Home > Reviews > Kevin Sorbo in Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury… I laughed my ass off!

Kevin Sorbo in Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury… I laughed my ass off!

If laughing my ass off were truly a possibility, I’d have no ass by now after watching Kevin Sorbo headline Ross Patterson’s hilarious film, “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury.” Best diet/workout plan ever: no scrimping or exercising, just minute-by-minute zingers, sexually charged sight gags, innuendo and Sorbo at his comedic, albeit often shirtless or close to it, best. What’s not to like?!

The movie within a movie spoofs 1980s and ‘90s action films that distinguished silver screen heroes like Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal. It also offers the quick wit of comedy classics such as “Airplane” and the “Naked Gun” series that united traditional film tough guys Leslie Neilsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Peter Graves and George Kennedy whose poker faces while delivering outlandishly funny lines established a new era of satire.

The synopsis: In this unearthed lost movie from 1990 that the studio deemed too terrible to release, a Vietnam Veteran named Sal Bando (Sorbo), tortured by his past as a poolboy, returns home to Van Nuys, California, and a country he doesn’t recognize in which it seems only Mexicans run pool cleaning companies. Bando sets off on a brutal mission to reclaim his “rightful” vocation and enact revenge on the man (Danny Trejo) who killed his wife and son.

Narrated by St. James St. James (that’s Saint James Street James played by writer/producer/actor Patterson), “Poolboy” opens with Sorbo portraying vintage action star Jan Van Hammer as Sal Bando during his second, no, 48th tour of Vietnam during which he discusses with a fellow soldier what they’ll do after the war. The two decide to open a pool cleaning business together, but Bando’s colleague gets blown up, leaving only his arm in Bando’s hand. Bando vows vengeance, toting the extremity with him throughout scenes that mock movie greats like “The Deer Hunter” and feature said extremity as an extension of his eccentricity.

Bando returns home to find his wife Karen (Alanna Ubach) balling a Mexican poolboy, Eduardo (Bryan Callen), who taunts him with racial slurs. Angry, Bando steals Eduardo’s pool cleaning van. Eduardo in turn murders Bando’s wife and young son. This sets the stage for continuous, un-politically correct hilarity from Sorbo and his co-stars Ubach, Trejo and others, including Mark Curry as Captain O’Malley, after Bando goes to war with the Mexican poolboys by pirating their customers and more.

Jokes like, “What’s the difference between a Mexican and an elevator?” Bando asks Eduardo via telephone, and answers with, “An elevator can raise a child!” abound. Lines like, “I could butt-plug a quarter-pounder right now,” and, “I don’t do sloppy seconds,” from Sorbo demonstrate his terrific timing and great sense of humor as he deftly delivers them perfectly straight-faced without missing a beat.

One of my many favorite bits is when Eduardo and his small gang with Hispanic guitarist in tow arrive at Bando’s house to kill him. Bando sets a trap for them, which leads to a confrontation at his backyard pool. Unbeknownst to the Mexicans, Bando’s skimmer is a deadly weapon. He dispenses them individually, severing the guitarist’s hands still gripping the instrument. Bando confesses, “Sorry about that. You were my favorite, hands down.” The bleeding musician replies, “Really? Was that line necessary? I was in Menudo…” Then Bando decapitates him with the retort, “I hate Menudo!”

Some of my other favorite comedy scenes entail Bando being embraced by a naked census taker, an inflatable doll strapped to Bando’s torso and the running gag about rhubarb pie and lemonade as a metaphor for sex. Of course, I can’t forget the soldier’s arm being buckled safely into the passenger seat of Bando’s stolen van and Bando trying to revive his dead wife with a little insinuated necrophilia.

Clearly, Sorbo is as comfortable with humor, as seen in his break-out, number one syndicated 1990s TV hit, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” as he is with drama, having won Movieguide’s Grace Award for “Most Inspiring Performance in Movies for 2010” for his role in “What If…” His talent seems limitless.

In fact, upon seeing Sorbo driving the stolen van and performing a suggestive act involving his tongue and cheek, I almost did a spit-take on my computer keyboard (twice!) and even said aloud, “And this guy won an award for a faith-based film?!” I meant that in a good way because the gag and dichotomy are funny as well as a testament to Sorbo’s versatility.

But, even if you don’t like raunchy humor like I do, the numerous Sorbo slow motion scenes should pop your little eyeballs and send you running for the nearest cold shower!

“Poolboy” offers more gorgeous, glistening, golden Sorbo muscle than all seven seasons of “Herc,” including the infamous grape and pouring water bucket (which Sorbo spoofs in “Poolboy”) episodes. Holy S**t! Did I die and go to heaven or did Patterson answer my prayers?!

Hot! Hot! Freakin’ hot! Sure, Sorbo’s a great actor, but he’s also a prime chunk of man meat. There’s no denying that he constantly maintains his fantastic physique, which is the reason Patterson pegged him when writing this film.

Sorbo’s “Poolboy” wardrobe mainly consists of a light blue tank top, camouflage cut-off pants and ankle-high boots and later shirtless with the same shorts and boots while practicing with his modified pool skimmer. At some point he dons overalls minus a shirt and proceeds to shake his sweet bootie while power sanding the stolen van’s side. Oh, man…

Then, as if that isn’t enough, Sorbo works out for three and a half minutes on an isolated Bowflex during the movie’s end credits. Um, were there words there? I’m not sure. I need to watch “Poolboy” for a sixth time to read them. Yeah… I’ll read the credits this time… Sure…

“Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury” takes its rightful place adjacent my numero uno comedies like “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Airplane,” “Raising Arizona,” and anything by the Three Stooges with Curly or Shemp (after them, what’s the point?). It’s also in my campy cult favs like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” Classic!

Buy “Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury” today! You can thank me later.

http://www.amazon.com/Poolboy-Drowning-Fury-Danny-Trejo/dp/B0068MNO02

(Screen caps by Jan with express permission from St. James St. James;

Kevin with guns and full shot poolside photos courtesy of St. James St. James)

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  1. Rhonda
    August 1, 2012 at 10:45 am

    This was a funny movie and I loved it-Kevin did look good in that tank top and shorts!

  2. Anne
    August 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

    “Airplane!” was so funny; it’s still a favorite of mine. I saw the “Poolboy” trailers and they cracked me up! Kevin still looks great. 😀

    I just ordered a copy of “Poolboy” from Best Buy (it was $12.99). It should arrive within a couple of weeks. I’m so looking forward to seeing this! Thanks, Jan, for sharing your views.

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