Format: DVD (Modern Entertainment)
Running Time: 98 minutes
Year of release: 1976
Director: Cesar ‘Chat’ Gallardo
Production Studio: Crown International Pictures
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I feel an urge to begin this review with warnings written in all caps on red backgrounds, with the text hidden behind near impossible to solve captcha’s, and my home phone number at the end so I can personally apologise to anyone who reads it. God damn it, I’m already nervous and sweating.
Breathe. It’s fine.
Please believe me that none of this turned out as I had expected, and that this movie would have been fucking hilarious if every character was male, and Hustler Squad was a feature-length gay porno. But it’s not, so it isn’t. None of this is okay.
Enjoy a little ‘chat’? I’d prefer deafening
silence if that’s ok
My discomfort and sweating, is entirely thanks to Cesar ‘Chat’ Gallardo, the director of Hustler Squad being, at least based off of the tone and content of a film that he created, a disgusting chauvinist piece of shit. Through Hustler Squad, Cesar ‘Chat’ Gallardo has demonstrably proven he is a vile human being, who undoubtedly owns the tiniest, crooked thumb-tip penis a preoccupied God could create.
As I begin writing, I realise I may end up repeating myself more than usual throughout this review, as there are only so many thesaurus.com search results for ‘offensive’ and ‘disgusting’, and I’m sure to use them up early on.
In through the nose…
…and out through the arse
So, apparently, this is one of those Grind-house movies that are ever-so-popular among the kids these days, and of course, being from the mid-seventies, it should be expected that there would be a certain measure of awkward clumsiness and primitivism when tackling sociopolitical this-and-that. Despite this, I was struck by just how distasteful this film turned out to be, even for the underdeveloped morality of that golden age of dank and sweaty movie theaters. Therefore, I was constantly in two minds as to even put the effort in to finish this review (as such there aren’t many screen-grabs), as this film deserves no attention that might encourage it’s dissemination. Instead, I’d hope it fucked away off into the blackness of space to find a different species to accidentally convince to invade our planet.
But with this review, I can at least shine a light, not on to the film itself as any form of entertainment, but on to what the mind of a total asshole looks like when it’s given access to camera equipment. What’s my problem, you ask..? Hustler Squad is hands down the most grossly sexist thing that I have ever seen.
Hands down, ever. Amen. Period.
But before I detail exactly why this is, I first should address my guilt and grovellingly attempt to explain why this thing is even in my house and within reach of children. Well, when browsing one of the websites I use to purchase crap films, the title of this film, an admittedly awesome sounding Hustler Squad, jumped out at me (anything with ‘Squad‘ in the title is almost always guaranteed to be gold). So, like a giddy child, off to YouTube I skipped, to watch the above corny trailer for a film that seemed to have every element necessary for a stupidly cheap movie, with ham-fisted misogyny and explosions. Something that we all could easily point and laugh at. Yay!
But what arrived at my house, and was proudly sat at the very top of my ‘must watch’ pile, turned out instead to be something…’broadly’…more insidious, and certainly not something I hope anyone born this side of the dark ages would find entertaining. Maybe there exists a target audience for what happens in this movie, but please, if you ever meet them, spare a few minutes to drown them in a bathtub.
I’ll go through the basics of the first half or so of the film, and let’s see if you can spot the point when it all stops being a joyous romp of hilarity.
All films must begin somewhere…
…and in Hustler Squad, it begins with a night time assault on a beach by a bunch of fellas with sub-machine guns. This fails miserably, as the Island is heavily defended by a balsa-wood lookout tower and some guys in Japanese military uniform. Therefore, all but one of the attackers are killed. During this opening sequence we are shown a man’s paper-mache decapitation, and as awesome as it was, it did essentially amount to the high point of the movie, and it was barely 30 seconds in. The sole survivor escapes by swimming out to sea, and we cut to a pier in the 1970’s. Wait, when is this set? Some guy, a colonel or whatever, walks into a room with the word ‘Intelligence’ written on the door, which is irony that you could use as rocket fuel.
I eventually realise that this film is supposed to be set in WWII and that the failed attackers were from the Filipino underground, which was an actual thing seventy odd years ago. So given the seriousness of the subject matter, surely this movie will treat the topic with a certain degree of care and reverence?
No. Not with ‘Chat’ Gallardo at the helm.
Apparently, the aforementioned island is to play host to a bunch of “Jap brass”, who the army would like to have killed. So, as many other stupid films have done in these situations, we’re introduced to a ‘Stoney Stonewell’…
…who is rubbish at his job, but because the army doesn’t have anyone better (sigh), he’s called away from his steamy poker game with a naked man, and told to get the job done at all costs.
If ‘Stoney ‘I’m drunk and perspiring’ Stonewell’ is the best guy for the job, then maybe you have shit jobs, US Army. Things continue not looking one bit like the 1940’s, and the best their ‘Intelligence’ division can muster is a drawing on a blackboard of someone’s fractured colon that we are supposed to believe is ‘Jap Island’.
But I distinctly remember Captain-Man being told he would be given anything he required from the ‘Intelligence’ division, which presumably just meant access to chalk. Later, in what would turn out to be a pivotal scene, Captain-Man and his Filipino friend are in the bar trying to figure out how they are going to attack the island. They have improved upon the shitty chalk drawing from before, by recreating a much more accurate map out of matchsticks on the counter top.
They are also talking about their secret plans in raised voices in a shitty bar. Perfect guys for the job, US army! Filipino-Man starts talking to ‘Bird’ (yes, that’s how she is referred to) and a fight happens, the audio effects for which are the worst I have ever heard in my life. Ever. I prize the palm of my hand from my face just in time for Filipino-Man to reveal his incredible idea for how to infiltrate the island…and I swear on my life that at this point I shouted out ‘broads!’ The very next line?
‘Oh, I’ve got the cut of your jib, film. I know your game.’ I thought proudly to myself, which couldn’t have been a more wildly inaccurate appraisal of things. I had the cut of precisely fuck-all jib, and I was blisteringly unprepared for the depths this abominable film would sink to.
ready for some military history?
So, Stoney Stonewell, the best guy the army has for planning invasions of heavily fortified strategic military targets, informs the brass that their idea for infiltrating one of said targets – an island full of well armed Japanese soldiers – and assassinating the upper echelons of the Japanese military, is to…
…”smuggle in broads, along with the whores, to kill the Japs”.
Delightful. And yes, that’s a direct quote from the movie. And also yes, I am now rubbing my temples.
It was around this point that I checked IMDB to see what, if any, plot keywords exist for Hustler Squad. It has 76 of them. Most are hilarious, but some…are not. Certain keywords caused my brow to furrow with concern, which was a facial expression I’d become very familiar with. As was the deep and pulsating self-doubt.
“Why am I watching this?” should be my fucking catchphrase.
So, Arsehole now embarks on his quest to find suitable members for his Hustler Squad. First stop? Prison, where we bare witness to a school-yard cat-fight that is essentially two women screaming “She started it…no she started it!”
“Committed for murder, second degree. She’s the one!”
…and during what is more or less a job interview, the potential recruit for a top secret and vitally important mission to murder dangerous soldiers, says the following.
“Suppose I want to screw ’em to death? A broad can get awful horny locked up away from men.”
That, and presumably suffering facial twitches from being kept away from a tumble dryer. Fucking film. This dialogue had me face-palming, not for how innocently amateurish the movie was, but for the sheer effort it put in to offend anyone watching it. Is this deliberate? Are you being serious, movie?
Broad #1 agrees to join the Squad, simply because…
“I couldn’t spend my life without a man. Anything’s better than that.”
Christ. Men this, men that. Men men men.
So on they go, searching for more walking tits, eventually coming across a nurse who has dedicated herself to helping MAN-kind. Except this particular Nightingale has…cancer, and is therefor ripe for exploitation. Because of this charming plot point, Nurse decides that killing people is ok, because…fuck it? I’m not sure either, but fine, we now have Broad #2. Next, we are made to watch a scene in a foreign language with no subtitles.
Things start to get even more strained, not just for myself, but also for the actors in the film. Certain scenes come across as if the people who appeared in them struggled with what they themselves were a part of. Even Captain-Dickhead’s actor seemed to force out the following line.
“I guess what the world needs is more nymphomaniacs, with killer instincts.”
Well, I’m pretty sure the world needed no more of this garbage back in 1976, never mind right now.
but there’s more…
What follows is a scene that had me (no shit) eject the DVD from my laptop, stare into my fireplace and…almost set it on fire. No, I’m not kidding. Filipino-Man brings the woman from the scene with no subtitles to Captain-Shithead and offers her up as a potential recruit. This woman proceeds to convince him of her worthiness by recounting a traumatic event from her past, in which her relatives were killed by Japanese soldiers, and she was raped.
God damn it movie, don’t go there.
(It’s worth noting for just how shitty a production this movie is, that during numerous scenes, this one in particular, you can CLEARLY hear the instructions from the director being shouted from off camera. And in this scene, you hear him say “never mind about that, improvise” behind her audio. Bravo at fucking up the basics as well as being a decent human being, you hack director)
But after her supposedly tearful lament, we have Shithead utter this disgusting nonsense…
“That’s good enough for me, add one rape victim.”
What you have created is absolutely disgusting, you nasty bastards of a director, writer, actor, producer, and everyone else associated with the production of this knuckle-dragging bullshit.
To be fair to the actors in this scene (although they still agreed to appear in it), they all seemed exceptionally uncomfortable delivering their lines. I fucking wonder why? Maybe it was simply being in the presence of a director whom at best, views women as things to have sex with, or at worse, things he despises. Oh, but wait! ‘Chat’ isn’t done directing his way to having his house burnt down.
The fourth and final member of Hustler Squad comes in the form of an American prostitute who is fleeing from the Mob. Wanker does his best sales pitch as to why fucking men for the U.S Army is better than fucking men for cash, but shock horror the Mob arrives outside, who begin shooting in to her bedroom window. She shoots back, but has made her mind up that she would be safer as part of the mission than out on her own. But…
Yes, you guessed it. The shooter she believed was from the Mob was in fact Filipino-Man, and they lied through their teeth in order to convince a woman to be raped, and most likely killed.
Are we beginning to understand the particular tone of this film yet? Yes, that’s right. Bastards. Bastards is the tone. I should point out that this movie also goes by the title ‘The Dirty Half Dozen’, which is fucking retarded in numerous ways. Not least of which is that this group of women consists of only four people, not six. Evidently, Chat Gallardo stuck all the page numbers of his Playboy magazines together before he could learn to count.
Fast forward to the inevitable training montage of four girls in skimpy clothing with live fire rounds being used against them. This extended training crap is interspersed with scenes in which the girls fucking fawn over the idea of having sex with a man, and of men in general. It’s bizarre and grotesque, but by now to be expected, given this films insistence on viewing all women as brainless whores. And I’m losing the will to continue.
At one point, the general aborts the entire mission. His reason for this is because he (no shit) refuses to believe that a woman is capable of killing a man one-on-one. So, in a baffling turn of events, the girls essentially kidnap and hold all the men hostage. The general, who now realises his mistake and has learned the basics of gender relations, changes his mind and lets the mission continue.
I would like to emphasise that I was not joking earlier, and I did come very close to throwing this DVD into my fireplace and being done with Hustler Squad. But I refrained, for numerous reasons, most notably that I wanted to make it the entire way through to Hustler Squad’s miserable end, so I could do what I am doing right now…imploring you to leave it, and anything else made by Crown International Pictures and Cesar ‘Shit’ Gallardo very much alone. That said, do you know what’s good for the soul?
All films must end somewhere…
…so if you’ll permit me the courtesy of pretending we are in a twin wardrobe separated by iron mesh, you dear reader, can be my priest, and I’ll be your sinner, and just like any other Catholic priest (except the one from Death Street USA), you will absolve me of my transgressions and forgive me the sin of…
…skipping through the film.
Yes I know, it’s frowned upon behaviour for a movie reviewer to not actually see the entirety of the movie they are reviewing, but cut me a little slack here. The fucking thing is horrible, and I tried three times to make it the whole way through, but how could I when this film just wouldn’t quit with…itself?
But, from what I gathered from the last few snippets I saw, there was…
- Concerned looks.
- Implied rape of a minor.
…and fuck that, I’m done. Nope. No more. Not one fucking second.
Deal with it.
Yes, I couldn’t bring myself to finish this rubbish, but I hoped that during a scene that I skipped, the cast, crew, director, producers, and writers, each addressed the camera to solemnly apologise for what they had created. There was another 28 minutes to go, so this may or may not have taken place, but I had seen enough, and I believe that what I did watch suitably qualifies me to say what has to be said about Hustler Squad. Basically, it’s fucking dirt. Offensive, crude, dirt. The only positive thing I can say about Hustler Squad is how it serves as an example of how far things have come with regard to the cinematic portrayal of women, and how much further there still is to go. Or at the very least, it reminds us that NO ONE could get away with this crass garbage today.
As a male man-person, I feel ashamed by sharing the same gender as the likes of that prick up there, and I’m conscious of the hypocrisy I surely exhibit when I flippantly comment about the modern objectifying of women on screen. Yes, when I do those things I am speaking more about the sexism of the theme presented, but that still doesn’t stop me from wondering just how much this denigrating attitude towards women is still buried within our modern, politically correct, self-righteousness, and how easily it can show off its muscles without us realising. Is there still a trace of ‘Chat’ in even the most well-meaning do-goody liberal? Sadly, probably. But still…what the fuck film?!
This movie tries so hard not to be subtle or playful with its chauvinism (which would otherwise easily be argued as worse, as subtle sexism often slips under the radar and directly into the public consciousness disguised as ‘The Norm’), and it’s in no way designed as simple titillation: some ham-fisted excuse to show tits and ass in between action scenes, as if that’s any less dehumanising.
No, Hustler Squad has set-ups and exposition that intend to portray the story as something to be taken somewhat seriously. Murderer, terminal cancer patient, rape victim, unwilling prostitute, the film sets up these back stories with time and patience that completely ruins any pretense of Hustler Squad being some casual popcorn flick. And of course, this all serves to impress upon its audience the base and degenerate view of women its creators appear to have.
For fuck sake, the film has our male heroes choosing the most vulnerable and negatively portrayed women possible, as candidates for a mission in which they are required to be raped. Yeh, it’s tough to watch, and not at all what I expected.
It put me in mind of ‘Woman’ from Thunder Squad, which featured its own base objectifying of said woman. Of course, (as was commented on in my review) Thunder Squad was certainly flippantly ignorant of the females within it, as so many films are, but its core story was about soldiers rescuing and exploding things, it just made sure to include a liberal dose of misogyny simply because it was poorly written and lazy. Of course it’s still offensive, but you don’t dwell on it for long as that’s not the core story. Whereas, Hustler Squad’s ENTIRE PREMISE revolves around the idea that women exist for men’s pleasure. It fucking falls over itself making that point, and it reinforces this concept at every given chance.
It’s the fucking definition of gratuity.
The only lesson Hustler Squad teaches is that women are whores, who either love men with an irrationality bordering on the demented, or are things for men to use and dominate. Obviously, this chauvinism was not new at the time, and is something our modern society still can’t seem to work through, but in this movie’s case, it revels in its utter disdain for 50% of the population of planet earth. I don’t get it. It’s so close to being satire, but knowing it isn’t is frankly, scary.
Why was this made, and who for? Did people enjoy this back in 1976? Do people now? I hope not. AVOID, at all costs unless you like punching laptop screens or are a cunt.
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After dealing with this shit I’m not sure I trust my ‘must watch’ pile. Or maybe I should take a leaf out of ‘Chat’s’ book and leer at exercise workout videos instead.