Film Reviews: Wednesday, September 28, 2005
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‘Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama,’ it’s not, but the vehicle for Nicole Cavazos features absolutely zero nudity — for shame.
Witches of the Caribbean
Starring Nicole Cavazos, Joanna Cassidy, and Kyle Jordan. Written by Jana K. Arnold. Directed by David DeCoteau. Not rated.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Don’t Be Witch’d

Local starlet fails to save a bad, disappointing straight-to-video thriller.

By BRIAN ABRAMS

Fort Worth Country Day School has produced its fair share of screen people — writer Philip Eisner (Event Horizon, Firestarter 2); J. Mack Slaughter, who landed a bit part in Fat Albert after some time singing in the short-lived boy band Sons of Harmony; and, now, Nicole Cavazos.

A recent grad of the drama department of the $12,000-a-year (!) school, the 26-year-old looker now stars in the straight-to-video thriller Witches of the Caribbean. She may want to call her alma mater and demand a refund — not necessarily because her acting’s bad, but for $12,000 a year the least Country Day could have done was hook her up with a decent agent.

In Witches, Cavazos plays Angela, an all-American young lady who, suffering from recurring nightmares, travels to the isles to join a therapy group of teens moderated by Professor Avebury (Joanna Cassidy). Things get crazy (don’t they always?) when a bad girl (Nicole Marie Monica) persuades Angela over a bottle of tequila to be the witch-in-chief or chief executive witch or whatever of a newly formed coven. (I hate it when that happens.) From here on, it’s up to Avebury, with help from Angela’s love interest (Kyle Jordan), to save both Angela and the day.

In all fairness, Meryl Streep would have had a heck of a time making much out of the material. During the one scene in which Cavazos is given the opportunity to act (when she grieves her dearly departed mother), the Fort Worthian comes through nearly spotless. Throughout the rest of the flick, however, she and the rest of the cast members do their best impersonations of cardboard cut-outs, reciting lines as if from a toaster-oven service manual. What we’re left with is pretty much just a lot of hip shots of an MTV-ish beach house. There ain’t even any friggin’ nudity, dude.

To practicing perverts, Witches has all the makings of a skintastic teen slasher fright. Heck, the director is David DeCoteau, he of the cinematic classics Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama and Beach Babes 2: Cave Girl Island. His decision to go clean, as they say, probably has a lot to do with the recent upward swing in wholesomely edgy teen and young adult entertainment, in which the tease trumps the pay-off: Cleavage shots are from afar, the male leads are given as much screen time as the females, and the sultry, slutty music that can make two characters hanging aluminum siding seem hot for each other carries the brunt of the suggestive sexuality. Where’s J. Mack when you need him?


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