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  Delivery Boys No Ken Don't
Year: 1985
Director: Ken Handler
Stars: Josh Marcano, Tom Sierchio, Jim Soriero, Nelson Vasquez, Yayo Gonzalez, Sammy Luquis, Richie Pineiro, George Ovalle, Rodney Harvey, Deckard Fontanes, Jody Oliver, Mario Van Peebles, Naylon Mitchell, Ralph Cole Jr, Frank Lynn, Veronica Hart
Genre: Comedy, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  2 (from 1 vote)
Review: The self-named Delivery Boys are a team of breakdancers who live in New York City, and they are looking forward to an upcoming contest where they can prove their mettle as the best group around, but there may be some impediments to that goal. For a start, though they are talented, getting them all in one place at the same time is tricky, and there are plenty of distractions around for young men in this area, though another element that may get in their way is the job they are named after, where they deliver pizzas for a living. Their boss is a hard taskmaster, and she is sympathetic to their dancing, but when a local gangster named Spider (Mario Van Peebles) enters the restaurant, she senses trouble...

You may have sensed trouble within the first few seconds where writer and director Ken Handler had certainly assembled a bunch of young chaps who could breakdance with sufficient skill, but he had not checked to see if any of them could act first. The results were not a pretty picture, but if this was how he wished to squander his family's millions then that was up to him: he was the man the Ken doll was named after, that's right, Barbie's boyfriend. His sister was who the Barbie doll was named after, and before I blow your mind any further, it was the Handlers, their parents, who invented the huge toy success story, and presumably left Ken enough money to follow his dream to be a moviemaker.

He had made a film before this in 1974 called Pigeon, which was even more obscure than Delivery Boys, and if you're thinking, with all his money he could have drummed up support with a massive ad campaign for his two cinematic efforts, then on this evidence not much of that fortune had gone into the actual manufacture of the films, so presumably once a distributor was found, they were not exactly one of the majors. Indeed, there was a sense that this was strictly amateur hour and a half from minute one to the very end, where we were "treated" to an interminable power ballad sung by the ostensible lead, Josh Marcano, who had spent half his scenes in drag for supposedly humorous aims that spoke more to Handler's interest in dressing up dolls.

This was apparently a comedy, but the humour was of a sort that left you worrying for the sanity of its creator, as if he really needed someone to tell him wait, that's not going to look so great on the screen. A typical gag would be contrived to the point of tedium, but nevertheless weird: for instance, Marcano has been established as stuck in a wealthy townhouse by a young woman who wants to use him for sex and to eat meals with - he cannot get away because of the ferocious Dobermann guarding the door. The girl has hidden his clothes, so instead of looking for them he puts on her clothes, including a blonde wig, and slips away to be confronted by her father who takes him for the new maid. Then the father tries to persuade him to perform oral sex on him while he puts his genitals through a hole in the wall.

Well, that came out of nowhere, as does the resolution, which was for the old man's genitals to be covered in spray cream and have the dog lick it off, making him ecstatic. Sorry if you were eating soon, but imagine what that's like to watch. All the way through there were deeply inappropriate gags like that, from Spider threatening the Boys with cutting off and shrinking their heads - and their penises (what?!), or the rich kid posing as a poor kid who is experimented on by Nazi (?) scientists to give him a long lasting erection that just won't go down and has to be hidden with a pizza box. By the point that another dancer is forced to be part of an art show that sees him almost naked as a living statue (there was a lot of people taking their clothes off here, including porn stars moonlighting in what they must have thought was legit) the effect is confounding, especially as the reason most would watch, the breakdancing, was relegated to five minutes at the start and ten minutes at the end, particularly when most of the music (also by Handler) wasn't hip hop and sounded more like sitcom themes. Pretty horrible.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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