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One of the best art theft genre movies ever made. Lots of back
stabbings with double-crossings, triple-crossings, and
However, it's a very 1980's movie, and didn't age well, which probably accounts for it's contemporary unpopularity. A remake would be immensely popular.
For years, the only way to see Down Twisted was to catch it late at night on Cinemax. The movie was not available on VHS (except for $100 rental store copies), and isn't currently available on DVD, so you'll have to beg AMC to broadcast it.
If you can find it, it's well worth the viewing.
Great 80's verité (like Miami Vice). A low-budget but likeable
A wealthy industrialist hires six thieves to steal a valuable relic from the fictional country of San Lucas just before the annual parade celebrating the relic. He gets double crossed by his own team of thieves, most notably Charles Rocket (SNL, Earth Girls Are Easy). Carey Lowell (Law & Order, Sleepless in Seattle), the baddest Bond Girl. is an innocent bystander dragged into the plot.
Keep an eye out for Courteney Cox at the beginning of the movie.
OK, so you probably already know it's not on the leader board for best movies of the decade. But, really, it is a fun movie. If you like campy comedies you will really like this one. Sure its a bit predictable, sure it doesn't have a-list stars, sure it requires willing suspense of disbelief, but come on, if you look at the cast and director, what more can you expect. Charles Rocket does a fine job as the bumbling hero and everyone else fills in the necessary protagonist and antagonist roles. Give it a chance. You remember Evil Dead? Stakeout? Big Trouble in Little China? As long as your expectations aren't too high you won't be disappointed.
Prolific film-maker of low-grade cheapies Albert Pyun provides the
audience with a tolerably haywire, if blotchy little action adventure
escapade with "Down Twisted" aka "Treasure of San Lucas". A billionaire
art collector hires some international thieves to steal a religious
artifact the crucible of San Lucas where they would switch it with a
replica and fly the real one back to Los Angeles. However they find
themselves being double crossed. Suddenly a waitress finds herself
caught in the middle and being abducted when her roommate confesses
that she and her boyfriend have gotten themselves mixed with these
smugglers. This grungy low-rent Cannon fodder by Golan Globus might be
remembered for Courtney Cox's debut performance, where she gets a bit
of screen time in a throwaway part. But outside of that distraction,
this is an agreeable outing with flavoured Mexican locations and
amusingly fine performances by some Pyun regulars. Charles Rocket plays
it suave as ever, still with a clumsy edge with the amount times his
character gets knocked out. You know, for comedy purposes. Thom Mathews
sticks out as the bleached blonde thief with a killer instinct and so
does Linda Kerridge as a fellow partner in crime. Carry Lowell's
unlucky waitress character Maxine who just happened to be at the wrong
place at the wrong time might have gotten on my nerves at times with
her constant wailing, but no wonder with the amount of times she asked
about the key that she doesn't have. Also showing up is Norbert Weisser
and Nicholas Guest. Pyun's style is not fancy, but sturdily achieved
with some hip touches as the eventful story's framework is a twisty
chase formula with a contemporary noir quality and a snappy soundtrack
back it up.
"Oh, the deal's going down... but it's going down twisted."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The deal is going down
But it is going DOWN TWISTED!" Perhaps this
quote from the movie will help to explain the confusing title.
From the title onwards, things get more and more muddled. The plot involves Maxine, a waitress with big dreams (Lowell-star of "Dangerously Close") who inadvertently gets mixed up with a gang of smugglers who are trying to get their hands on a stolen artifact called "The Crucible Of San Lucas". They almost get it in the beginning of the movie, but are double-crossed by an associate of Michelle, Maxine's roommate.
The baddies believe Maxine has a key to a locker which contains the artifact. She's drugged and kidnapped and placed on a boat to San Lucas with a guy named Reno Mars (Rocket). During a scuffle they fall in the ocean and escape their captors.
Now they must dodge the baddies, the military group in red berets that run the island, and other pitfalls. Plus Maxine has a job interview to get to and she has no passport to get home. Who is double-crossing who? The allegiances are constantly changing.
"Twisted" tries to be peppy but it is actually sluggish. The banter between Maxine and Reno isn't that funny and the main problem is the over-reliance on cutesy humor. For example, during Carnival, Maxine dresses up as a chicken and Reno dresses up as a woman. The intention here was probably to drum up some "laffs" but sadly none are forthcoming.
The main bad guy is named Deltoid ..yes, Deltoid. All characters say the name with a straight face. Unfortunately, the rest of his gang (featuring Thom Matthews of "Dangerously Close" fame-See review) are not named after muscles in the human body. This could've been a pre-"Reservoir Dogs" situation: Instead of Mr. Blonde, Mr. Pink, or Mr. Orange, there could have been Mr. Deltoid, Mr. Hamstring, and Mr. Tricep. Sadly, this was a missed opportunity, one of many, with "Down Twisted".
Hawaiian Albert Pyun has a long and varied career which such gems as Cyborg , Dollman, Captain America, The Charles Sheen vehicle Postmortem, Crazy Six with Rob Lowe and Burt Reynolds, The Nemesis series, Urban Menace and The Wrecking Crew with Snoop D-O double G and the punch-fighter Bloodmatch (an upcoming review) and "Ticker" among many, many others.
Get "Down" with your bad self and watch this classic tonight!
Comeuppance Review by: Ty & Brett
For more insanity, please visit: comeuppancereviews.com
Charles Rocket and Carey Lowell star as a bickering couple who must
fight off the usual villains sent by a stonecutters-like underground
who want a priceless artifact and are willing to kidnap and kill for.
Lowell is the damsel in distress and Rocket is the knight in shining
armor and the audience is bored with all of it. Keep in mind I haven't
seen all of Pyun's works but I highly doubt any movie is as bad as
this, watching infomercials provide more entertainment than this thing.
In fact the movie is just tough to sit through, Down Twisted is so
padded and uninspired you sense that nobody was interested in the
material. In fact it's played so by the numbers and in neutral that one
can't believe this is an adventure. Whatever this debacle is supposed
to be, it's definitely not interesting and it's a must not-see!
1/2* out of 4-(Awful)
Well, you expect it to be bad, and this particular Pyun movie is no
exception. About the best that can be said about it is that the photography
is somewhat improved, and you can occasionally see signs that SOME money was
spent. Though it was clearly still an economic shoot, considering the number
of close-ups and scenes that seem to have been very quickly set
The rest of the movie is a dull slog through the ugliest Mexican locations Pyun could find, and a story that's particularly incoherent. In his defense, there are signs that the movie was cut up from a longer version, since some stuff that occurs in the movie seems to come out of nowhere.
"Down Twisted" was apparently geared as a major release, but it seems that Cannon dumped this directly to video (or, at the very most, gave it a release in one or two cities.) For one thing, about THREE YEARS passed between the year it was made and the year it appeared on video.
Albert Pyun.... Please, please, PLEASE stop making movies! You can't direct! You're an awful director (and screenwriter)! You're the Ed Wood of the 21st Century. Well, I'll take back that last remark, because as bad as Wood's movies were, he at least made them entertaining and easy to sit through!
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