Brian De Palma's GREETINGS (1968) wasn't exactly screaming for a sequel, but in any event he went off and made HI, MOM! (1970), which traffics in the same kind of counterculture satire. But--surprise, surprise--the formula works noticeably better this time around.This follow-up, again with Robert De Niro in the lead, benefits from a tighter storyline and comparatively brisk pacing. Structurally, it's still a little chaotic--it feels like two different plots welded together--but here De Palma wisely focuses on one main character, not three, and it makes a big difference. De Niro's character, last seen in Vietnam at the conclusion of GREETINGS, has returned from overseas in one piece, and begins making voyeuristic home movies with the unwitting help of his pretty next-door neighbor, who naturally doesn't notice his film camera set up in a window across the street.
De Palma's comic invention has improved this time around. De Niro's carefully planned seduction of his neighbor provides more than a few good laughs; the comic high-point is probably De Niro's audition for an underground black guerrilla theatre troupe, which recruits him to play the scummy white cop for their Artaud-inspired happening.HI, MOM! (named after the last spoken line of the film) comes from De Palma's "underground" phase, and while it has become somewhat dated, it definitely has its inspired moments.