18 July 2011 | VinnieRattolle
Great companion to "Nocturna"
Loretta is a gangster's moll who hates her occupation as singer/escort in a nightclub/illegal casino. So when she meets a charming man outside of the club, she decides to follow her heart instead of her mind. This doesn't bode well with George, her would-be boyfriend who runs the club, but he's got problems all his own...
To fully appreciate the gangster drama "Hoodlums," one has to know a little bit about its creator/star, Nai Bonet. Beginning her career as a belly dancer, she set her sights on acting, but no one would give her a job as anything BUT an exotic dancer. Bonet finally decided to find investors and make her own movies to star in. First was "Nocturna," a dopey disco vampire-comedy; this was her second and final attempt to make her own film, and this one was most-likely made with real mob money.
Both movies suffer from a lot of the same problems: slim story, endless disco sequences padding out the running time, cornball dialogue and bad overacting. But this film also features some GOOD acting (albeit scattershot), characters with some depth and enough story that they didn't really need the musical padding. Disco diva Vicki Sue Robinson (who gets to both sing and act) is a scene-stealer, and Peter Iacangelo gives a notable, standout performance as George's henchman, Zoo.
"Hoodlums" doesn't have any pretensions of being a high-brow, award winning film, and that's part of its charm. But as a forgotten little grindhouse type gangster b-movie, it's pretty damned hard to dislike.