Da' Booty Shop DVD Review
By Kam Williams
Strippers Trade Hot Pants for Hot Combs in Urban-Oriented Comedy
Back in the Fifties, the legendary Roger Corman made a name for himself as the "King of the B-Movies" by cranking out about a half-dozen unapologetically-awful flicks a year, admittedly shooting some of those shoestring productions in as few as three days. Although the quality of his offerings left a lot to be desired, they still had a certain appeal for snobs who like to laugh at films that are so bad they're good. Consequently, Corman enjoyed an enduring, if checkered, career, over the course of which he has cranked out about 400 full-length features.
Well, it looks like we might be witnessing the emergence of the King of the Black B-Movies in Marcello Thedford, a brother who has already managed to release his second, urban-oriented comedy of 2009, right on the heels of Keepin' the Faith 3 (How did I miss 1 & 2?). Now, along comes Da' Booty Shop, another cheesy insult to the intelligence if I ever saw one.
This no-budget mess is just wrong from beginning to end, starting with the storyline which revolves around a stripper (Trina McGee) who reluctantly decides to hang up her g-string and pasties to run her ex-con brother's (Thedford) beauty salon when he ends up back in the slammer, which he refers to as his "home away from home." Complaining that she'll make less money as a hair stylist than as a $20 lap dancer, she nonetheless changes the name of the place to "Hair Erotica" and talks some of her sexy girlfriends from the club into trying their hand as hairdressers.
The picture's sloppy dialogue was obviously improvised on the spot, and featured the phrase "up in here" at least 15 times before I decided to stop counting. Also popular with the verbally-challenged assortment of colorful characters are the N, S, B and F-words.
But what is most objectionable is the fact that Thedford's idea of directing is finding any excuse to put scantily-clad women on display whether they're wriggling around a stripper's pole, raising cash at a car wash (Don't get wet!) or staging an impromptu fashion show in the ghetto.
Designed so there shouldn't be a dry fly in the house by the penultimate scene when Yolanda praises her employee Keisha by saying "Do you know how much business that booty brought in here? I am so proud of you!" For better or worse, probably the latter, I somehow suspect Da' Booty Shop isn't the last we'll hear from Marcello Thedford this year.
Heaven help us.
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 85 minutes
Studio: Onyx Films/Lightyear Entertainment
Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.
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