Every time I see the opening scene of The Poseidon Adventure with the late, great comic actor, Leslie Nielsen, at the helm, I think to myself, “Please turn this fine, serious disaster film into a silly spoof of a disaster movie like Airplane! You’ve already got Leslie Nielsen in the cast for goodness sake.”
Comedy is hard to do. Good comedy is even harder to do. It isn’t enough to write funny jokes or lines. Delivering those droll lines with the right flair and comedic timing is a much under-appreciated acting art form. Just ask Cary Grant His classy performances in countless, memorable light comedies was never acknowledged with an Oscar.
Leslie Nielsen, the once serious actor became the master of deadpan, comic acting. As Lt. Frank Drebin in Police Squad, Nielsen delivered his lines with all the thespian gravitas of Laurence Oliver performing a soliloquy from Hamlet, with hilarious results.
The synopsis of Dirty Cues, a new web series on Latin Heat Cinema’s growing menu of diverse, entertaining, streaming attractions reads: When a Colombian cartel starts laundering money through Spanglish movies in Hollywood, a rookie FBI agent must play the role of a lifetime.” Oh no!” I once again thought to myself, “Not another violent, bloody, melodrama about a drug cartel. I’ve already seen La reina del sur four times. Loved it and especially loved Kate del Castillo. But enough already!”
Well, truth be told, I can’t get enough of Kate del Castillo. But that’s a topic for another article.
Back to Dirty Cues. Thankfully and happily, Susie Lohse and César Gamiño, the creators of this original web series, are taking a smart, campy, and very funny look at a very troubling and topical subject; money laundering by drug cartels in the USA.
“Dirty Cues’ short episodes are, without exception, laced with witty repartee, goofy gags, raunchy double entendres and clever, cultural references”
Javie, a Colombian narco trafficante, is running a Spanglish language movie studio in Hollywood as a money laundering operation for his drug kingpin boss. Javie’s studio turns out Spanglish movie knockoffs for the Hispanic community. Example: Fifty Shades of Gray is re-packaged as Fifty Shades of Azul. In addition to the usual headaches a studio boss deals with, Javie’s ditzy, trophy wife, Mazy, wants to have a baby. Problem is, this Latino Lothario’s equally ditzy mistress, Cherry, is also very demanding of his personal “attention.”
In one amusing moment, Cherry confronts Javie on his lack of fidelity to their extra-marital affair.
“I’m faithful to you Javie,” she whines pitifully, “But I know you are not faithful to me.”
Javie protests innocently: “Cherry, I’m married.”
Meanwhile, a rookie FBI agent, Daniel, has infiltrated the studio posing as a cameraman. He becomes smitten with a struggling screenwriter, Anya. Daniel’s partner, Edith, a veteran FBI agent, cautions Daniel not to get involved. Ignoring her own advice, Edith accidently finds herself in the middle of a scene rehearsal and reads for a part. She gets the acting bug and later confides to Daniel:
“I’m an agent in need of an agent. I gotta get some representation.”
Travis, the studio enforcer who is suspicious of Daniel and thinks he might be a mole, warns him with pitch-perfect, icy, cold-blooded menace:
“I’ll be watching you like a pedophile in a Chucky Cheese.”
What a great line! Wish I’d written it.
Dirty Cues’ short episodes are, without exception, laced with witty repartee, goofy gags, raunchy double entendres and clever, cultural references. In tone and tenor, Dirty Cues has many similarities with the old Comedy Central cop show spoof, Reno 911, which was a personal favorite of mine. Dirty Cues is a highly watchable, madcap romp with some zany characters through the world of drug cartels by way of Hollywood. Again, kudos to creators, Lohse and Gamiño
Let’s face it kids, we will need all the laughter we can get the next four years. Thanks to Latin Heat Cinama, Dirty Cues will serve up more than its fair share of welcome comic relief. Somewhere, I’m sure Leslie Nielsen is watching Dirty Cues and chuckling with delight, approval and pride.
Watch Dirty Cues, along with Leslie, on Latin Heat Cinema.