Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury (2011) – Review

3 Stars

Let me get it out of the way upfront, I laughed frequently throughout this spoof of a movie within a movie. I didn’t expect much from the comedic duo of Kevin Sorbo and Danny Trejo, neither man had proven to have even limited gifts in the arena of comedy. Sorbo is a revelation. His deadpan delivery amongst zaniness was first glimpsed in Meet the Spartans, but here Sorbo is more at ease and has better writing to work from. This peculiar sketch film is part Tropic Thunder and a bit Black Dynamite, if those were directed by the Zucker Brothers and Wayans.

This is a loving send-up to 1980s b-movies, the kind that starred Martin Kove or David Carradine in a Roger Corman produced product. Poolboy is actually the name of the movie taking place within the movie, it involves a Vietnam Vet returning home to find is wife having moved on with another man and a child he doesn’t recognize. Bando (Sorbo) begins to take over the pool cleaning business from the local Mexican suburban landscaping cartel in an effort to reclaim a country he doesn’t recognize anymore. As the amusing exploitation feature plays out we are treated to a running commentary from the director, a one eyed coke fiend aristocrat named St. James St. James.

Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury is one damn funny movie. It’s irreverent, knowledgeable and truly outrageous on more than a couple of occasions. This is an unexpected delight, a comedy that is able to maintain a constant level of energy and invention for the entirety of its running time. Even if the filmmakers employ a throw everything against the wall and see what sticks approach, it results in a large number of gags that score. I appreciate the amusing script from comedian Ross Patterson and the level of unapologetic free-spiritedness in the performances. I can’t wait to see what this creative team could do with a real budget.

Director: Garrett Brawith
Stars: Kevin Sorbo, Ross Patterson, Danny Trejo

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