The Direct to Video Connoisseur
I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Pink Chiquitas (1987)
This one was a recommendation from our buddy Tromeric at Guts and Grog Reviews, and it was a definite had me at hello. He hit the wall on the Facebook page with not only a mention of the movie and why he liked it, but he also included the link to the imdb page. It was all right there, too good to ignore. Now, on the other hand, we've had plenty of requests/recommendations in the past that looked as promising, but where I've had to turn around and tell the person that so enthusiastically made the request that it didn't really do anything for me. Would that be the case here?
Pink Chiquitas has Frank Stallone as the son of a famous PI, looking to make a name for himself after his father passes away. He's got a special Pink Chiquita necklace that his father gave him, which crime boss Don Enchilada will stop at nothing to get his hands on. So he hides out in the small town of Beamsville, when a meteor strikes in a secluded wooded area, and not soon after, the town's men and women start acting weird. What could be causing it? And what is the connection between the meteor and Stallone's necklace.
There are two types of movies that start off great: the ones that live up to that start, and the ones that don't. I can safely say this one is in the former category, but it might not be for everyone. This is the kind of movie that you can't fight. If you resist it, you won't enjoy it. If you have trouble with an overacting, not funny, played for laughs sheriff's deputy randomly attacking a mob outside his station with a flamethrower, then I'd stay off this. On the other hand, if you can handle that kind of thing, the really great things about this will fully reward you. Frank Stallone is fantastic, and he really gets what the film makers were going for here, and he carries it off really well. From there, the rest of the movie just works in a 1982 Porky's kind of way, but a good way, with enough original material. I had a few problems with them spending too much time on a few characters I could've cared less about, but in the end, even that kind of thing worked out. I know I say this a lot, but if you're someone who overuses the word "cheesy" to describe low-budget movies, this is probably a bit much for you; but if you can relax and just let this movie happen, it will reward you.
I never thought I'd say this, but Frank Stallone was a revelation. I'm dead serious. He was fantastic. Perfectly comedic, hit all his spots, and as I said above, got exactly what this movie was about, and sold it. Also, he recorded a bunch of songs for the soundtrack. Maybe the best stuff he did in the movie: when he played his character's father in the flashback sequences. Where has this been all my movie watching life? I've been so used to Frank Stallone being on D-grade covers with just his last name to try and dupe me into renting it thinking his brother's the star. Frank Stallone is no Dwayne Swayze, and Pink Chiquitas shows that.
This movie plays on a lot of stereotypes, often in a way that didn't work, but one that did, and which a good chunk of the film was centered around, is the hot librarian. You know what I'm talking about, total prude, hair up, big glasses, long skirt, but has a secret wild side. The librarian here was played by Elizabeth Edwards, and she gave some hints early on that we might see this transformation, but nothing can prepare us for how well it's done. Totally 80s, with some well-teased hair and loads of make-up; but she's also rocking this red leather bikini-type thing. Man, I love the hot librarian fantasy, and this movie does it right.
Former Catwoman Eartha Kitt was the voice of the meteor. As many of you probably know, the 1960s Batman show is one of my all time favorites, and I was trying to think of who we'd seen from it in previous DTVC posts (not counting the post we did on the movie, of course). I know we had Frank Gorshin in Bloodmoon, Burt Ward was in the Miles O'Keeffe flick Moving Targets. Then we had Roddy McDowall in Double Trouble. I thought we'd had an Adam West flick on here, but it looks like I was thinking of New Age, the Peter Weller flick I looked at for my other Tumblr. I should probably create a tag for old Batman stars to make this kind of thing easier.
I know I brought this up in the fourth paragraph, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it again before we wrapped this up: Frank Stallone was fantastic. I'm not sure what I expected from him, but this wasn't it. Seriously, how did he have a movie like this on his resume and not have gotten more work? Is it really the whole "your Sly's brother?" Who knows? Maybe he can't do the serious stuff like his brother can, and maybe he can't do the action hero stuff like his brother can, but if you've seen Stop or My Mom Will Shoot, you know Frank is the one who has the comedy thing down. Don't let any preconceived notions on Frank Stallone color your opinion of him or this film going in.
I figured for sure this was only on VHS, and I was lucky enough to track down a copy; but it turns out it's not only on DVD, but Netflix even has it. Do it either way, VHS or DVD, but do it, you won't be sorry. Sometimes there's some bad slapstick that may test your sensibilities, but as I said above, if you don't fight it and just let yourself enjoy this movie, it will reward you. Thanks again to Tromeric at Guts and Grog Reviews for the recommendation.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093741/