Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Hot Tamale’ is one of those witty little indie ensemble crime dramadies that pop up every once in a while, and for the most part is my favorite kind of movie with ‘Pulp Fiction’ arguably being the high water mark for this particular genre of movie and to the converse ‘24 Hours in London’ possibly represents the baseline for this style of narrative.  ‘Hot Tamale’ falls somewhere in the middle of those films as it is certainly loaded with potential and is certainly a slickly produced production (is that redundant?), but is lacking the energy and the pacing to set itself apart from the pack.

Randy Spelling (yes – he is one of THE Spellings) is young Wyoming native Harlan Woodruff.  As his father is found frozen to death in a fishing hole, Harlan has come to the realization that life in Wyoming probably isn’t meant for him.  This realization becomes blazingly clear to young Harlan when his family accepts super suave Puerto Rican Carlos Lopez (Matt Cedeno) as an exchange student and Carlos introduces the percussion inclined Harlan to Salsa music.  Harlan informs his mother and Grandfather – James Best, Roscoe P. Coltrane in the flesh, that he is off to Los Angeles to purse his dream as a Salsa Percussionist. 

Now pay attention.  On the road to L.A. Harlan pulls off at some Podunk diner and runs into some dude name named Jude (Jason Priestly) who is fleeing from two hitmen, Al (Mike Star) and Dewayne (Sean Blakemore).  Jude has stolen something and while jumping out the diners bathroom window stuffs his side sack in Harlan’s Bronco.  Now in L.A. Harlan moves in with Carlos and meets one of his friends calling herself Tuesday (Diora Baird – though lovely, I think went a little overboard on the whole fake breast thing).  The bad guys catch Jude who tells them that he put the

bag with whatever goods these guys are looking for in the kids truck.  The bad guys are now hot for Harlan as is Jude’s partner in crime Riley (Carmen Electra) who also wants back whatever it is she and Jude stole.  Mayhem subsequently ensues as our already burgeoning cast characters also includes a gay cop, a three wheel motioning Puerto Rican, a ton of marijuana, a nice pistol whipping and of course a damsel in distress.  Let the games begin.

One of the funny things about this movie, or at least I thought it was funny, was when Sean Blakemore’s character of Dewayne was harassing Diora Baird’s character Tuesday – who has become a distressed damsel – and is acting as if he is about to rape her.  Ms. Baird stands a good 5’8” and might weigh about 100 pounds, with 15 of those pounds being huge fake breasts coupled with an extremely flat behind.  She’s totally lopsided this young lady.  I think to myself while watching this scene, ‘what in the world are you going to do with that scrawny ass?’  To which Dewayne pushes her out his face and says ‘But then… what would I do with your bony ass?’  Apparently Diora Baird’s lack of badonk is like a running joke in Hollywood.  However my friends, if you happen to like pretty girls with big fake breasts and bony butts there is a rather lengthy sex scene between Mr. Spelling and Ms. Baird with that bony butt on glorious display.  One thing about fake tits that kind of bug me though, and it was on plain display in ‘Hot Tamale’ during this particular love scene.  When a woman with natural breasts lays on her back, no matter how large or small that breast may be, that breast falls down and away.  However with a fake tit, when a woman lies on her back it sticks straight up in the air staring back at you and for the most part is IN your way.  I betcha Diora Baird had a lovely set of natural breasts at one time, but then she probably wouldn’t have gotten this part with those though.  Sad.

Okay, enough about Diora Baird’s titties.  Directed by long time ‘Young and the Restless’ alum Michael Damien, ‘Hot Tamale’ is a great looking movie, has a script that’s just quirky enough that it works, and Randy Spelling gives a good performance as the wide eyed Wyoming native way out of his element.   What didn’t work so well for me was the pacing of the film as it tended to drag in places and lot of the intended humor was fairly stale.  I was particularly disappointed with bantering criminals played Mike Star and Sean Blakemore, which is otherwise inspired casting because both those cats are fantastic, but the lines they were given just didn’t work all that well and weren’t nearly as humorous as I knew they were supposed to be.

Despite those disappointments, it’s always good to see an adult level movie with shooting, killing, drugs, sex, titties AND Roscoe P. Coltrane – who I’ve just learned is director Michael Damien’s father in law.  Is this what a man has to do get a role nowadays?  Bequeath his daughter to a film director?  That too is a crying shame.

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