Director: Mark Rucker
Runtime: 90 minutes
TV Rating: R
Die, Mommie, Die! is a 2003 drag queen film written by Charles Busch, who also plays the lead role. Partly spoof and partly homage, it draws heavily on the tropes and themes of American “Grande Dame Guignol” movies from the 1950s and 1960s that featured strong, sometimes dominating female leads, such as those by Bette Davis (Dead Ringer), Joan Crawford (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?), and Lana Turner (Portrait in Black). It was later performed onstage in 2007 under the same name.
The movie opens with Angela Arden (Charles Busch) kneeling in front of her twin sister Barbara’s grave. Angela is a lounge singer who is attempting to resuscitate her floundering career, which became obsolete around the same time Barbara committed suicide. She’s unhappily married to her movie-director husband Sol Sussman (Philip Baker Hall). They have two children together–Lance (Stark Sands), who is gay and emotionally disturbed, and Edith (Natasha Lyonne), a “daddy’s girl” who is openly contemptuous of her mother. Also living in the house is the snoopy maid Bootsie (Frances Conroy), who is infatuated with Sol.