Thursday, March 19, 2009

Curse of the Pink Panties (2007)

Directed by Kirk Bowman
Starring Sarah Christine Pletcher, Kira Turnage, Danielle Krienik

Kirk Bowman understands boners. More specifically, he implicitly understands their primary causes and concerns, and has developed a simple but quite effective way to deliver budget wood to the masses. Bowman's managed to carve out a sizable niche for himself directing kinky, bare-bones, weekend-wonder comedies that manage to entertain and titillate without actually showing you much at all. In this age of wall-to-wall gonzo porn, that's pretty fuckin' impressive. Starting with 1995's Cybersex Kittens, Bowman has written, produced, shot, directed, edited, and in some cases, acted in nearly a dozen features, most of which feature extensive scenes involving aspiring actresses cavorting around in their underthings. He is, in no uncertain terms, a dimestore genius.

If I lived in LA, I would hang out with him everyday.

Bowman is clearly firing on all cylinders with this landmark film. Curse of the Pink Panties is the first of his films (along with Bloodsucking Babes from Burbank, also from 2007) to nab decent distribution and get widely (and positively) reviewed, and it's easy to see why. I mean, the title says it all, really. Imagine, a loony crime caper film with a plot that hinges entirely on the cotton-clad crotches of lithesome young ladies, a film with no actual nudity to speak of, but with a literal ass-load of scenes featuring wiggling panty girls, scenes that could put your average adolescent boy into a self-induced coma. That, my friends, is what we are dealing with here.

Plot? Sure, we've got that. Of a sort.
Madeleine Dubois (Darlene K. Oliver) is some GILF-y gypsy type with a purring accent. As the film opens, we see an internet ad where she holds a contest to promote her brand of "Lunchbox" (!) panties. Wearers of said garments are encouraged to make homemade videos of themselves wearing the bright pink undies and showing, naturally, how "confident and strong they are." Sounds like an awesome scam. The winners will receive $5,000 and a lifetime supply of panties. No word on who will do the judging, but I'm sure she had a lot of volunteers.

Meanwhile, a notorious Saudi terrorist-slash-jewel thief is skulking around LA in the company of an equally notorious Californian jewel smuggling ring. Which, as you might guess, can only lead to trouble. But more on that later.

Sophie, an exuberant blonde (the sparkly, Kristin Bell-sy Kira Turnage) receives her pink panties in the mail (one is powder blue), and squeals with delight. She calls her drama club pals and they brainstorm the underwear video situation. Cut to:

Akbar (who, by the way, possesses not a hint of an Arab accent), who meets his rag-tag gang of paisley (!) wearing jewel smugglers in a garage festooned with swirly dayglo graffiti and liberally sprinkled with gum-snapping gangster molls. One dude is dressed like a cartoon pimp, and another guy casually brandishes a pick-axe. It's like Scooby Doo villain convention.

Cut to: Panty girls group number two. Becca (the hopelessly adorable Sarah Christine Pletcher) mugs in a barely-there pink bra and thong ensemble and says, "I am never wearing clothes again, now that I've got these cute panties with the little grapes on them!", as her doe-eyed, corkscrew-haired partner Kelly (Danielle Kreinik) films her.

Then she dances. Kelly frowns, wondering how she's going to get in on the action.
Becca perks up. "We're gonna do a gangster video together!"
And then Kelly, strips down, and they shoot each other with water guns. This is, perhaps, the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life. And I've been around, Jack.

So, anyway, something happens. We go back to the gangsters, who argue over some pink diamonds (like in Lucky Charms cereal!) and everybody gets shot, Reservoir Dogs style. Their spirits turn into little sparks of glowing light and escape into the ether. A third gaggle of girls doing some sort of panty séance (!) convince the gangster spirits to inhabit their underwear, and for the rest of the film, all the girls involved have gangsters in their pants, which causes them to twitch and wiggle and dance around uncomfortably in their underthings. None of them ever think to just take off their panties, which would, of course, end all the fun. So that's good.

There is one surviving gangster (or was it the helpful pizza guy/amateur cameraman? Or the snoopy handyman from next door? Can't remember, was quite dizzy by this point) who figures out that all his arch-nemeses, as well as his gang-boss, are all now resting comfortably in the warm confines of fledgling actress underwear. Given this information, he must figure out how to right all wrongs, make off with the diamond dough, and free the poor girls from their itchy situation. Can he do it?

You'll have to watch to find out, but I will tell you that an integral part of his investigation involves him yelling directly at Danielle Krienik's vagina. Awesome.

I should point out that, despite a plot straight out of a Ron Jeremy fever-dream, Curse of the Pink Panties never verges into any graphic displays of bared womanhood. It has no sex scenes or even any overtly sexual situations. And that's where Bowman's genius comes into play. Curse is as innocent or as lurid as you want it to be. Me, I lean heavily towards the latter, but put some pants on the girls and you've got a breezy, playful, PG-rated comedy full of rubbery bad guys and wide-eyed innocents who just wanna, you know, have some fun. Sure, it's threadbare and implausible, and full of giddy, giggly performances and Ed Wood-esque not-so-special effects, but that merely adds to the charm. The whole production seems to have floated in from some less cynical time, some crazy colorful never-was when girls liked nothing better than a good half-naked tickle fight and gangsters wore big purple polka dotted hats and shot each other with cap guns.

If somebody knows that way to that wonderful world, send me a map, quick.

Availability: Curse of the Pink Panties is available on DVD.

Link: Kirk Bowman's Cranium Candy Pictures

- Ken McIntyre

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