– Sylvester Stallone, Ain’t It Cool News, Dec. 6, 2006

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a bad film. The film itself is uninteresting to talk about as it is a massive flop. It’s embarrassing. I turned it off due to how lame it was. It’s a movie that was indeed shot, edited, and put in a theater.

Stop! is about Joe (Sylvester Stallone) as a police officer in Los Angeles. He is stuck with his mother Tutti (Estelle Getty of The Golden Girls) who buys a gun illegally for Joe after cleaning his gun. She gets involved in some of Joe’s cases. She embarrasses him around his love interest Gwen (JoBeth Williams). She’s even packing heat to take out baddies committing insurance fraud. It’s simple and stupid all around. Even at only 87 minutes, it’s a slog to get through.

It’s also been talked about to death in hyperbolic reviews decrying it as the worst film ever made; a disaster. Roger Ebert did not go too overboard yet hit the nail on the head.

“There isn’t a laugh in this movie. Not a single one, and believe me, I was looking. The situation isn’t funny, the characters aren’t funny, and the dialogue’s idea of humor is lots of closeups of sweet little Estelle Getty using naughty words,” Ebert said in his review.

Joe (Sylvester Stallone) is humiliated in a dream sequence wearing a diaper due to the bedwetting stories his mom Tutti (Estelle Getty) told. Source: Universal Pictures

Stallone is at his worst sleepwalking with each step of the way. Getty is making the best of what she has been given. The one who leaves unscathed is the director Roger Spootiswoode who goes on to do Tomorrow Never Dies. No one really cares about this movie anymore and it is firmly stuck in 1992 for a reason. It’s best remembered as a punchline to one hell of a prank committed by one of the biggest stars of the 90s. That person was the albatross of action known as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger did not have a major release in 1992. He was sitting pretty after the blockbuster masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. Yet, his rivalry with Sylvester Stallone was still present. Both of them were massive stars in the 80s setting the tone for the decade. Stallone was the all-American with the Rambo and Rocky series (and to a lesser extent Cobra). Schwarzenegger was the former Mister Olympia from Austria kicking ass in Conan the Barbarian, Predator, and Commando. Both were neck-and-neck in popularity. Yet, Schwarzenegger and Stallone were always in competition with one another. They did not make it subtle either with jabs to Stallone in Twins and jabs to Schwarzenegger in Tango & Cash. Schwarzenegger would have the last laugh.

Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger looking like a million bucks on the Terminator 2 press tour. Source: Us Weekly

Stallone’s career was languishing for a spell in the early 90s with 1990’s Rocky V not garnering favorable reviews from critics or audience. His comedic turn in Oscar was hit-and-miss for most. Stallone set his sights on Stop! Knowing that Schwarzenegger had read the script. He expressed his interest in the feature and Sly came in to read. He got the part straight away much to the chagrin of Schwarzenneger. Except, no, it wasn’t as Schwarzenegger orchestrated it all. What was a big rumor at the time turned out to be true after all. The man himself was asked about it on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Schwarzenegger confirmed the rumor.

“I read the script and it was a piece of shit, let’s be real. I said to myself ‘I’m not going to be in this movie…’ So then they went to Sly and then Sly called me and said ‘Hey, did they ever talk to you about this movie?’ and I said ‘Yes, I was thinking about doing it. This is a really brilliant idea, this movie.’ So when he heard that, because he was in competition, he immediately called them and said ‘Look, whatever it takes, I’d do the movie.’”

– Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Oct. 29th, 2019)

Arnold won hands down in one fell swoop asserting his dominance. The rivalry ended thanks to both investing in Planet Hollywood alongside Willis to bring Hollywood memorabilia and casual dining together at last. The two stop seeing the others as competition, but rather as contemporary. They became Cyclops and Ryu shaking hands at the beginning of X-Men vs Street Fighter. Both Schwarzenegger would have a hit-and-miss 90s and a rough 2000s. Finally, they starred alongside each other in The Expendables. That film series would celebrate the wonders of adrenaline 80s action film’s offered.

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis at a Planet Hollywood opening dressed like everyone’s dad circa 1995. Source: Getty Images

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot only appeases one person in the end to complete a joke. It’s a bore of a film that has a better story behind the scene than what is actually presented. It’s a lame film that would make someone change the channel. It’s bad but never in a fun way. It’s not worth your time. It’s not worth the celluloid it’s printed on. It was not worth writing about. Yet, the dick-measuring contest in the lead-up to the film? That is for the history books.

Revue Rating: 0.5 out of 5

Next week, February comes to a close with the English language debut of Antonio Banderas. The Mambo Kings get us into the rhythm next time.

One thought on “‘Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot’ – ’92 Cinema Revue

  1. Pingback: Heads-Up Reflection: A look back at February, classics coming in March and announcing MATRIX MADNESS | Cinema Revue

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