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Rated PG-13
Copyright 1990 21st Century Film Corporation
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 16 February 2009

The Characters:  

  • Nisa - A princess of the rainforest. Is it cold in here, or are you wearing a dress made from cheesecloth?
  • Jason Anderson - Poor little (dancing) rich kid. "Inconspicuous" is his middle name.
  • Jason's Rich Brat Friends - Well, I just hope that they finally learned enough about conservation and racism to become responsible members of society, like lawyers and CEOs.
  • Jao - Sid Haig! He is the witchdoctor of Nisa's tribe, and the last person in the world you want shaking a feather at you. Also, if he asks you to hold his snake sack, make sure you say, "No."
  • Carmen - Proof that the California Southern Cougar is still not extinct.
  • Mickey - She runs a seedy dance club. Her cleavage violates at least one CCW law.
  • Ashley - Jason's snooty ex-girlfriend. Why don't you get out of here, you little snob. Go join the cast of "Beverly Hills 90210" or "Saved by the Bell." This is a movie about saving the rainforest. We don't have any room for rich hussies in this film.
  • Benjamin Maxwell - Richard Lynch! His first job was at an orchard. Unfortunately, he was quickly fired for accidentally running over trees with the tractor. Mr. Maxwell has always blamed the trees for his hard luck in life.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Do you remember when Lambada dancing was all the rage? I do, but I cannot remember when it suddenly winked out of existence. One day everybody was going on and on about this sexy dance that the hip crowd was into, and the next morning the world was more interested in whose face was on a box of Wheaties. The really amusing thing about Lambada's sudden disappearance is that the two movies inspired by the craze came out after the fad was already gone. I remember hearing about the movie and thinking, "Lambada? Wasn't that last year?"

The trick here is that "Lambada" is not about the Lambada, but about saving the rainforest by using the Lambada. That, my friends, is known as a nuance.

Nisa and her tribe live in the Brazilian rainforest. Part of the tribe's cultural heritage is the Lambada. Considering how close the dance is to sex, it is pretty obvious that the only reason Nisa's people have not overrun the Earth is that their rainforest is filled with man-eating animals. Anyway, Nisa and the other young people participate in rituals that involve dancing the Lambada and then eating an apple from the tree in the center of the village. All of that changes when Maxwell shows up with a government-signed deed for the land, and a bunch of jeeps filled with gun-toting mercenaries. If that was not evil enough, Maxwell makes sure to run over the sacred forbidden fruit tree after telling the tribe that they have to clear out.

The only way that Nisa can save her tribe's heritage is to speak to the head of the Petramco Corporation. She and Jao fly to America, but they have a hard time getting an appointment to see the CEO. Eventually, Jao starts handing his snake bag to the security guards. Something you should never do is to accept a medicine man's snake sack. Doing so causes immediate paralyzing pain until the shaman blows magic dust on your hand (no, I am not making this up; pay attention). If big men screaming in pain as they grip the snake bag was not enough of a distraction, Jao takes out his phoenix feather and starts waving it around. That makes random objects explode in clouds of white smoke. The security guards quickly get tired of Jao's magic show. The witch doctor is placed under arrest, but Nisa slips away.

Homeless in L.A. is no way to live for a princess of the rhythmic rainforest. It is fortunate for Nisa that Carmen helps her get a job as a cleaning girl in the Anderson household. It is also fortunate that she leaves her door open one night as she dances the Lambada alone in her room. Jason sees the girl undulating, decides he would like to undulate with her, and soon the unlikely pair is causing a stir at a swanky nightclub. The date alienates Jason's shallow girlfriend (henceforth: ex-girlfriend) and bigoted friends, and causes a row with the young man's parents.

Faced with the simple fact that rich Americans suck, Nisa runs away. She quickly finds herself at the Xtacy club. Did you notice how Xtacy is spelled? That always means that the place is almost a legal den of adult entertainment. Girls working at Xtacy just happen to like to dance with wealthy jerks who just happen to like to pay women for the pleasure of their company. Nisa's sexy dancing makes the clients go wild, even though she always refuses to perform that special saucy dance (and I don't mean salsa) in the club's private rooms.

Though she never gives the customers everything they want (nobody wants just Lambada), Nisa becomes a goldmine. When Jason finally finds out where Nisa has been hiding, he comes to take her away. Mickey is not having any of that. The ruthless woman turns her pet bouncer loose on the white knight. The only reason that Jason keeps all of his teeth is that Jao shows up and tosses his snack bag at the big bouncer. Bag caught, hand bitten by magic snake, pretty-boy a**-kicking over.

Just in case you were wondering, Jao escaped from the cops by mimicking the roar of a big cat. While the officers were distracted, the witchdoctor slipped away to find his lost princess.

Now, the only reason that Nisa is still in America is that she refuses to go home until she can save her tribe from the evil land developers and Maxwell's goons. Jason has the great idea that maybe they could win a dance contest. If they can do that then they will be on national TV, and then they can tell everybody how terrible it is that Petramco is cutting down all of Nisa's trees. However, before any of that lofty stuff happens, there is time for a quick stop at Carmen's house. The older woman heartily encourages the young couple to explore each other, more than just dry hump Lambada flirtation. Jason and Nisa make it with the wet humping post haste. Carmen supplies the condoms.

Safe sex and saving the rainforest! How can you not appreciate this movie?

Joined by their sacred tryst (though 98% likely to avoid paternity linkage), Jason and Nisa win the dance contest. They are going to be on nationwide TV the next evening to dance the Lambada for all the world to see! Maxwell has other plans. The corporate thug kidnaps Nisa. However, because this is a dancing movie, Maxwell does not just put the seductive princess in a cell until the broadcast is over. No, he sticks her on a stage in an abandoned nightclub and demands that she dance the Lambada! She gives it to him! Nisa shakes her little hips in defiance of the capitalist jerk. Jason arrives just in time to rescue the girl before Maxwell unleashes his privately-held Petramco penetrator, but the salvation comes with a price: Jason sprains his ankle.

The injured ankle almost ruins Nisa's chance to save the red-eyed tree frogs (which always make with the wet humping, because they are amphibians). At the last minute, Jao and the tribal chieftain arrive at the club where the TV broadcast is being filmed. The shaman heals Jason's ankle with a snake! The two young lovers dance the Lambada! Nisa cries her royal tears about the destruction of the rainforest! Everybody starts dancing the Lambada!

For a moment, I thought that Nisa's speech was actually going to save the rainforest. Then I realized that everyone at the club, after spending two or three seconds contemplating how much the world would suck without trees and amplexis, are immediately distracted by their need to Lambada the night away. I think that Nisa's tribe is still going to be run off their land, but at least she was on TV.

The world would be a much better place if some people stopped trying to dance and instead dedicated that time to saving the rainforests. Heck, the world would be a better place if they did anything with their time besides trying to dance. You know who you are.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Never grab a medicine man's snake sack.
  • Using lip balm makes girls hot.
  • The '80s can be explained by three things: shoulder pads, neon, and hair.
  • Strippers can't count.
  • Cowboy hats are a directly contributing factor to the hole in the ozone layer.
  • The only known treatment for crushed family jewelage is a compress made from blonde bimbos that is applied directly to the affected area.
  • The most sensual of all the erotic dances is the "inner thigh mambo carwash."
  • People who participate in conga lines use 25% less electricity and create 50% less trash than non-conga line dancers.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 17 mins - Hey, that's the phone.
  • 24 mins - What is up with the hand-painted twenty-two inch Confucius?
  • 29 mins - Worst Madonna music video ever.
  • 42 mins - The resemblance is uncanny. Maybe, just maybe mind you, it is her.
  • 50 mins - I cannot quite make out what she is saying. Is it the cheese or the tees that they must stop killing?
  • 57 mins - Is that a Virgin Mary night light?
  • 61 mins - Why doesn't he just turn into an eagle and fly back to Brazil?
  • 81 mins - Careful, I think that her hips are lying!
  • 90 mins - Any lesser woman would have been completely incapacitated by a that wedgie.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note flambada1.wav Maxwell: "Honey, you get your people on these trucks. I have a forest to clear."
Nisa: "This is our home."
Maxwell: "You got five minutes to get on those trucks. If you stay, you burn with the trees. Now get 'em on the trucks."
Green Music Note flambada2.wav Nisa: "Why did you call me a legal secretary?"
Jason: "I'm sorry if that hurt your feelings. It just seemed simpler to tell them what they wanted to hear."
Nisa: "I'm not a legal secretary."
Jason: "I know."
Nisa: "I'm not a maid."
Jason: "I know. You're something special, something different."
Nisa: "You do not know me."
Jason: "No, but I want to know you."
Green Music Note flambada3.wav Nisa: "I'm an indian, Jason, from the rainforest of the Amazon. My father is the king of our tribe."
Jason: "Then you're a...a princess?"
Nisa: "Among my people I am. My father sent us as ambassadors to the chairman of Petramco. They must stop killing the trees!"
Green Music Note flambada4.wav Woman: "I'm sorry, man, but there's just no way you can dance on that."
Jason: "Yes, I can!"
Nisa: "We have to dance."
Woman: "Not on this show."
Jason: "I'm telling you I can do it!"
Nisa: "Please."
Woman: "Look I'm sorry, kid, but you need a doctor for that."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipflambada1.mpg - 6.1m
Nisa is fighting back against her kidnappers the only way she knows how: with Lambada!

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