Piled on but never quite stacked, Koperwas' talents in this half-smirky, half-ambitious comic melodrama elicit a primary...

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Piled on but never quite stacked, Koperwas' talents in this half-smirky, half-ambitious comic melodrama elicit a primary reaction of O.K., but so what? The only reason a wild kid like Albie Block is enrolled at Brooklyn College is because it's a good place to deal untaxed cigarettes or hot eight-track tapes. The rich Great Neck girl he dates suffers from the Gotbucks-Guilt syndrome; a night out for them consists of breaking and entering closed stores, all for the thrill of it. But when Albie's hippie neighbors are busted for pot and they squeal on Albie--who's got thousands of dollars of hot, fenceable merchandise crammed into his apartment--Albie finds himself forced by blackmail to run a cocaine operation for a corrupt, gay, black cop (Koperwas believes in the one-man triple play). The front Albie chooses for the drug operation is his parents' Queens grocery store, and all goes swimmingly until the cop's ex-partner and fellow drug dealer rips off Albie's cocaine-o-mat and there are guns flashing about and a possibility of death--a nice Jewish boy's Dog Soldiers. Koperwas (Westchester Bull) plays everything broad (""Those Orientals, you can't knock what they do. . . . They gave us the egg roll, gave us hand laundries,"" says Albie's father, a cabbie recently converted to Eastern religion and vegetarianism); his New York locales are well drawn; the style is modest and spruce. But there are no characters--only yock- or menace-machines: when it's funny you wonder why and when it's scary you wonder why it isn't funny.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1978