Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Whoa. When you watch as many movies as I do sometimes you get frustrated with the sea of mediocre movies that get shoved in front of you time after time after time. So it’s refreshing when along comes a film that manages to sidestep the sea of mediocrity and firmly lands in a category all of its own. ‘The Number One Girl’ is that film. A movie that so completely and totally tosses itself in the category of horrific crap garbage junk dung crap garbage that it almost has to be seen to be believed. Almost. Because I seriously don’t want you to go out see this compendium of sub-standard film elements and blame me for recommending that you watch it. It ain’t my fault.

The film opens well enough I suppose as action movie star Joey Scalini (Tony Schiena) is running through some action scene in a film he’s shooting doing his James Bond thing. Somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic Mob Boss Dragos Molnar (Vinnie Jones) – Does anybody seem less like a ‘Dragos’ than Vinne Jones? Anyway Dragos is killing some dude for shorting him on his loot or something. Okay, so Joey jumps on a plane with his personal assistant Karen (Olivia Lee) and heads over to the United Kingdom to meet up with his good friend Dragos who’s throwing his annual rigged Miss World or something similar Beauty Pageant, where Joey always serves as a judge. Dragos has a set of very simple ground rules for his pal Joey, who is also a championship kickboxer – more on that later. Dragos provides all of the beautiful women that any man could possibly stand for Joey to have his way with, but his top ten pageant girls, particularly the number one girl, the girl who is slated to win the contest, is off limits as these are Dragos personal play things. He makes this pretty doggone clear. But alas, Tatiania (Lisa McCalister), is so fetching to Joey that he can’t stay away from her. This flick was edging towards the lame before this point but it became officially lame during a weird montage that featured Tony Schiena working out, and imagining having sex with Tatiana while he was narrating some of the weakest dialog ever over some of the weakest music ever. It’s gonna take a miracle for the film to rescue itself from that.

The miracles are not coming as everybody goes up to Joey and says leave the girl alone, leave the girl alone, leave the girl alone, including the girl, but Joey is in luuuuuv. After the swimsuit competition the shows M.C. Mr. Sakata (the late Pat Morita) announces that this is the part of the pageant where the judges get to dance with the ten finalist. Admittedly, I don’t watch a lot of beauty pageants, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the swimsuit contestant / judge nasty dance competition. Here’s where the flick completely flies of the tracks as Joey is nasty dancing with Tatiana, Did I mention that this pageant is on National Television? Yeah, so Joey is nasty dancing with Natasha under the increasingly disapproving eye of Dragos and when Joey, a judge at a beauty contest that is being shown on National Television, essentially pins Tatiana down in the middle of a crowded dance floor groping her and slamming his tongue down her throat, Dragos loses it. He squeezes off a couple of shots in the middle of this Nationally Televised event and informs Joey that only one of them are walking out the building with that ‘bitch whore’. Joey sincerely asks ‘Why are you doing this?’ Uh Joey, because you were tonguing his mistress on National Television when he specifically asked you not to? Not to mention the challenge to the whole judge impartiality thing. So Dragos turns the middle of the beauty pageant stage into a cage match and sends a number of progressively tougher thugs to beat up Joey who keeps asking ‘Why are you doing this?’ Joey dispatches each thug until it finally comes down to Joey and Dragos – to the finish!

Yes, it is refreshing to blessed with a piece of total dreck garbage every once in a while folks and ‘The #1 Girl’ is about as bad as it gets. My favorite line in this is mess is when Dragos is capping rounds off at the pageant and the action switches to the producer in the control room who is urged to turn off the cameras. His assistant cries ‘This isn’t reality television!’ The producer replies, ‘This is better than reality, it’s real!’ Uh, other than the letters I.T.Y, I think they mean the same thing, but then I’m not exactly Ivy League educated.

I suppose if there’s blame we should first lob a couple grenades at director Luc Campeau who did manage to frame some decent scenes but somewhere along the line totally lost focus on whatever the hell this crap was supposed to be, or we could blame writer Douglass Miller, who I’m sure would claim he didn’t write this garbage, and some crazy ghost writer got a hold of his masterpiece and ruined it. Vinnie Jones is certainly culpable as he can be great in movies, but this wasn’t one of his shining moments but star Tony Schiena was in like 98% of the movies scenes so I guess he’s the Number One Dude to blame for the ‘Number One Girl’. Schiena was cool as hell in Van Damme’s ‘Wake of Death’ but it was a relatively small part which he apparently managed to parlay into a starring role in what I’m sure he was hoping would be his launching pad. No such luck baby as Schiena seemed completely out of place and confused in this flick. Schiena has some charisma to him so he may be able to recover from this disaster and to that we wish him luck.

In the future I will learn to keep my mouth shut and attempt to find enjoyment in massive mediocrity as the alternatives, as we can see, can be less than ideal.

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