Released: Feb 01st, 1996
Running Time: 105
Director: Jim Enright
Company: VCA Platinum Plus
Cast: J.B. (I), Steven St. Croix, Peter North, Lennox, Tony Tedeschi, Dallas (I), J.R. Carrington, Jessica James, Bridgette Monroe
Critical Rating: AAAA
Not so much the old radio serial, but the Redford-Newman film The Sting provides inspiration for this speakeasies, gambling, dames and booze comedy about a mob war and a fixed prize fight.
And, like Risque Burlesque, Enright's tyro-driven Marx Brothers homage, Gangbusters fires at full clip with a slap-happy nonchalance, cartoon stereotypes and a fondness for every museum-bound slice of pin-striped cornball under the sun. Also not surprising is Jace Rocker's name to be found on the by-line page of this delightful farce that sketches Ron Jeremy's mob boss character Dutch Provolone (remember Stallone in Oscar?) as a "big, fat, nasty, greasy, fat, stank, bloated, fat, hairy, cheesy, gelatin-assed, 14 sandwich-eatin' bastard" who proudly heads the "New York Yankees of crime."
Well, the New York Yankees are about to become the 1962 New York Mets. That crime upstart Tony Tedeschi take Dutch for a bundle at Dutch's own crooked roulette game, triggers a cute double-cross device wherein Provolone's cocky, can't lose prize fighter Killer Joe Rilla (T.T. Boy) has the mojo put on him by Cajun queen Lennox.
Unlike most adult video productions whose budget constraints might likely dance around it or avoid it entirely, Gangbusters does an exhaustive study of a gambling parlor operation together with a clever re-enactment of the delayed Western Union wire scam sequence employed in The Sting.
The costumes are certainly as authentic as the sex appeal which, happily, doesn't suffer the fate of Enright's last big budget costume fiasco Western Nights. Unlike that opus which taxed the viewers' ability (as well as the male performers') to find an asshole in the pleats of a petticoat, Gangbuster's goils are seen in full-naked battle array. And when you have an array like J.R. Carrington, Jessica James (who gets most of the screen time with three sex scenes) and Lennox working the room, you might overlook the fact that they room's decor might be missing a piece of anal furniture or two; or even, possibly, a clear-cut awards-nomination cocktail table. (One might be even surprised to learn that Peter North is relegated to quickie hand job status in a hospital bed scene with nurse Dallas.)
Even so, Gangbusters works so solidly on all levels - art direction, acting, comedy, chemistry and adult entertainment - that even modestly-attained sexual performances (by gaping anus standards, anyway) can't deny its place as an exhaustively-realized modern adult video classic.
Keeping in mind that Gangbusters will be competing with Ultimate Video's The Palace (also a prohibition period piece) for viewer attention, stores might well make provisions for the rash of gangland imitators sure to follow.