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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Mother, Jugs & Speed (Fox DVD)

Mother, Jugs & Speed


Picture: B-††† Sound: B-††† Extras: B ††††Film: B-



It is probably safe to say that very few films deal with ambulance drivers and the ones that do, you most likely never heard of.With exception of the more recent Bringing Out the Dead (1999), I can only think of Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976) starring the beautiful Raquel Welch, Bill Cosby, Harvey Keitel, with some notable appearances by Dick Butkus and Larry Hagman.


I remember the first time I stumbled across this film, which the title alone had my curiosity flying high.Add to that some of the cast and I was tempted beyond belief to see what this film was all about.I suppose itís safe to say that my first viewing and my most recent viewing (the DVD debut issue) are relatively different.My initial viewing I only saw the surface level idea behind the film, which dealt with the new law passed in L.A. that states the first ambulance to an accident obtains the rights to transport the person, in turn giving them more business.The result of this is competition that makes for a very interesting premise.


My latest viewing saw more potential in the film, at least if you were to see the film as microscopic view of just about all businesses.Not only that, but look at some of the more recent things that have happened in the business world in terms of competition and overriding the opponents.The point here is that itís not about saving a life, but rather making some money on the side.


The film tightly focuses on two specific ambulance companies and the F+B Ambulance Service certainly has one of the craziest crews led by Cosby (the veteran driver given the name ďmotherĒ), then there is Speed (Keitel) the suspended cop, and Jugs (Welch), whom I donít think we need to address how she got that title, playing the secretary. Together this crew is determined to make the right decisions, and some money, to do their job.There are a few loose screws in the outfit along the way as well, which eventually get worked out as comedy and drama combine to make for an interesting viewing to say the least.


Fox has brought forth several of their titles starring Raquel Welch, whose name sells in and of itself.This is certainly one of those films that has worked its way into a more cult status, but true fans of either her, or perhaps even this film might seek after this now that itís available onto DVD.


Presented in its original 2.35 X 1 scope aspect ratio the film never astonishes, but still retains a decent transfer despite some drawbacks, even though it is anamorphically enhanced.It has a very dated and analog look to it, especially in the darker regions.Colors can be shifty at times, with the overall contrast and clarity being slightly off.Softness appears from time to time, while grain is minimal.The soundtrack has been mixed for Dolby 2.0 stereo playback, but is monophonic even in nature.


Although the film contains no major supplements, it is loaded with the films trailers as well as the other Fox titles with Raquel Welch.This is certainly not a film you want to pick up on the fly because its likeability factor is low for the curiosity, but those that are familiar with it might be inclined since the transfer is better than what was available for many years on VHS and sine the film pops up on TV very seldom.



-†† Nate Goss


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