by Louis Fowler
Most weeks, I review more DVDs than the Indy can fit into print. You can look for extra write-ups here, on the IndyBlog.
Demons. That’s some scary stuff right there, right? Evil creatures spawned from the diseased seed of Satan himself, let loose upon the Earth to create suffering or torment through the constant defilement of all of God’s good works. So why not make a cheap, cheesy, ’80s sex comedy about them? And, while we’re at it, how about casting Nick from Family Ties (perpetual Trivial Pursuit question Scott Valentine) as this horny harbinger of hellish hate? Valentine is Kaz, a thoroughly irritating street hustler cursed by a gypsy to transform into a murderous demon anytime he is sexually aroused. This makes it hard (no pun intended) for him to have a successful relationship with his newfound lady-love Denny (the adorable Michelle Little). As various murders plague the nondescript city, Kaz struggles to find the true culprit as he struggles with his diabolical urges. By all accounts, My Demon Lover is not a great film, but it is a great stupid movie. And, by God, sometimes that’s all I need.
To paraphrase the classic tune from War, this Cisco Kid is definitely a friend of mine! A 1994 made-for-cable updating of the popular television series from the ’60s, Hispanic hunk Jimmy Smits takes over the titular role of the caballero who brings justice to the wilds of Mexico during the French occupation. Along the way, he picks up Juarista rebel Pancho (a very funny Cheech Marin), and together they take down the corrupt French tyrants, rescue a gold baby Jesus and swig plenty of tequila. It’s a fun, wild romp that actually portrayed a true Mexican superhero — something we rarely get to see in film. Apparently, TNT disagreed, as the duo was not only given further cinematic adventures, but denied a TV series as well. With a swashbuckling flavor that reminds me of Antonio Banderas’ Zorro movies, there’s no reason a studio like Disney what, with its big-budget reimagining of The Lone Ranger about to gallop onto screens next summer, can’t do the same with The Cisco Kid! C’mon, Disney, won’t you make the Cisco Kid a friend of yours as well?
After a series of flops that included Stroker Ace, The Man Who Loved Women and City Heat (which gained him all those nasty AIDS rumors when he lost an exorbitant amount of weight after his jaw was wired shut when a rogue chair hit him in the face), legendary actor Burt Reynolds tried to reclaim his early ’70s tough-guy image with a trio of humorless, gritty, blood-splattered action flicks: Stick, Heat and the much-maligned 1987 effort Malone. Having watched it for the first time, I gotta say that the malign-ment is mostly undeserved. Burt really delivers his bad-ass all in this one, knocking out teeth instead of redneck jokes as a truly silent-but-deadly ex-CIA hitman who stumbles on a real-estate murder plot during his vacation in Oregon. Burt blasts through baddies like they were nothing, and damned if I didn’t cheer the whole way through. Malone is definitely deserving of a second look from even the most critical of Burt fans.