Film Review by Kam Williams
Kitchen Sink Comedy Chronicles Cutthroat Rivalry between Neighboring New Orleans Barbershops
Will (Martin Bradford) is the proprietor of Kupcakes, a hair salon located in Algiers, the only New Orleans parish on the west side of the Mississippi River. What makes him unique is that he’s also a grassroots activist who periodically stands on the proverbial soap box, preaching to anybody who’ll listen about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He only has one employee, Nola (Jessica Morali), a gorgeous shampoo girl. They are secretly lovers, too, only because she has a very overprotective brother, Denzel (Reginal Varice), who is driven beserk just by the thought of her sleeping with anybody.
For example, he went crazy and beat up the entire staff at Napoli’s Pizzeria, when he suspected the owner of sleeping with her. Gesuippe Napoli (Ricky Wayne) was so incensed by the pummeling that he’s summoned a hit man from Sicily (Gianni Boromei) to knock off the perpetrator.
Meanwhile, right across the street from Kupcakes we find Marvin’s, an old-fashioned barbershop frequented by a colorful cast of characters. The place is run by Marvin (Vas Blackwood) and his two brothers, Hathi (Corey Mendell Parker) and Anaconda (Nicoye Banks).
Each of the siblings has a distinctive physical trait. Marvin has a huge Afro, Hathi has big ears, and Anaconda was blessed with gargantuan genitalia, hence the nickname. And he’s a sex addict dating Nola’s BFF, Karen (Kamille McCuin). Karen is the neighborhood drug dealer, not to be confused with another hustler who lurks around, pressuring passersby to purchase everything from watches to underwear.
Additional players in this theater of the absurd include Woody (Lucius Baston), an aspiring opera singer who only stutters when he speaks, and a a trio of hooded Ku Klux Klansmen threatening to kill Will unless he stops the pontificating in favor of civil rights.
All of the above are afforded their moments to shine in N.O.L.A. Circus, a kitchen sink comedy written and directed by Luc Annest. The foul-mouthed Frenchman is apparently unaware of contemporary social trends, since his irreverent film debut arrives laced with profanity, ethnic slurs, misogyny and assorted other salacious material ostensibly intended to easily offend.
The picture relies on a preposterous plot somewhat redeemed by the fact that the outrageous antics onscreen are often hilarious. So, don’t be surprised if you end up laughing in spite of yourself.
Politically-incorrect, crassploitation fare strictly for the unshockable!
Very Good (2.5 stars)
Running time: 89 minutes
Distributor: XLrator Media