4 November 2007 | ptb-8
Baked Beans in Australia...
Some really dynamic music and surprisingly effective 1989 level teen romance are just some of the enjoyable parts of this awful Golan Globus production from Cannon Films, the LA/ Israeli based exploitation outfit that simply made D grade knock offs of whatever other hit films there were in cinemas the previous year. In this case DIRTY DANCING from 1988.
The roster of SALSA guest artists is surprising and the Salsa numbers quite dynamic in their Latin way. Talented boy-band dude Bobby Rosa clearly was the indecent obsession of someone at Cannon as he is lust-filmed to the point of near nude as often as possible (especially in the opening ten minutes... (I thought I had the wrong DVD playing)..... We even have a garish nightclub with an orchestra - lots of pink neon and glass blocks -and it's a place frequented by Aunties and their husbands, mum and li'l sisters... a real family affair, as is the whole film... even with backyard parties in the afternoon. It offers a real good look at suburban 1989 Los Angeles... which is interesting in itself.
Occasionally Golan Globus accidentally made something that was actually good (eg RUNAWAY TRAIN) ... and I am very sad to say that today in 2007 this film is rendered quite emotional because of the charming and effervescent appearance of talented 20 year old Rodney Harvey in one of his few good roles before his terrible drug death in 1997. I have seen the string of mug shots of Rodney in decline from sparkling teen to gaunt ghost ...they were printed in Premiere magazine years ago in a run of shots 1-10 showing just his arrested image in horrifying shrivel as his heroin addiction rotted his handsome young face. You can also see him in GUN CRAZY and MY PRIVATE IDAHO. Absolutely tragic. His family and friends must just be grief-stricken still if they see his films today.
I was also reminded by SALSA a lot of the Oz film STRICTLY BALLROOM which was made 4 years later. Some sequences from SALSA are clearly reformatted into STRICTLY, especially the billboard dancing scene. Hmmmmmm.