Cause I’m Hot Stuff Sho’ ‘Nuff
Today I’m going to be reviewing a less well known comedy. Hot Stuff was released in 1979, starring Dom DeLuise, Suzanne Pleshette and Jerry Reed as misfit cops who get sick of their collars walking on technicalities or skipping with just a mugshot and misdemeanor. They get the brilliant idea to open a pawn shop that will buy stolen goods and catch the perps on video-tape accepting the money.
Of course, nothing goes according to plan and they’ll have to deal with angry customers, armed robbers, gun smugglers, dirty cops and one Mafia Capo who’s wondering what these jokers are doing in his territory.
Talk American would ya.
Supposedly based on a real life undercover sting operation, (one would hope loosely considering the shenanigans that go on in the film.) Hot stuff is actually a pretty funny movie. Most of the gags involve various oddball criminals walking into the shop and what crazy stuff they’re trying to sell. The whole movie is essentially a series of comedy skits.
It’s also notable for the number of TV and film character actors that director Dom DeLuise managed to fit in. Half the fun is spotting someone you recognize from another show. Dom also manages to get most of his family some screentime in various cameo roles.
One of the best scenes in the film is when Dom’s character takes a marijuana hit provided by a couple of senior citizen drug smugglers. His reactions are absolutely priceless and show what a great physical comedian he was. Let’s just say not even the guard dog’s Milkbones are safe from this guy when he gets a full load in.
Also notable is Marc Lawrence who plays Carmine, the local Mafia Capo who becomes the primary antagonist through the film.
The movie moves at a brisk pace with some nice action scenes in the second half and the laughs are pretty steady throughout. If this is an example of what Dom DeLuise is capable of as a director it’s too bad he didn’t get more chances. While not Oscar material, Hot Stuff is a very good effort for a first time director.
Verdict 3.5 Gavels out of 5
Above average undercover comedy with a likable cast and well paced laughs. Can be somewhat hard to find, unfortunately. You can usually catch it on late night cable TV.