DVD Review

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Furious femmes doing serious damage!

By ANDREW HERSHBERGER     February 01, 2002

At this time of introspection, as the country climbs out of the chaos of tragedy and bad stock portfolios, one man, one giant man, has come to rescue us from the despair that has swept our great nation. Who is this man you ask? Certainly not Superman, nor Batman, not even the Blue Beetle! No, none of these imaginary icons can do what Mike Vraney of Something Weird Video has done! None of them could have released WRESTLING WOMEN USA! None of them could have made a sad, disillusioned soul questioning their very existence stop in their tracks at the video store and triumphantly shout: "Hey, chicks beating the crap out of each other, I am so renting this!" God bless you Mike Vraney, wherever you are!

As the eager little beaver, or pickle, sat down with a trusty cup of Joe and a bag of nachos and popped in WRESTLING WOMEN USA they marveled at the wonderful copyright warning. "Wow, never saw anything like that," they muttered to themselves sarcastically, like somebody was actually there to hear them. Suddenly their jaw dropped, in preparation for another nacho (lime flavored, so no actual limes were killed), and the Something Weird intro played. "Gosh, I sure dig that funky song," they said aloud to nobody, "Wish somebody would release that tune on CD so I could burn it off a friend... a friend, oh if only... if only... OH COOL! The main menu's up! Awesome! * snort * chuckle * snort , snort*."

And what a wonderful main menu it was! Full of options, choices and such, but not too much to maneuver through on this off night (Saturday), a night to be free of the hassle of petty social activities; alone in the house with nothing but the litter box (cat long dead) and the freedom resulting from it. "Let me see, "Amateur Outdoor Catfighting"! Oh I am so clicking on that." And he did and he smiled and the world was so beautiful - even if the actual title read "Outdoor Catfighting," something he could have quipped about. Four matches of girls in swimsuits fake punching and hitting and clawing and tearing at the hair; it was like porn, but with clothing and no sex. Their names were so alluring, sounding like those of the goddesses who frequent Wal-Mart at 9 am. Irma... Blanche... Mary... Nancy... Cherie... so nice to see these words attached, for a change,  to women who could be defined as skinny. "Boy I hate them fat chicks, if they tried to make a move on me... I'd... I'd... I'd say... What! Do I look like a donut to you?! Best be gone to where everything's cooked in pig fat! Ha, ha ha." As "Amateur Outdoor Catfighting" came to a close, our young hero wept silently into his hands.

Regaining composure and grabbing a bottle of black bean salsa - "nothing but me, the cat box and some first class butt-trombone!" - it was time for "Girls of the Mat," a collection of six all-star wrestling matches. "Damn, I bet when Gramps was my age, and alive, he would have gotten a major chubby watching these girls writhe together." And if he could have seen his grandfather gazing down at him from heaven, with a look of utter contempt, he would have been really creeped out. 14 different women wrestle in "Girls of the Mat"- one match is a tag team fight - and it's like cheesecake heaven, or would be if the women didn't look so much like men. (Note: Men who like women who look like men, I'm sorry if I... oh, who am I kidding? Everybody point at these people and laugh.) Most interesting thing isn't the matches themselves but the "Amos and Andy" lite team that narrates the Clara Mortensen vs. Rita Martinez and The Blonde Ballerina vs. June Adair bouts. Guaranteed every self-conscious white person will both cringe and turn the volume down when this comedy bit comes on. People from the south, however, will laugh while slapping their knee and drinking from the moonshine jug, which doubles as the featured instrument at tonight's big hoedown!

Running out of chips and still possessing more than enough dip our hero starts to scoop out the remaining spread with his fingers. "Mmmm... slorp... slurp... tck... tck... slorp... thhhhhhooop." On the TV he cues up the trailer for the featured presentation, PIN-DOWN GIRL - which has the alternate title RACKET GIRLS. "Wow," he says to the wall. "That Peaches Page has really big t-ts." Next he watches a clip from PIN-DOWN GIRL that features the abysmal acting of Rita Martinez - who bears a striking resemblance to Gilda Radner. "Damn that was way funny," he yells out loud. "I've got to write that down and add it to my repertoire of bad movie lines I incessantly spurt out at the people who come into Megatron Mike's SuperRad Comic, Manga and Anime Emporium... gee, I really wish Mike would hire me... It's been like six years since I turned in my application."

On a submenu, our swinging bachelor found seven more items to watch. First he got the stills gallery of lady wrestlers out of the way. "Stupid stills gallery! Nothing but pictures!" Then he watched popular female wrestler Mildred Burke battle Mae Weston in a newsreel type short called "Lipstick and Dynamite." "Wow, ladies had no problems being chubby back then, isn't that right erection?" he said to his... well, you know. Much excitement was caused by the short "Scalli's Gymnasium" which featured a few of the actresses from PIN-DOWN GIRL in cleavage and naked back-flashing glory. "Wow, I wish porno hadn't so deadened my love of the tease." "When Girls Need a Man" met with instant success! "OH MY GOD, was that an up the skirt shot?!" Yes, indeed it was an up the skirt shot, a fully clothed, wearing underwear, up the skirt shot. "Ha, ha, ha, this narration is killer - I bet I'll get some laughs with it tomorrow at Megatron Mike's! Oh, that reminds me, the new issue of HOT STUFF came out today, gotta get that!" "The Mad Whirl" was a ten-minute roller derby clip. "Yawn! Hmmm... you know what would be better than this?! ANYTHING!" "Glamazon Living Room Rumble" received the greatest response, practically twenty minutes of girls wrestling in a living room while some choice music played. It's hypnotic as well as nonsensical; a true thing of beauty and a great addition to any party. "OH MY GOD! Was that a nipple that just popped out! It was! It was! I've got to talk to Peter about this." And with that we leave our lonely boy, busy unfastening his belt, to call attention to one of the greatest crap films of all time, PIN-DOWN GIRL.

Produced by George Weiss - responsible for GLEN OR GLENDA and OLGA'S GIRLS - you know right off the bat that "quality" entertainment this ain't. Throw in the infamous Dan Sonney (partner with midnight movie god David F. Friedman for a few late '60s nudie cuties, amongst other claims to fame) and things can only go up (or down depending on perspective) from there. Add Robert C. Dertano, a guy I know practically nothing about, as director and possible (stress possible) writer and... well, it makes for an amazingly enjoyable piece of "unwatchable crap."

The opening credits give top billing to known wrestlers Clara Mortensen and Rita Martinez (a "real" fight between the two is captured elsewhere on this DVD) who are in the film for all of seven minutes.

The story involves Umberto Scalli (the great Timothy Farrell, THE DEVIL'S SLEEP, DANCE HALL RACKET) running a women's wrestling gym and league. Umberto turns out to be your average piece of dog slime; a pimp, a con artist and a lady beater, just to get started. He hires Peaches Page to be his new wrestling find, most likely due to her huge chest and small IQ. Umberto's lovable friend Joe the Jockey (one hit wonder Don Ferrera) can't help but look at Peaches' chest and neither can the audience as those boobs continuously bob as she runs, throws the weight ball, uses the rowing machine, wrestles, and, my favorite, jumps rope. It really doesn't matter that she disappears by the second reel since she said all she had to say. So Umberto's a slime, he tries to get Ms. Mortensen and Ms. Martinez to throw the fight, but neither will, and in the end Umberto dies. Of course there's other stuff, by why should I try to make sense out of this?

Timothy Farrell oozes sleaze and his performance as Umberto Scalli is remarkably effective. It's a shame that the creators didn't spend more time beefing up the story instead of figuring out ways to have Peaches Page jiggle. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 covered this film, but that's like beating a dead horse. This movie has got so many unintentional laughs, those guys only distract from it with their pop culture asides. PIN-DOWN GIRL (the print says RACKET GIRLS) is the sort of fly by night dime store product that today's bad film thirsty culture eats up by the gallon. As far as these types of films go, PIN-DOWN GIRL is in the filet mignon range.

There is an audio commentary for PIN-DOWN GIRL featuring Johnny Legend and some cronies who provide both excellent commentary on the film and quite a few juicy tidbits on the wrestling industry; another stellar commentary track on a Something Weird release.

As far as print quality and sound on this DVD, it's all over the place. Pretty much every track has hiss and pops and every frame of film has a scratch, is too dark or is faded out. So if that bothers you, avoid. Those who can get by such things are in for a treat, as the shorts that comprise WRESTLING WOMEN USA, plus the feature PIN-DOWN GIRL, prove to be 212 minutes of mat slamming fun.


Movie Grades: A- / B+     Disc Grade: A

Reviewed Format: DVD

Rated: Not Rated

Stars: WRESTLING WOMEN USA various; PIN-DOWN GIRL - Clara Mortensen, Rita Martinez, Timothy Farrell, Peaches Page, Don Ferrera, Muriel Gardner

Writers: WRESTLING WOMEN USA - various; PIN-DOWN GIRL open to speculation

Directors: WRESTLING WOMEN USA - various; PIN-DOWN GIRL - Robert C. Dertano

Distributor: Image Entertainment / Something Weird Video

Original Years of Release: WRESTLING WOMEN USA various; PIN-DOWN GIRL - 1951

Suggested Retail Price: $24.99

Extras: audio commentary featuring Johnny Legend; still gallery of lady wrestlers; wrestling match compilation; cat fighting compilation; various shorts


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