Review: Young Rebels

Young Rebels (1992)

Young RebelsYoung Rebels conjures up some postmodern film, perhaps an early Martin Scorsese starring a young Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro about life being tough on the streets of New York. But no, it’s better than that. This is one of Amir Shervan’s ‘lost’ classics.
Over at the 80’s Picture House they specialise in giving voice to such films, Shotgun, Miami something or other, Samurai Cop, why they even love films with Linda Blair in them. Before this is re-released by Cinebridge both Thom and myself feel it fitting that both sites cover this… gem.

Mr Vincenzo and his son Joey (Robert Z’dar) run a drugs cartel and need to get ‘something’ from Mexico (drugs? people?) but they need a helicopter to do it. Extreme scary facial close ups abound while the kingpin Vincenzo shouts and screams at various henchmen to do his bidding, ending with them shooting all the Mexican’s AND Philippino’s who work on the farm. I have no idea whose farm it is, probably Vincenzo’s despite him not really looking a ‘farmerly’ type.

Meanwhile, a groom (tall, blonde, stupid looking) and his 2 pals (one black and young, the other Asian and about 70 years old) get an eyeful in a strip club the day before the wedding. And boy what an eyeful they get. Two women strip in a scene that takes around 8 minutes. I’ve seen some blatant sexualisation in Shervan’s work, but this one wins hands down. There is rather a lot of arse on show from the first stripper, however, the second stripper does a handstand showing the audience and the viewer not only what she had to eat in 1980 but how it would be another 20 years before anal bleaching would become popular. This scene is endless. The jiggling tits and wide open legs revealing a massive flange pie is quite disturbing. I think even a masturbating 12 year old lad would have cum 3 times and turned off by the time the bad guys burst through the door and take the dumb blonde groom (who, from what I’ve managed to find out, may be Buck Striker in real life) away for non-payment of a gambling debt.

A huge, out of sync Kung Fu battle ensues, the 70 year old groom’s pal kicking and chopping his way through the baddies, but to no avail as dumb blonde is kidnapped and there’s only one guy who can svae him. His brother, Charlie (Jon/Johnny Greene). Now here’s a fella who you’d swear is Roddy Piper’s older more muscular brother (where are you Jon? We need to talk to you!). He has real 1980’s heartthrob looks, in tight white jeans and what appears to be a rather smashing ladies blouse, he even has a dimple in his chin. Swoon.

To pay off dumb blonde’s debt and make some extra dough, Charlie must pilot a helicopter to Mexico because ‘Charlie Deranger used to be the number 1 at bringing in illegal things from Mexico’. Shevran’s trademarks are all here. There is much creepage around buildings from henchmen, and Charlie lands his helicopter in a wide open, flat field, only to be right next to a heavily wooded and housed area. Vast amounts of clumsy ‘don’t quite hit the mark’ fighting ensues, for Charlie and brother to open the case or… wonderment to find… pillows, and a blanket. This miraculously turns into a heap of plastic bags containing ‘drugs’ when the cops turn up. Chases and shouting and shootings happen, back and too… until Jennifer, the dumb blonde’s intended is spied upon by Z’dar and 6 henchmen, from a nearby hedge (Oh … I can see you! Well there are 7 of you) they break into the house just as Charlie and Bro arrive home. A battle ensues with Jennifer disappearing (she’s apparently dead, can’t believe Shervan didn’t show that!) and both brother’s get shot. Charlie escapes by falling into a nearby… waterfall… (huh?) while dumb blonde also dies.

What a surprise to see Joselito Rescober pop up as… a Mexican worker. He shops for blouse at the same place Charlie does. The costumes in this film are extremely interesting, as they seem to be cast off’s from The Lost Boys, anything Bette Midler ever wore and an 80’s sex shop. Aldo Ray also makes an appearance as the Sherriff. He shouts a lot too.

We are soon treated to our first Z’dar sex scene, which constitutes a weirdly-breasted lady biting Z’dar ON HIS CHIN… (wtf?) and just as he’s about to finally slip his grabby little fingers into her non-existant knickers… (there are a LOT of close-up fanny shots in this film. And by that I mean right up close, covered by the sparsest of material, you can see everything including pubes, fanny shots), he gets called away. Do not worry! For within minutes (after some shooting, shouting and diving by Charlie) we are treated to Z’Dar sex scene number 2. Here is a sex scene that is confounding in its magnificence. Z’dar lounges back on a bed, gulping wine, chin out while a blonde … stripper (?) performs a striptease. Yes another stripper stripping, only this time she uses a long pearl necklace as her performance tool. There is nowhere on her body she does not run this necklace, round her boobs, legs, neck, shoulders, thighs… then she runs out of ‘outside’ places and begins to use some ‘inside’ ones. After seeing her thread it several times up her fanny and her arse, and please dear reader, when I say up her arse, I do mean RIGHT up there. I for one, would NOT want to place that necklace around MY neck as I’m sure it would be covered in lady juice and fecal matter. Again Z’dar is interrupted before he can get a shag, by Charlie and here at long last, after much running and leaping, Z’dar succumbs to Charlie’s gun.

Joselito joins Charlie in running away from Vincenzo, who is now on the warpath after ‘HE KILLED MY SON’… I was delighted to hear during the car chase the dulcet tones of Vincenzo cry… yes you guessed it… ‘SHOOT. SHOOT HIM. SHOOOOOT. Shoot him. KILL HIM. KILLLLLL HIM’. Lovely. (Samurai Cop fans rejoice!)

Charlie joins forces with a blonde. Now why are so many blonde girls in this film? I’m unsure which one this is. She has huge eyebrows and a unusual way of firing a gun. No I won’t spoil it, just watch the magic.

And here I will stop, as I cannot continue without alcohol.

I’ve been told it’s not easy to review a film like Young Rebels, but I disagree. You simply cannot review a film of this genre or ilk like you would a Fellini, a Visconti, or Spielberg. These movies exist in a different universe to mainstream films; you watch them with a different head on. In my case, a ‘shit’ head. I mean no disrespect to the filmmakers, actors or writers, but rather embrace and rejoice at their tenacity and perseverance to get these films out there. This is a classic Shervan, full of his particular tropes and bursting with a ‘seat of your pants’ accomplishment. Another solid gold film of so bad it’s goodness.

Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) with thanks to Gregory Hatanaka for the advance screening.