When I purchased this film I never heard of this but taking a chance because it cover art was 80's punk/gang members looking as if they did not meet Charles Bronson yet. I assumed that I was going to be watching a simple film of revenge dealt out by punks on dopes, this is a film that should be shown nightly in the SF moma. I have yet even get to facts about Tenement but I already want your copy purchased by now anyways...
The intro is a slummy Bronx footage with just about the best rap songs with 10 words or less, no I am not sure if there is a grammy for that but there should be. Now this film is a cobb salad of racial stereotypes and for some reason when Disney leaves out violence and make cartoons singing racial stereotypes, its a grand idea to show your children! its beyond me sorry its ranting now. I will get back to the film and from the ground up this is aces in my book! The gang is a glue sniffing rainbow crew of assorted of all color who have all agreed to look beyond petty differences and live in the basement of a tenement and hassle the dwellers of the building... and by now it bananas with stereotypes like the fat drunk Mexican, old Jewish lady and the black handyman, now the teams have been picked, light the powderkeg of pure fun!
This Film has so many things my eyeballs never thought they would get to see and boy are they glad they did! the fat drunk gets a bottle to the head, rats eaten with knifes, dead dog hangings and the main bad guy is a vested palooka named Chato which sounds like Chaco taco with his overplayed accent and the rest of the gang would fit quite nicely in the nosebleed section of the gang treaty from the Warriors.
The plot concerns is the multi cultural gang is unhappy due to the fact, the tenants called the cops and they are back for revenge, when ensues is just about as wonderful as early Troma films. The tenants are a motley crew themselves, focused on the hesitant leader and I see this man as a sympathetic character, just goes to show you... no sleeves and greats arms don't mean you want to lead people and I have faces this problem in my life.
Now lets get to the part where this movie takes a turn for the AMAZING. I have seen very few films that can down right repulse and manage to deliver a solid plot this is your film. I am talking just about one scene in particular, the broomstick rape scene of a woman who just stabs a gang member with a pair of scissors and then she is just punched the crap of by the other gang members and then they take a broom and open her legs and use the broom like a breadstick in her olive garden, while her child is watching.
Before this film is deemed offensive, what is wrong with showing a mirror up to the face of people by showing just how ugly people are. I find that no matter how much vile things on screen, people just never take in account that there is a need for films like this to balance off the Blockbuster way of life. Why in the fuck would you watch another Jason Stratham movie in which he kicks a door? just go into to Blockbuster and see how little choice you have. I went to cockfucker in Sonoma looking for the Running Man for some solid entertainment and the dumpy clerk who after waiting a painful three minutes in line of fuckfaces who dont know nothing but sequels of remakes of something that someone else made. My point is that the broomstick rape seen made not only my roommate leave the room, a bonus of my girlfriend at the time left my apartment and this are moments I cherish.
The rest is a gigglefest of the gang slowly making their way up to the top of the building and all the wacky adventures and grisly deaths, showing you cant keep a rag tag team of dwellers down. The rest of Tenement is a valiant battle of the scared residents using their wits against the glue sniifers.
Roberta Findlay has an amazing Imdb profile stuffed with Porn and horror and if you watch the extras, you will see what a goofy broad from New york she is. See this film and fend off remakes and someday it will all be over, we will see a new wave of genre films. I wait for the day that I will see a new film I enjoy and not every three years.