“Walking in a Minty wonderland…”
When a film clearly doesn’t take itself seriously, and in particular, when it almost takes delight in acknowledging its own flaws, this does convey a certain immunity to criticism. “Yes, we know this is crap,” it seems to be saying. “So what?” But on the other hand, it’s hard to be a parody of comic-book fan-service, when you actually are comic-book fan-service. The heroine here is Minty (Madison), an assassin who works for a man known only as Big Boss (Parker, channeling the spirit of Michael Clarke Duncan). When he is kidnapped by Dr. Brain Bender (Joslin), an evil scientist – really, how could he be anything else with that name? – and his vampire sidekick, Double Delicious (Taylor), Minty, powered by chocolate, has to fight her way up through the levels of the Cock Tower [sic], defeating Bender’s other minions, up to where Boss is being held. While Bender can’t beat Minty himself, he transfers his mind into DD’s body, and there’s only one way for our heroine to prevail…
If you guessed the answer is “lesbian canoodling,” give yourself two points.
It’s very much a mixed bag here. Some moments fall entirely flat, and the film often isn’t as funny as it thinks it is. This is in part because most of the supporting characters don’t have the acting chops to pull off the satirical aspects, which is a lot harder than it looks. “Broad comic mugging” seems to be the main direction provided by Baldovino, and that rapidly becomes more tiresome than entertaining. However, there are some scenes which do work well. I particularly enjoyed Minty going up against a Bruce Lee look-alike (the fight here was nicely put together and edited), while there’s also an animated interlude featuring Minty being chased through a Prince of Persia-style level by a psychotic rabbit. This ends in an arterial way that feels like it comes out of a particularly twisted Tex Avery cartoon.
Unfortunately, the finale then gets itself bogged down in soft-core shenanigans with poor continuity e.g. in one shot, Delicious is topless, the next, she’s wearing butterfly-shaped pasties. [Look, you’re either willing to get undressed or you’re not. Have the courage of your convictions, and don’t change your mind mis-scene] Admittedly, it’s preceded by Dr. Bender explaining that the goal of all fanboys is to see the heroine naked, so this is simply delivering on that promise. But blatant foreshadowing doesn’t make it any more interesting or entertaining, and the movie doesn’t at all make it clear that Bender is actually a fanboy who has somehow come across into Minty’s comic-book world for nefarious purposes. Maybe there’s a director’s cut somewhere that explains all this. Instead, as seen here, it’s a probably over-ambitious and occasionally entertaining mess, not without its charms, yet some way short of being charming enough.
Dir: Eugene Baldovino
Star: Elina Madison, Chip Joslin, Tabitha Taylor, Anthony Ray Parker