Review: Trade In DVD

Trade In DVD boxSTUDIO: SKD USA/Entertainment One | DIRECTOR: Jackie Lee James | CAST: Chris Mascarelli, Ron Jeremy, Tiffany Shepis, Christina Jo’Leigh, Corey Haim
11/23/10 | PRICE: DVD $24.98
SPECS: NR | 108 min. | Comedy | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Comedy movie Trade In is based on a true story — NOT! but would that it was — involving a new marketing director (Christina Jo’Leigh) brought in to help the young owner of a flagging car dealership (Chris Mascarelli) beat a bank deadline with the stipulation that the misfit employees stop having sex with the customers. Naturally, the dealership becomes the set of a prop-heavy pornographic movie produced by a mobster on “Family Day” at the dealership. Mayhem ensues.

Oh, why not? Despite a sputtering pace and a leaky plot, there are highlights in this silly movie, not the least being video vixen Tiffany Shepis (Night of the Demons) as a come-hither car saleswoman who winds up hitting on a customer played by porn legend Ron Jeremy, who, as it happens, has nothing to do with the porn-movie-within-the-movie. Jeremy’s character is called “Big Dick,” and after a few strained laughs, Jeremy is gone. (If you want to see a funnier comedy featuring Jeremy, check out One-Eyed Monster from 2008.)

Noah Todd, looking like a shorter Russell Brand (Arthur) in a full beard and long hair, steals his scenes as the somewhat Eastern mystic who is directing the porn movie.

The main draws for the low-budget, stiffly directed Trade In — credited to no fewer than seven writers — are the appearances by Jeremy and the late Corey Haim (The Lost Boys). In a performance that is billed as “his last movie,” Haim turns up as himself in an eerily lit, extremely brief dream sequence that spookily fades to black after he delivers his line. Tragic foreshadowing, perhaps?

Trade In could have been Car Wash for 2010 with the right wit and music, but instead, it’s a low-brow, sex-obsessed, homophobic comedy that will appeal to undemanding comedy fans and those who enjoy Shepis in a non-screaming role.

The DVD doesn’t have any special features.


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About Buzz

Buzz McClain reviews DVDs for Playboy magazine and is a former critic for Video Business magazine. But what he really wants to do is direct.