Friday, March 19, 2010

Twin Sitters (John Paragon, 1994)

They may engage in dinning rituals of a fundamentalist Christian nature, openly advocate torture, and behave like total gentlemen when on a date with the same woman, but don't you dare call The Barbarian Brothers "conservative." An overly stimulated glutæus maximus crushing the spirit of human dignity, Twin Sitters (a.k.a. The Babysitters) represents a new high in the made-up pantheon of babysitting comedies that feature musclebound twins who can hit a tennis ball with a cannon-like ferocity and make killer lasagne. Repeatedly subverting the existential Zeitgeist with their seemingly brainless antics, Peter and David Paul, with some much needed guidance from writer-director John Paragon (Jambi the Genie from Pee-wee's Playhouse), have created a heart-eviscerating poem cleverly masquerading as a crudely worded suicide note. Which is kinda inappropriate, because not once did the thought of taking my own life trickle through my diseased mind as I watched this non-travesty unfold before my very stunned mouth, nose, chin and eyes. Not wanting kill oneself is just the tip of the other foot when it comes to adjudicating the misguided adoration I absorbed from this cinematic abomination. A mangled pile of scattered body parts, shards of broken glass, and deformed clumps of metal, this movie/self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head is basically a sped up episode of the Three Stooges mixed with a second-rate Chuck Norris action flick that's been anally raped by a poorly produced exercise tape from the latter half of 1985. In other words: it takes everything that's awful about slapstick comedy, punching and kicking in strategically torn clothing, and physical fitness, and magnifies it to an almost blinding level of garishness.

An enchanting tale involving two boorish twins named Peter and David Falcone (real life twins Peter and David Paul), a pair of bodybuilding foodies who never met a malapropism they didn't want to force feed their shriveled genitals, the film seemed to be channeling Eating Raoul. I know, weird, eh? Out of all the films to channel. Of course, having Paul Bartel (one of the geniuses behind Eating Raoul) appear as "Linguini-covered man" during the opening restaurant sequence helped immensely in the channeling department.

However, when the caveman-esque boys go to the bank to secure a loan so that they can open their own eatery, I began to wonder if they were gonna start bumping off swingers with a frying pan.

Unfortunately, no swingers are murdered with cookware, but the bank employee who denies the Falcone brothers of their lone is played by the writer and director of Twin Sitters, John Paragon, who played the sex shop salesman in–you guessed it–Eating Raoul. And Mother Love actually does strike two ninjas in the head with a frying pan during a heated battle in the kitchen. Sure, they weren't swingers, but it's pretty damn close, if you ask me.

Anyway, if Chopping Mall is considered the unofficial sequel to Eating Raoul, I'm gonna have to assign Twin Sitters the status of being the third film in of the nonexistent trilogy. The only thing that really irked me was the fact that Mary Woronov wasn't the "Linguini-covered woman," that distinction went to Suzanne Kent (The Gong Show Movie), who was dressed like Edith Prickly for some reason.

The part of the plot that didn't resemble Eating Raoul, for those with an ill-defined interest in such things, is about the aforementioned twin brothers being hired to protect/babysit the nephews of a corporate whistle blower after they prevent assassins from killing him in the park (he was impressed by their physical prowess). Put in charge of keeping the kids safe while their uncle is testifying at an undisclosed location, the Falcone brothers utilize their unique parenting skills to win over Bradley and Steven (Christian and Joseph Cousins), who are a tad on the brattish side.

Akin to their heavily muscled, racially ambiguous brethren, the Paul brothers bring an off-kilter approach to their line readings that causes the person who is watching and listening to tilt their head slightly to the side while simultaneously making a nonplussed expression with their face. Loudly screaming their dialogue with heightened sense of urgency, the Peter and David bring an unconventional charm to their roles. Whether uttering nonsensical gibberish, babbling incoherently or merely mixing their metaphors, the thickly structured duplicates do so with an exaggerated brand of comical desperation.

And you know a movie has got something special going for it when the biggest chuckle is earned when one of the shirtless butt-sniffers yells "unspeakable atrocities" at the top of his lungs.

I'm still not 100% sure if the absolutely demented clothing Peter and David wear throughout Twin Sitters is a plus or a minus. But I know one thing, I'll never look at spandex the same way ever again. Seriously, the things these guys wear in this movie were totally messed up. I mean, I could have sworn that I saw one of them sporting a hat with a seagull on it (complete with a matching nest of eggs).

Luckily, the gorgeous Rena Sofer (Seinfeld - "The Muffin Tops") and her first-rate eyebrows show up halfway through to add some class and dignity to the proceedings with her modest business attire; she plays Miss Newman, the kids' tutor and the romantic interest of the Falcone brothers. I'll admit, it wasn't quite enough to placate the atrocious fashions of the burly brothers (who manage to infect the kids with their gaudy contagion), but she soothed my style-weary soul whenever it was about to go hurdling off the deep end. Which is a great way to sum the experience of watching Twin Sitters; in that, you'll feel like you're falling to your death, except instead of screaming along the way, you'll be laughing with the demented gusto of a bricklayer born without a taint.

video uploaded by WSW55


  1. i watched this movie like a zillion times on tv when i was a kid. thanks for reminding me?

  2. George Lazenby: From James Bond to Twin Sitters.

    Now there's an odd career trajectory.

    I love the tagline tries to ca$h in on the popularity of Home Alone.

    "Thickly structured duplicates"--hee hee.

    Have I told you how awesome CBC radio is?

  3. @Roy H.: A zillion? Yikes. ;)

    @Karim Amir: Oh yeah, George Lazenby was in this. I totally forgot to mention him.

    The slapstick violence in Twin Sitters has a definite Home Alone vibe about it.

    Maybe. I know you dig the Cancon station on your satellite radio setup.

    Emile Hirsch was on Real Time with Bill Maher last night.

  4. Did Emile talk about mountain climbing?

    The screencaps in this review are hilarious.

  5. I only watched bits and pieces of the interview... But yeah, he talked about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Oh, and Bill opened the segment by telling Emile how great he was in Into the Wild.

    More Twin Sitter pics can be found here.

  6. I'm surprised that someone else remembers this movie other than myself. Thanks!

  7. You've done it again, Yum-Yum! Brilliant, just brilliant. I remember seeing at least part of this movie on cable once, but I must have either passed out or been hit on the head with a frying pan after that.

    Any idea whatever happened to the Buff Bros.?

  8. @Morgan: The moment I saw the screencaps with the twins in their outrageous mid-90s outfits, I knew I had to see this.

    @The Vicar of VHS: I read somewhere that they're... Actually, I haven't read anywhere. I haven't the slightest idea what the Buff Bros. are up to these days.

  9. lol omg I remember seeing this movie on showtime long ago, it's soooo fucking corny but funny.