Forgotten Friday Flick – “Down Twisted” (Saturday Edition!)

A day late and a dollar short.  Okay, it is Saturday, but sometimes life happens and things get pushed.  (I’m human film fans!)  But I say better late than never and since the very engaging new doc Golan A Farewell To Cinema recently had its showing at the Beverly Hills Film Festival (see review HERE!) and was given a glowing stamp of approval by yours truly it seemed only fitting to match this weeks selection with a Golan-Globus Cannon Films hidden gem – welcome to the Saturday edition of Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re digging deep into the Golan-Globus vaults for a lessor known outing (and given the B-movie Cannon catalog that’s saying something!) filled with style and on-screen sirens guaranteed to knock cinematic socks off.  (Or at least entertain!)  It’s a heist/humor combo flick about a gal whose boring life gets a lot more interesting – and a lot more dangerous.  So follow closely as the deal is about to go down but it’s going…Down Twisted!

Maxine is a sensible woman with a good head on her shoulders.  She’s smart, dedicated and ambitious, but being a practical gal who spends her days slinging food as a waitress is not afraid to work hard to get where she wants to be in life.  But when she helps out her hysterical roommate who’s involved in a heist above her head, Maxine finds herself out of her elements, in a strange land and the target of some very nefarious folks.  She’s aided with the help of hapless wisecracking bumbling stranger Reno and together the two must fight off fellow thieves, sadistic killers and corrupt police if they want to live past tomorrow.

The above description feels surprisingly fitting (and carries the cool Cannon sassy seal of approval at the end!) as the basic story template of Down Twisted is, well, basic.  There are a few mild twists and double and quadruple crosses thrown in for good measure, but basically Cannon directing staple Albert Pyun keeps the story simple (when it does get too complicated it definitely begins to unravel!) infusing action, humor and a pinch of chemistry to keep all eyes of the prize of note – the on-screen eye candy.  And it’s in this realm that Pyun excels, as his visual prowess carried over from the previously picturesque Dangerously Close here gets some added lush locations to make Down Twisted some of his best looking work to date.  (Not to mention his best sounding, as the film jets in full 80’s fashion between Oingo Boingo and Fine Young Cannibals – hell yeah!)

Of course signature style is not the only thing Pyun takes from his previous work, as Dangerously Close gal Carey Lowell plays Down Twisted lead Maxine and it’s a charismatic star making turn for sure.  (Lowell eventually went on to play the savory shorthaired Bond girl Pam Bouvier of License To Kill!)  Sexy, sassy, vulnerable and oh-so cool, Lowell’s knockin’ work alone makes Down Twisted well worth seeking out.  (She’s far better than the film she’s in!)  The casting of second fiddle and SNL vet Charles Rocket proves to be an interesting one as well, with the quick with the quip Rocket actually helping the film balance it’s humor to action ratio nicely.  As far as side characters go, there are some typical villains (see Norbert Weisser’s well-dressed criminal!), femme fatals (Linda Kerridge’s high-gloss gal!) and even early acting turns of note (this was Courteney Cox’s film debut!), but none hold a candle to the psychotic platinum blonde wacko played with real relish by Thom Matthews.  (Another Dangerously Close hold over!)  As the demented Damalas, Matthews sheds all previous performance pretenses and creates one creepy character that’s almost unrecognizable. (Don’t know if Matthews was wearing weird make-up or facial prosthetics, but it all works well!)

Of course Cannon’s massive film library is filled with flicks that are short on substance, but high on style.  (Was that the company motto?!)  But what makes Down Twisted worthy of weeding out is a multitude of memorable movie moments.  Pyun’s style savvy, Lowell’s leading lady, Rocket’s David Addison-esque doofus, Matthews bold baddie and one hell of a sizzling 80’s soundtrack are all reason enough to get down and dirty with Down Twisted.


I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

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