1988 / Director. Paul Morrissey.
I was always aware of Spike of Bensonhurst when I was growing up. Its poster was familiar to me from my many visits to the video store... but I had never seen it, until tonight. I found it perplexing. It touts itself as a comedy but there isn't much humour to it. It's also full of undesirable characters, who I felt uncomfortable watching. It's quite an ugly movie with foul language, misogyny and a racist attitude. Sasha Mitchell plays an overly confident and ambitious young boxer who tries to talk his way into the local mafia. When he falls in love with the mob boss's daughter, he leaves town with her only fall in love with another girl before being sucked back into the seedy underworld he loves so much. Honestly, I hated these characters so much that I just didn't care about any of it. I was frustrated that a movie could be full of excellent performances, yet every one of them is unappealing. Every woman is a "whore" or a "slut" and this kid even calls his own mother a "dyke". From the poster I would guess that the film was marketed to a teenage audience, or even Spike Lee's crowd but unfortunately its use of profanity and bigotry isn't socially or culturally commentated the way it is in Lee's films. Of course it could be argued that this film accurately portrays a culture and lifestyle but I don't buy that... the film attempts to be a romantic comedy amongst the smut-talk and removes any authenticity. Perhaps if it had portrayed this lifestyle the way Saturday Night Fever did (such a seedy film) then it might have been an entirely different outcome. Anyway, If you've seen Spike Of Bensonhurst (Mafia Kid in some countries) then I'd be keen to hear your thoughts.