Proving Heterosexuality Through Cruelty
I have no idea why I watched this movie. While my film viewing patterns may seem erratic at best, as if I choose my films by randomly flicking through a satellite TV menu until my cocaine buzz wears off, it does make sense to me. Usually, I follow a very strict formula, moving through genres and directors with a mathematical emphasis on variety and thoroughness, driven by the same passions that make me wash my hands forty five times a day and obsessively count the notches in the hilt of my Ka-Bar combat knife. The notes of my film viewing are detailed, the lists are long, and the patterns are evident, should anyone wish to wade through the reams of data on nunsploitation and bad date-rape jokes to find it. And yet, Hoods remains a mystery to me. It appeared on my review list, complete with a few scribbled notations slurring Italian Americans, and yet I have no recollection of why I chose this over the legions of other bad mob movies churned out in the hopes they’ll get mentioned in the chorus of a Capone-N-Noreaga mix tape and consequently sell two hundred thousand video copies out of the back of Source magazine. I remember watching the film as it retread the path walked by thousands of other Joe Pantoliano movies before it, as I quietly prayed that someone would have kindly taped over the last half with the final act of Mean Streets, but the whole decision making process that ultimately led to the rental of Hoods is a complete blank, like I went out trolling for underage tail at a bowling alley and accidentally drank the dosed Mountain Dew.
Could it have been the intriguing plot? Doubtful. It would have to have one, instead of the standard rehash of The Godfather cross-bred with post-Tarantino quirk. I’m so sick of low-level mobsters trying to work their way up the food chain while battling crises of conscience, like I’m supposed to feel some kind of empathy for the kinds of guys who wear jewelry on purpose and are proud of their chest hair. I’m not saying electrolysis is the answer, but perhaps buttoning the dress shirt completely over the wife-beater and protruding tangle of what looks like steel wool might help. Could it have been Jennifer Tilly? A distinct possibility, I’ll admit. She is a fine actress, who sees little distinction between baring her soul and baring her breasts, and I’m not too proud to admit that her voice makes me think of a five year old slutty enough to trade an up-skirt peek for a Powerpuff Girls sticker album. And yet, that doesn’t seem like a satisfactory answer. If I really wanted to get a fix of Ms. Tilly, I could have watched my well-worn copy of Embrace of the Vampire, which not only features a topless Tilly, but also contains numerous lesbian scenes with Alyssa Milano. Or, I could have listened to the audio-commentary for Bride Of Chucky, where she distinctly says ‘hand-job’ about halfway through, though she says it to Brad Dourif so it’s not quite as sexy as the Milano thing. I don’t necessarily find Milano terribly attractive, as short enough hair would make her easily mistakable for a particularly lithe Mediterranean boy, but the thrill of watching ex-TV stars reduced to stripping for the fourteen year old boys too young for the porn section but too old to still masturbate to the photo spreads in YM is too much to resist. This compulsion has led me on a quest to locate each and every Gabrielle Carmouche appearance since The Cosby Show, though, much like Arthur’s mythical Holy Grail or Ahab’s Moby Dick, I still can’t find Young Muff 8 on DVD.
No caption could be funnier than a Cosby Kid taking it up the pooper
Now that I’ve asserted my masculinity through numerous references to aggressive sexuality that border on predatory sex-crimes, allow me to express a certain degree of puzzlement in regards to the genre of soft-core pornography so often frequented by failed child actors and the Tilly sisters. I understand the desire, nay, the need for men to see various parts of female anatomy in various states of undress, but what I don’t understand is why you would want to watch two women sensually massaging each other in soft-focus and warm lighting when five feet further down the video store aisle will bring you into a room where desperate Slovakian women bathe in male effluent for two straight hours of cheap video. It’s the same sort of bizarre drive that force men to obsessively pause Resident Evil at the exact moment when you can see Milla Jovovich’s left nipple, or gather in packs of sports jerseys and fading deodorant to swarm theatres showing Swordfish just because Halley Berry flashes the camera. Why would you spend good money for five seconds of breasts that could easily be mistaken from a distance for Hershey’s Kisses when, with a little time and patience, you can make the internet show you a woman crushing a coke bottle with her PC muscles? Is it a need to hoot and holler loudly in public, assuring everyone else in the theatre that just because you’re there with a bunch of guys each spaced one seat apart, you’re certainly not gay, though you may be too retarded to know the difference? Or is it the same impulse that makes sure Baywatch will live on in reruns on Spike TV and Showcase Action until the the seventh seal is broken? Either way, it makes less sense than why I watched Hoods.