Mascara (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Two thumbs way down:

Scoop's comments in white.

To duplicate Mascara at home, take a month's summary of the plot threads on Days of Our Lives. and condense them to a 90 minute script. When you film the script on a video camera, make sure that all the sex scenes, and even some non-sex scenes, involve plenty of nudity.

The story begins with the wedding of one late twentyish woman (Lumi Cavazos), who is attended by her two best friends (Amanda De Cadenet and Ione Skye). It then follows each of their lives for the next fourteen months, weaving their stories together.

To give you the flavor of the entire film, I'll summarize the life of the Ione Skye character. She's having a live-in affair with an older man. His daughter comes to live with them, and Ione suspects that there is something unhealthy between the man and his daughter (insert organ chord). Because of her suspicions, her commitment to the relationship wanes, and she takes up with a sexy younger guy (organ chord). The older guy catches her with the younger guy (very dramatic organ chord) and it turns out that they are father and son (even more dramatic organ chord).  Before that little surprise, none of the three had been aware of the connection.

Take that kind of material and multiply it times three women, and that's Mascara.

I thought perhaps that this unwatchable mess could be justified by a certain chick-flick cachet, but it turns out that the few women who have rated it at IMDb despise it, scoring it 2.1/10 - a low enough score to make it the 13th worst movie of all time. Linda Kandel has not worked as either writer or director since this film.


Ione Skye shows her breasts frequently, and also flashes her pubic area in two scenes.

Corey Page shows his buns.

Amanda De Cadenet walks around naked in one scene, trying to provoke her husband. The pubic exposure is minimal, but everything is there sooner or later.

DVD info from Amazon

  • no meaningful features

  • no widescreen

To make it all even less engaging, many scenes are shot with a hand-held camera, and the hand holding that camera is dizzyingly unsteady. Finally, the director chose to do editing techniques with the camera instead of in the editing room. For example, in a two person conversation, instead of cutting from one person to another, the unsteady camera moves back and forth nauseatingly, in real time.

There is a good reason why this film submerged after its brief theatrical trial in 1999, and did not  resurface on video until many years later. Avoid it if you want to see quality entertainment, but by all means enjoy the nudity, which is plentiful, and often in excellent light.


I have occasionally been stuck in front of a soap opera, usually in a doctor's waiting room or a hospital room, and sometimes wondered what would happen if you took three years of plot line, and condensed it into one feature length film with no commercials. Well, I no longer have to wonder. What you end up with is 90 minutes of sleazy soap opera plot, replete with jarring cuts from one character to another. I will admit that the nudity from Ione Skye and Amanda De Cadenet gave me something to enjoy about it, and some scenes were well photographed, but in some misguided attempt to give a cinema verite feel to the production, they not only use way too much hand held shaky cam, but intentionally messed with the focus as well.  I never did figure out who the point of view (the camera man) was supposed to be, even though he even spoke in one of the opening scenes.

Any way you look at it, this is a mess. Just like a soap, more happens to these three women in 14 months than would happen to 100 women in 10 years. I never felt like I really knew any of the characters. And the film was too episodic to create any tension. The big surprise that ended the film was telegraphed in a very early scene. BROAD HINT!!! What do you call a woman who suddenly vomits all the time for no good reason? Now let's not always see the same hands. Yes, Pregnant.

I can't give much credence to this as a softcore, either. Even though it has a lot of nudity, they cut away for the sex scenes. As a drama, it is an F. I suppose, overall, it is a D.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews on line

The People Vote ...

  • A brief theatrical trial in May of 1999 proved unsatisfactory. I think it only ran in L.A.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "the score is dependent on the genre you assign it to. As a nudie film, it might be a C-, because it has quite a bit of nudity in good light from two fairly well known actresses. But the creators would be offended to know that we consider it a decent nudie film. As an earnest melodrama, which it intended to be, it is an E, pretty close to an F. Tuna says, "Even though it has a lot of nudity, they cut away for the sex scenes, so I can't give it much credence as a softcore. As a drama, it is an F. I suppose, overall, it is a D."

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