CARLOS THE TERRORIST (DVD)

3 Stars
Year Released: 1979
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes
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Osama, Saddam, Dubbya, you best watch your back. There is a skilled terrorist, a stealth terrorist driving around under the cover of darkness in a light red hot rod (and then a black hot rod with a large white bird painted on the hood). His name is Carlos. Carlos, the terrorist. This man known only as Carlos, is one of the most skilled warriors in the land, and now is on the run after killing his boss, and must now turn to the CIA for help in his mission to save his life. Carlos is in need of help, and what will Carlos do? Carlos will do what Carlos has to do, especially when Carlos’ wife and child are along for the ride. I have to say watching “Carlos the Terrorist” wasn’t as grueling an experience as I expected, mainly because of the enthusiastic narrator that appears every five minutes like this is a production of “Our Town” to juice up scenes by spelling things out for us, and ending it with “They wanted the man, the man called—Carlos.”

I’ve heard of exploitation, and blaxploitation, and I wonder if “Carlos the Terrorist” can be defined as “Hispanixploitation” (patent pending). Because, you just have to appreciate the utter kitsch value you’ll find in “Carlos the Terrorist”. Cardona’s film is so inept, and hackneyed, yet—so damn fun to watch. Whether it’s the homo-erotic fight scenes where the men are shirtless and jumping around like a grade school production of “West Side Story”, the noticeably bland chase scenes on foot and car, and the utter lack of suspense within Carlos’ journey; it’s so bad, but so good. At times I could already imagine hearing Tom Servo, Cro, and Mike shouting one-liners at the screen, and it made the experience much more entertaining. Now those bastards have Carlos’ wife and daughter, and Carlos has to complete a few missions to get them back.

But is Carlos’ family still alive? Will Carlos ever find out how they anticipated his every move? Will I ever stop asking these inane questions?! It’s just such a damn fun film, but I just wish Carlos would have referred to himself in the third person just to make it entertaining. “Carlos can not stop keeling, Carlos can not keep thees up forever, Carlos’ daughter can not leeve like thees.” It would have been much more entertaining, don’t you think? This is the type of film you’d see at 3am on Telemundo—and trust me–growing up in a predominantly Spanish speaking house I’ve watched many of these hispanixploitation films of the same caliber. And “Carlos the Terrorist” is really no better, but it sure is fun.



Posted on March 9, 2006 in Reviews by
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