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.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Hoodrats 2: Hoodrat Warriors (2008)
This was suggested to me by Netflix after I rented something else. I don't remember what it was. It certainly wasn't Hoodrats 1. If you're wondering, the reviews for the first Hoodrats were atrocious, but the ones for part two claimed it had women using trash can lids as shields. Where do I sign up?
Hoodrats 2: (Hoodrat Warriors) (they use the parenthesis in the opening titles!) is about three girls whose best friend is beaten by her boyfriend and loses her unborn baby. One of the girls decides her best bet is to go upside the boyfriend with a bat, and takes her two unknowing friends along for the ride. Well, that boyfriend is the most powerful gangster in the city, and now he wants them dead. Will they survive the day and get him off their backs?
I don't know where to go with this. Obviously it was bad. It was definitely funny bad for the most part. The trash can lids as shields were there. The lead girl drives this amazing car with the license plate "ICUHATIN". Was I watching a real movie or a Mad TV sketch? Maybe the best was how the girls had never really fought in their lives, and suddenly, because they decided to take a stand, knew martial arts moves that only someone with formal training could pull off. One girl had a guy in a Muay Thai clinch; another was using jiu-jitsu to defend herself on the ground. Here's the long and the short of it: if you think you've got what it takes to tackle this film, you could have tons of fun. Don't go it a alone, but let your buddies know what they're getting into. This is MST3K level stuff.
There was a nice message buried in the poor cinematic output. Women are being torn apart by bad, manipulative men. The gangs of girls attacking our three heroines for the bad boyfriend represent women in real life fighting over a guy, when they should probably be fighting the guy instead. That makes sense, but not all women are manipulated by these guys-- some of the women are as manipulative. Also, at the end, there was this tone of women being superior to men. Now, I won't say they're wrong, that guys are superior; but I will say they're wrong, and that men and women are equal. I was rooting for them until they got all small minded about it.
The girl who I guess you could call second in command, Celia, was hot as hell. She looks ridiculous on the cover, but in the movie she's hot. I just wanted to rescue her from the ghetto, but I know she'd never like it in Maine, the winters are just too brutal. I could see us meeting at a bookstore in LA, hitting it off, her being intrigued that I'm a writer (not knowing I don't have any money). We'd go out a couple times, then the day would come where I'd call her, and not hear from her. The next day she'd show up, bruises on her face, telling me it was nothing. But I'd know she got worked over by a gang of girls using trash can lids as shields.
The bad boyfriend is played by the guy from that Southwest Airlines commercial where he dances, showing off for a girl in a club, and knocks over the DJ's turn tables. I love that commercial, and when I saw this guy, I was so excited. Then he beats the crap out of his girlfriend, and I was less so. He never danced in this movie, which was dumb. Why would you have that guy and not have him dance? You had girls with trash can lids as shields, but you can't mix in a dance number for that guy?
I want to make a point clear before I get to the final paragraph. I'm from Maine. I have no idea what East LA is, what it's like to live there, or grow up there. I'm not calling this a bad movie, though, because I "don't get it", I'm calling it a bad movie because it sucks. I have no idea what it's like to live in 1960s Tokyo either, and I loved High and Low. The dialog here was bad, poorly written, and unnaturally delivered. There were plenty of scenes that were useless and did nothing to move the plot forward. One of those scenes could've been replaced with a scene at the beginning showing the girls in a dojo learning martial arts, which would've made their ability to fight using martial arts more believable. When I'm making fun of the movie, I'm making fun of those aspects, not the fact the people are speaking with Spanish accents or that they've grown up in violent circumstances. And the fact the girls are fighting with trash can lid shields-- I'm making fun of that too...
Do you think you have what it takes? The movie is there on Netflix. You have some material to start with because the bad guy was in the Southwest commercials. For you and your buddies, this is your MST3K moment. 90 minutes of pain turned into laughs. I'll be quite frank, I'm not sure I have what it takes. Celia got me through it... be still my heart...
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1261419/