Not much more than a feature-length home movie from a bunch of Little Italy goofballs, Chooch is an absolute chore to sit through, unless you happen to come from the same block as the filmmakers, in which case you might come up with a few charitable chuckles, just to be nice.
The mind-numbing plot has to do with a perpetual idiot called Dino who sinks into a serious despair after letting his pals down in a neighborhood softball game. Now referred to as "Chooch" (it's Italian for "jackass"), Dino is one melancholy man-child -- but along comes cousin Jube and two tickets to Cancun, Mexico. (Yes, he was so depressed about a softball game that his misery required a trip to Mexico.)
Since Chooch is a desperately derivative piece of work, you can of course expect a very valuable package to be planted within Dino's luggage, thereby inviting a collection of sweaty Latino villains to chase Dino and Jube all over the Mexican countryside. They break out of prison, fall in love with a prostitute, and basically wait around for their crew of Queens goombahs to show up and rescue the day.
Put aside that the characters are amazingly unappealing and that the threadbare plot is skimpy enough to see through. Ignore the amazingly chintzy production design and the aggressively bland directorial "style." The most irritating thing about Chooch, aside from the generally atrocious (and seriously non-camera-friendly) cast of actors, is the comedy material. As in: If this flick had one laugh hidden within its 70-minute-ish running time, I'd love to know where it was.
The idea of a fully-grown man "shitting himself" and discussing it despondently with anyone within ear shot? Not hilarious. Dino's stunned realization when he realizes his new lover is, in actuality, a skanky prostitute? Painful to watch. How about the war of the stereotypes between the "deese dose" Italian guys and the greasy, siesta-takin' banditos? Yeah, maybe it'd fly in 1952. And then once this tinkertoy of a plot construct ambles to a close (at about the 65-minute mark), we're subjected to one of the most mawkish and cringe-worthy ladlings of romantic sap ever foisted onto the screen by an amateur film crew.
Hey, I've got nothing against unoriginal low-budget buddy comedies, but Chooch is pretty damn terrible. The acting is embarrassing, the plot is moronic, and the alleged punch-lines flop into the dirt and simply lie there. I'm sure the guys who slapped this thing together look back on the experience with a lot of fondness, and I say good for them. Guess it's too bad I don't live in that neighborhood.
Video: Goodtimes Entertainment delivers the Chooch in a fairly decent widescreen (non-anamorphic) aspect ratio. We're talking about an extremely low-budget movie here, but the picture quality turns out to be pretty solid, all things considered.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, with the music just a little bit louder than the non-stop yammer.
Extras: There's a rather stupid 2-minute featurette entitled Meet Kiwi, which is basically just a bunch of footage of a cute little dog. Yes, we all love our dogs, Choochmakers. Moving on... Meet the Mayor is an 5-minute blooper compilation, plus you'll also get the theatrical trailer, a TV Spot, a soundtrack promo, and some cast & crew bios.
It's pretty clear that the guys who worked on Chooch are a lovely group of friends, and they probably look at this feature with much fondness (if it were me and my pals in our very own movie, I'd love it too), but the simple truth is that the movie's a mess, a tired and hopelessly clueless comedy that hopes to skate by solely on "nice Italian boy" charm. Sad to say it fails.