movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)
NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Alucard who says... " The film starts off a bit awkward, but as soon as the caper begins it is delicious fun. See it if you like your comedies as dark as they come."
As the movie starts off during the credits, we see shots of a freaky looking gargoyle head mounted on a building above a bridge. Under the bridge is a body of water, and we see a garbage boat carrying a barge of garbage behind it passing by.
We then meet our main character Marva Munson, an old black woman who puts religion on top of everything else. We see her go to a police station and complain about a neighbor playing "hippity hop" music too loud. She's appalled by the word "nigger" being said over and over and the sheriff there assures her that he will take care of it (but more or less he tells her that to send her away because he believes she is crazy).
She then walks back to her house, and we meet her tabby cat named Pickles. She takes a seat in her den, and looks up at a large portrait of her late husband (anyone who goes to see the movie make sure to watch the portrait throughout it for some really crazy and hilarious facial expression changes). She misses her husband dearly and is in search of company, so she places an ad in the paper saying she has a room for rent.
Suddenly we hear a knock at the door, Marva goes to answer it and we are introduced to Professor G.H. Dorr, played brilliantly by Tom Hanks. As he begins to introduce himself, Pickles runs out of the house and scurries up a nearby tree. Marva begins flipping out at the professor, telling him to catch the cat. He chases the cat up the tree and corners it, but as he is about to grab it the branch breaks, sending him falling about ten feet.
The next scene shows the professor recovering in Marva's house. He explains himself and apologizes for the cat mishap. He tells her he is interested in the room she has for rent, and she allows him to become the tenant. He then explains that he is apart of a group of musicians, and needs to use her root cellar so his ensemble of musicians can rehearse church music. She gladly allows him to do so. She also lets him know that she is very religious, attending church at least once a week, and every month she donates 5 dollars to a catholic university and she is very proud of the fact that they place her name in the newsletter.
We then see scenes of each person in the ensemble We meet Gawain, a black man who just obtained a job working as a janitor aboard a casino boat.
The next character is Garth, a southern-sounding man working on a dog food commercial. During this, we see him place a WWI gas mask on a dog, which cannot breathe in it and passes out. The director begins flipping out and Garth begins CPR on the dog. We also meet Garth's wife, referred to as Mountain Girl.
We then meet a man called The General, a Chinese man who barely talks at all. We see his store getting robbed by two black kids. As the General makes his appearance, we quickly see him place two fingers into both of one of the kid's nostrils, while the other kid gets hot coffee poured on him by a woman working in the store.
The last character we meet is named Lump, who is a slow talking, possibly mentally retarded big guy. We see him playing on a football team, but he misses catching a pass, which is intercepted by the other team and Lump's team loses the game. The coach abruptly kicks him off the team.
We then see the whole group together, meeting to play a rehearsal at the professor's new home. The professor takes the group into the root cellar, and tells Marva to knock before entering as they are very busy musicians. Before they go downstairs, Marva yells at the General to put out his cigarette (a running gag in the film in which he hides it in his mouth whenever she appears).
As soon as Marva leaves and the door closes, the group throws their instruments to the side. It turns out our "musicians" are actually a band of thieves who plan to rob a casino boat. In order of not to look suspicious, they play a CD of church music from a boombox to make it sound like they are actually rehearsing and Marva thinks nothing of it. The professor then explains his plan, which requires them to dig a tunnel through the wall of Marva's basement which will take them into an office where all the money from the boat is stashed after every night. The professor explains everyone's positions, Gawain being the "man inside" who is working on the boat. His job is to update them if any new information develops. Garth is an explosives expert, who is doing the main digging and if needed he will make a hole in the tunnel using explosives. The General is a highly experienced ex-millitant who is good to have around, and Lump is the strong guy, used mostly to carry out the dirt from the tunnel in large bags while the professor distracts Marva if needed. The group then throws then bags of dirt on the garbage boat's barge as shown from the credits of the movie.
The team quickly gets to work on the tunnel, placing a curtain over it if Marva was to come down. As the team is working, Marva knocks at the door. The professor quickly whistles and before Marva can make it down the stairs, the tunnel is covered and the group is in the position of playing their instruments. Marva is impressed with music she believes they are playing (but she is actually hearing it from the stereo). Taking a look at Lump however, she wonders why he is all sweaty. Gawain quickly explains that he really works very hard and breaks a sweat while he plays, but in this description, he uses the word "fuck" in almost every other word he says. Marva is appalled by his language and begins smacking him rapidly, telling him not use "hippity hop" language in her catholic household. Gawain is ready to hit her back, but the professor gently diffuses the situation and everything turns out alright.
The next scene we see is the professor and Marva having a discussion over tea. The professor tells Marva of all his adventures and Marva is stunned. Suddenly, we hear a knock at the door, and at the door is the sheriff from earlier, who tells her he took care of the neighbor who was playing the music. The professor realizes who it is and freaks out, quickly retreating to his room to hide. Marva takes the sheriff into her home to introduce him, and the sheriff reluctantly enters. Marva finds the professor hiding under his bed, and she begins screaming at him to get out. The sheriff, who doesn't see the professor believes she is crazy and he leaves. After he leaves, the professor tells Marva that he is uncomfortable around people he doesn't know and that's why he hid.
Meanwhile at the casino boat, Gawain loses his job for gawking at the customers. He promptly tells his boss that he's going to sue him because he fired him for being black, but the boss laughs at the threat.
The next scene, we see the band of thieves together at a breakfast place. The professor decides the best thing to do to get Gawain's job back is to get the boss a box of chocolates. Suddenly, Garth's wife Mountain Girl appears at the table. The group (especially Gawain) is appalled that he told his wife about the the caper and Garth and Gawain get into a shoving match when Gawain pulls out a gun. The professor once again diffuses the situation. The last part of this scene has Lump suggesting to bribe the boss. The professor loves the idea.
Back at the casino boat, Gawain gives his boss a box of chocolates and an "I'm sorry" card. In the card is a 100$ bill, and the boss instantly forgives Gawain and he gets his job back.
At the house, the professor gives Marva a gift for taking him in. He gives her two tickets to a gospel show out of town (he does this so she won't be around to hear the explosives they need to use for the tunnel). Marva is thrilled and calls up a friend to accompany her.
At the next "rehearsal" in the basement, Garth brings explosives to level out the tunnel. While this is going on, the professor escorts Marva and her friend to a car that will take them to the concert. Garth explains that the explosives aren't currently hooked up and they have nothing to worry about yet, he even says you can hit them with a hammer and nothing will happen, so he takes a hammer and hits the explosives. Needless to say, this causes an explosion. Marva hears the explosion from outside and panics. The professor quickly calms her down telling her it was probably minimal and he'll take care of it. He goes inside of the house and discovers that Garth has lost a finger in the explosion. Gawain reassures him that he can get it reattached, recalling the Bobbit case where they "reattached the guy's dick" as he puts it, but just as then, Pickles comes and steals Garth's severed finger. The General chases after the cat while the rest of the group quickly take Garth to a hospital.
The next scene shows that some time has passed by and all is going well in the caper. They are almost at the office where the money is and Marva is still unsuspecting. Before they go into the office, Garth (wearing a bandage over his missing finger) explains that he should get a bigger share because he was maimed. The group hastily rejects.
The next scene shifts to the office where Gawain is standing guard at the door, so that no one will walk by when the rest of his troupe enters. Suddenly, a hole breaks in the wall and out pop Garth, the General and Lump with garbage bags to collect the money. As the group collects the money, suddenly Garth stops dead in his tracks. We hear his stomach rumble. Garth explains that he suffers from a condition known as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and he needs to find a bathroom immediately. Gawain snaps at him, telling him he should have went before, but he takes him to a bathroom. Garth does his business and returns to work, telling stories about how he and Mountain Girl met at an IBS camp. Gawain flips out on him and tells him to shut up.
The group finishes collecting the money, and they make their way through the tunnel back to Marva's basement. The professor, Garth, the General and Lump all celebrate over a glass of wine, while Gawain is stuck back at the office repaving the hole in the wall. All that is left to do is to blow up the tunnel so there would be no record of the tunnel existing to Marva's basement. Garth says he took care of it and it should be detonating any minute. After a little while nothing happens, and Garth runs back through the tunnel to see what is the matter. The explosive timer stopped at 14 seconds, so Garth plans to open up the timer to reset it, when suddenly the IBS kicks back in. Holding it back, Garth tries to do his job when suddenly the timer starts again from 14 seconds. Garth panics and runs out of the tunnel as fast as he can before it blows, but he is too late and is blasted out of the tunnel to the other side of the basement, scattering the money everywhere and causing a huge racket.
Marva runs down to see what happened and their cover is instantly blown. The professor makes up a story about how Lump found a very rare arrowhead in her basement and they were digging to find more of them, when the General lit a cigarette causing the gas explosions that she heard before (when she was leaving to go to the concert) and now. When asked where the money came from, Garth tells her he mortgaged his house. She doesn't buy it and plans to call the police when the professor jumps back in. He tells her the truth that they are indeed criminals but he says they were doing it to give money to the university she supports. She is thrilled, but she believes it was wrong. She says she won't call the police, but they have to give the money back.
Back in the basement, the group discusses their new position and they all agree to kill Marva, however, none of them want to do it. The professor says they will draw straws to determine who has to. Gawain gets the short straw and he must be the one to kill Marva. He says he'll shoot her and use a pillow to muffle the noise of the gun. As he makes his way up the stairs, he finds Marva sitting in her den.
He is about to go through with it, until he goes into a flashback. He remembers a time where his mom was yelling at him for bringing a dog in the house, and he breaks down. Marva hears him, and yells at him for messing around with her pillows and smacks him again.
Gawain runs back to the basement and says he can't do it because Marva reminds him of his mother. Garth steps in and calls him a coward. Gawain snaps back, making fun of Mountain Girl and the two of them start fighting again. Gawain pulls out his gun, but Garth manages to turn it around and shoot Gawain with it. The remaining team then takes Gawain's body and throw it off the bridge onto the garbage mound like they did with the dirt of the tunnel.
The next scene shows the professor back at Marva's house, assuring her that they will return the money. He then goes downstairs and finds Garth walking upstairs with two suitcases saying he'll be right back. The professor goes downstairs and discovers the money is gone and he alerts the General and Lump that Garth took the money. Garth makes his way to a getaway car where Mountain Girl is awaiting him, but he stops dead in his tracks again, yup, the IBS is back. As he stops, the General sneaks up behind him and strangles him with piano wire.
The next scene shows the three remaining members of the troupe, the professor, the General and Lump dumping the bodies of Garth and Mountain Girl off the bridge onto the garbage boat.
Back in the basement, the three draw straws again to see who has to kill Marva, and this time the General winds up with the short straw. While Marva is sleeping, he makes his way into her bedroom and is about to strangle her like he did with Garth. He hides his cigarette in his mouth like he has been doing all movie, and he is about to make the kill, but her alarm clock goes off, causing him to swallow his cigarette. Marva stirs, but isn't woken up, and the General, choking on the cigarette makes his way out of he bedroom, but winds up tripping over Pickles and falling down the stairs, breaking his neck.
Once again we return to the bridge, and this time we see the professor and Lump throw the General's body off the bridge onto the boat. The professor then explains that Lump has to be the one to kill Marva, and he hands him a gun. Lump refuses, and then tries to shoot the professor, but the gun shoots a blank. Lump looks down the barrel of the gun, wondering why there isn't any bullets in it, and he pulls the trigger again. This time though, there is a bullet. Lump shoots himself in the head, causing him to fall off the bridge and onto the garbage boat.
The professor is now really excited since he gets to keep the money all to himself, but as he celebrates, we see that the gargoyle head from the beginning of the movie (which is located on a building above the bridge) is loose, and it falls on the professor, hitting his head and breaking his neck. He, like his other comrades, also falls off the bridge and onto the garbage boat.
The next scene shows Marva waking up, and discovering the money is still in the basement, but none of the troupe is there anymore. She then looks at the paper, which shows the headline of "1.6 million dollars missing from casino boat" and she thinks they couldn't deal with the guilt and ran away. From there, she decides to make her way back to the police station to report the stolen money. When she makes it there, the sheriff, who still thinks she is crazy tells her he is very busy. She then tells the story about how she has the casino money, but the sheriff does not believe her. She asks what to do with it, and he tells her to keep it. She decides to donate it to the university she loves.
As she makes her way back to the house, Pickles runs out again. She screams after him but he runs off. We see the cat make its way all the way to the bridge, and then it drops Garth's severed finger (from which it had before) onto the garbage boat.