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Candy Von Dewd and the Girls from Latexploitia
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Trippy, man."
4 stars

Looking for an amazing technicolor dreamcoat of a movie that makes no sense whatsoever, but don't want to sit through all two hours plus of "Speed Racer"? Well, there's always "Candy Von Dewd."

"How can you even review that?" That was the question asked just now by my viewing companion for Candy Von Dewd. I suppose I shouldn't. It's an experience, a happening. It has been lovingly concocted by director/writer Jacques Boyreau, who used to run the psychotronic Werepad in San Francisco, where music was played, vintage trash movies were screened, and I'm only guessing here drugs were taken. The Werepad closed its doors in 2005, but Candy Von Dewd carries on its spirit.

The "plot" is as inconsequential as were the plots of the movies that Boyreau references: It's the future, "testicles are shrinking," and a few brave, horny men explore space in search of "seedable women." They land on a planet full of latex-clad amazons and are summarily detained, whereupon they call for the help of a freelance heroine named, yes, Candy Von Dewd. All of this is an excuse for aggressively trippy visuals, knowingly wooden acting, and a fair amount of footage of women dancing or rolling around on fur rugs. And by "fair amount" I mean "seems to take up half the movie." At times it's as if Nick Zedd had remade one of those laughable cheesecake one-reelers you see on Something Weird's on-demand channel on Comcast.

At feature length this might be pretty intolerable, but Boyreau has the sense to keep it to 55 minutes. The movie was obviously shot on the cheap, yet Boyreau just as obviously put a great deal of thought and effort into the look of the film. It could just as easily have been a full-on tribute to the cheapie sci-fi of old, with cardboard sets, but the design here is art in and of itself. Boyreau has edited books such as Trash: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation (about z-movie posters) and the forthcoming Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box, and Candy Von Dewd springs wholly and purely from those decadent images. It's a shame the movie didn't find a big cult following (it's on DVD courtesy of Alpha Video, those tireless purveyors of $6.00 public-domain movies), because it's built for an audience specifically one under the influence.

My advice? Give it a shot. Let go of the demand that it make sense, and just let the thing wash over you. At the very least, it's full of images more arresting and mesmerizing than most of what comes out of Hollywood.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=17512&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/11/08 22:11:44
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USA
  25-Oct-2002 (NR)

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