Tuesday, March 14, 2023


The blu-ray of sometimes aunt Martha does dreadful things shows Aunt Martha with a knife and text that reads, like a John waters scripted version of the sitcom bosom buddies, - Laird Jimenez, LETTERBOXD
Barry of Cinematic Catharsis knew I was eyeing this AGFA release on the Vinegar Syndrome website when he challenged me to review it.  I ordered the Blu-ray on Black Friday, so I am obviously adept at procrastination when taking on a blog challenge.  

Paul gets dressed up as Aunt Martha
Aunt Martha begins her day

Paul and Stanley are on the lam from the law, and possibly a John Waters film, having fled Baltimore after Stanley apparently murdered an old lady.  Now they are hiding out in a residential neighborhood of Miami.  To blend in and not be recognized, Paul dons the impenetrable disguise of Aunt Martha and Stanley dresses up as Stanley, but pretends to be Martha’s nephew, at least for the benefit of the outside world.  

Stanley appears bug-eyed as he wears sunlamp shades
Does Stanley only have eyes for Paul?

Between nosy neighbors and Stanley’s penchant for bringing home guests, the outside world is closing in on their hideout love nest.  Yes, Paul and Stanley are a couple.  A completely unhinged, dysfunctional couple, but they need each other in their own ways.  Paul is a domineering control freak who wants to keep himself and Stanley safe.  Stanley is an immature man-child who just wants to have fun, but always turns to Paul when things get too real.  What happens when outsiders come between them and their secrets?  Well, as the title says, sometimes Aunt Martha does dreadful things. 

Paul as aunt Martha eavesdrops outside a cabin
Aunt Martha has trust issues

Writer/director Thomas Casey spins an off-kilter tale of love, obsession and murder.  The plot is rather bonkers and a bit slow-paced at times, but it’s impossible to not watch.  You’ll be surprised at how much care Paul puts into Aunt Martha’s underthings!  You’ll be shocked at how Stanley freaks out when a woman tries to get into his pants!  You will be aghast at how easy it is to root for Paul and Stanley, even as the dreadful things become even more dreadful for the two! 

Paul threatens Stanley with a knife
Is that a knife in Paul’s hand or is he just happy to see Stanley?

Ok, maybe it’s just me rooting for this dysfunctional couple.  It helps the actors give some weirdly compelling performances.  Abe Zwick as Paul is a whirlwind of hostility and love for Stanley.  Wayne Crawford (going by Scott Lawrence) as Stanley is a mixture of insolence and neediness towards Paul.  The other actors are fine in their roles, but this is Paul and Stanley’s film and they are the reason to watch!

Paul writes slut on Stanley’s forehead with lipstick
True love!

In conclusion…
Sometimes this film feels like John Waters and Ed Wood had a baby and hired Andy Milligan as an au pair.  Sometimes the situations feel positively goofy.  Sometimes you’ll wonder what they put in the water in Florida. (Seriously, I’ve seen a few other Florida-shot 1970’s films and they are…um…unique.)  Sometimes this is just the escape you need, so grab a cigar box of doughnuts and embrace the chaos as SOMETIMES AUNT MARTHA DOES DREADFUL THINGS

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 

P.S.  I pass on a blog challenge to…

Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews - 
I challenge you to review THE LOVE LETTER (1998, starring Campbell Scott & Jennifer Jason Leigh) or FRESNO (1986, starring Carol Burnett and Gregory Harrison)! 

Michael W. Denney of Maniacs and Monsters - 
I challenge you to review an Andy Milligan film of your choice! 

My books & blogs… 


  1. Awesome (and very funny) review, which was well worth the wait! I think you captured the dysfunctional dynamics of Paul and Stanley perfectly. Great job! 👍

    1. Thank you, Barry! They are a dynamically off kilter couple! And I enjoyed watching and reviewing this film!

  2. Oh, my. I've been challenged. I'll have to give that some thought and build up my courage.

    1. If you can't find the courage, I will understand, but I am curious to hear your extended thoughts on one of Milligan's masterpieces!

  3. Challenge accepted, but I do have a backlog of challenges but do promise it will be done.

    1. No rush, Gill. I mean, it did take me a year to finally take on your challenge, so no worries.

  4. Yikes, that green housecoat. I totally agree with you about the John Waters-Ed Wood mashup, too--it was the first thing I thought of when I started reading this.