Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Eyes of Tammy Faye = Camp Masterpiece

The Eyes of Tammy Faye
still from The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)

Some things you should know about Tammy Faye right off the bat: 1) She wears false eyelashes with bucketloads of mascara 24/7. She does not remove them, she waits for them to fall off and then applies new ones. 2) When a loved one dies, she asks for a pair of their glasses so that she may see how they saw.

Bakker Couple
still from The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)

Tammy Faye has probably the worst luck of any human being ever, and still maintains a healthy (and miraculously not off-putting or encroaching) belief in god. That handsome partner in puppets there is her first husband, Jim Bakker. Together, they pioneered three successful secular television networks and "practically invented" the electric church. The Bakkers were basically screwed out of every network they launched. Jim had a one night stand with a young hussy, Jessica Hahn, who in turn made a Playboy Video to voice her side of the story (in which she has erotic encounters with domineering religious icons). Tammy was prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Ativan to cope with her own rising celebrity and the increasing media attacks on their ministry. She developed an innocent addiction to the pills, which culminated in her attempt to deboard a plane at 30,000 feet after hallucinations of cartoons. Jim went to jail for fraud, as did Tammy's second husband (Jim's best friend and contractor) Roe Messner. Their story was captured in a made-for-television film entitled "Fall from Grace," starring Kevin Spacey as Jim.

Penile Implants
still from The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2000)

Tammy Faye spoke with a HIV-positive gay man on PTL (Praise the Lord) network and urged her Christian followers to embrace the shunned homosexual community with love. She staged live demonstrations of penile implant technologies. She was fearless, non-denominational, and a genuine beacon of love.

The documentary, directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, is narrated by notorious drag queen RuPaul Charles. The presentation is as campy as the content--an instant classic in my book.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye [IMDB]

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