There's nothing like a long-haired Rastafarian Indian with the ability to fling fireballs out of his fingernails to crush the various drug cartels of Mexico, and "Dreadman" is obviously the guy to do it.
This new flick is sort of a cross between "Traffic," "Blow," "Scarface," "Highlander" and "Dances with Wolves," with a few scenes in strip clubs thrown in for dramatic irony.
I speak, of course, of "Mexican Blow," the latest from York Entertainment, which specializes in minority-themed action thrillers, and this one stars Vincent Klyn, the guy who played opposite Jean Claude Van Damme in "Cyborg," wearing a loin cloth, feathers in his hair, and a painted-on charcoal goatee as he rampages through the jungles around Puerto Vallarta, exploding cocaine labs with his "Firestarter" ESP mind-control ballistic brain.
Sure we've seen it before, but have we seen it with 20 solid minutes of Mystical Native American Mumbo Jumbo about the spirit world, complete with a bustier-clad teased-hair Evil Sister who's summoned from the heavens whenever Dreadman starts abusing his powers? I think not.
This is the old story of the happy frolicking Indians who live on the beach at Puerto Vallarta -- they must have moved in after John Huston finished shooting "Night of the Iguana" -- where a wise old chief named Papelli makes them recite their history of how they escaped the evil "slave raiders" and adopted English as their native language so that they could never be fooled again.
Unfortunately, a Jeep convoy is heading their way, led by the cruel and corrupt Mexican drug czar Figueroa, and he intends to skin a few redskins alive so he can find out their hiding place and eliminate them from the jungle. Meanwhile, Dreadman has wandered into the city, where he gets mugged by a couple of street kids, tossed into the jail and befriended by a stripper named Lola and a tough-talking Kung Fu Mama who introduces him to Long Island Iced Teas in plastic cups. A drunken Indian with superpowers is great for a chug contest, by the way.
Since Dreadman obviously doesn't belong to the native Puerto Vallarta tribe, there's more plot about how he needs to trace the origin of his cheap turquoise necklace in the hope of finding out where he came from (Jamaican MTV?). Noticing his ability to explode tourist pottery with the veins in his forehead, a drug kingpin named Eldoran tells him he can help trace the necklace if he'll only help him clean the coke labs out of the jungle. Pretty soon the dimwitted Dreadman is eliminating Eldoran's competitors one by one with explosions of white dust and bug-eyed fleeing extras, and the stage is set for our Rastafarian hero to confront the Midnight Sun (played by Yukmouth of the Luntz -- don't ask, that's his actual name), duel with his evil spirit sister, rescue his various compadres in the tribe, spend a hot night in a motel room with Lola, and kung-fu key supporting players in the finale.
What does it all mean? Drug dealers baaaad. Strippers baaaaad. Spunky kung-fu girls good. Indians good. And how DID a Rastafarian end up as the leader of a Mexican Indian tribe?
Uh, they kinda forgot to tell us that part. Which makes it . . . my kinda movie!
Fifteen dead bodies. Six breasts. Beefcake torture. Mango-hacking. Indian brawl. Nasty ankle fracture. Terrified-lizard reaction shots. LSD trip with fiery red clouds. Funeral pyre. Two muggings. Two gunbattles. Multiple fire-hurling. Barroom brawl. Aardvarking. Three exploding factories. Teepee-torching. One jailbreak. Fingernail light battle. Gratuitous rainforest destruction. Gratuitous chest-pounding. Kung Fu. Blue-light healing Fu. Tarzan Fu. Flamethrower Fu. Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Christian Gomez, as the lovelorn prankster Indian; Toneey Acevedo, as the wise old chief with long gray Willie Nelson hair who says "Your powers are gathering about you!"; Vincent Klyn, as Dreadman, "the chosen child," who can handle every drug dealer in Mexico but has a weakness for strippers and Long Island Iced Teas; Matt Gallini, as the earringed drug goon who says "I am your new best friend"; Estelle Bermudez, as the stripper with a heart of lead; Yukmouth of the Luntz, for having no apparent reason for being in the movie but doing it well; Hector Mercado, as the corrupt drug cop who says "It's time for some pest control"; Kenny Greyson, as the loyal sidekick to Dreadman who says "You can find your way back"; and Will Harper, the director and co-writer, for doing things the drive-in way.
Three stars. Joe Bob says check it out.
"Mexican Blow" Web site: yorkentertainment.com.
To reach Joe Bob, go to www.joebobbriggs.com or email him at JoeBob@upi.com. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.