Crack House (1989)

This movie really gave me pause about the wisdom of my daughter’s goal to be a crack house whore when she grows up. There’s of course the beatings and belt whippings that Jim Brown’s Steadman character administers, the hot showers he forces you to take because nobody likes a stinky ass crack house whore, and the gang bang from Steadman’s crew that awaits you once Steadman tires of brutalizing you. All of that though is pretty much what you’re signing up for, right? And besides, you’re getting all the narcotics you can use, so it’s not like you’re doing it for free.

No, where the movie really excelled in showing the less-than-glamorous side of risking a variety of STDs for your next high, was that you might have to share a bathroom with another crack house whore who commits suicide in the tub and scrawls the word “free” in her own blood! Can you imagine who much Clorox Bleach Foamer you’re going to have to ask Steadman to buy before you’re comfortable taking your big smelly crack house whore dump in there again?

But if the life of a crack house whore is one littered with the sorts of challenges present in any demanding yet rewarding career, the road to getting drafted to be a crack house whore is even tougher! Take the innocent Melissa. She was just a simple design student prone to dressing in stupid outfits and hats like a refugee from a late 1980s Molly Ringwald movie who was also dating Rick Morales, a former gangbanger.

Rick has quit the gang life though and shows how good he is at playing it smart by proposing to Melissa while he’s screwing her senseless in his car. If she says “no” she’s just admitting she’s a slut and if she says “yes” she’s likely to be so happy that she’ll screw with a passion that she won’t repeat until she’s doing Steadman with that special kind of junkie urgency that’s liable to injure a man if he’s not careful about how jittery she is!

But as every vato who’s trying to go straight knows, sometimes the reality of the streets intrudes into fantasy worlds where Hispanic guys from the hood marry white design majors, live in Westchester and work as an investment banker. When Rick watches his cousin get gunned down by the local black gang (the Greys) in a drive by shooting, the rest of his old gang, the Panchos (at this point I’m guessing the screenwriter was white) barely have time wail “ese!” mournfully before Rick straps on the headband and leads an invasion into Grey territory!

Proving that he’s still a bit rusty at the whole “gang shooter” job, he gets caught by the cops and locked up. Rick disappears for a large chunk of the movie while he stews in lock up. Melissa takes center stage as she falls into the clutches of the sleazy and clownish drug dealer B.T. after he rescues her from a gang banging that Rick’s old gang was trying to lay on her! (Thanks for looking after my old lady while I’m on ice in lockup, guys! I was worried she’d get gang raped by strangers!)

Melissa, demonstrating the intelligence of a college student who accepts a marriage proposal while riding her loser boyfriend in his mom’s car, instantly gets addicted to crack with B.T. You would think that the worst thing she does as a drug addict was something that happened in her capacity as crack house whore, but it’s actually when B.T. sends her into a regular house to buy drugs and it turns out that the drug dealer is none other than a teacher at her school, played by General Hospital‘s Anthony Geary! Watching Luke Spencer tell Melissa to strip before he would give her drugs made even me feel really dirty! But since the one positive aspect of Melissa becoming a junkie was she started dressing really slutty, I loved how dirty it was making me feel!

Rick’s old gang causes him and Melissa more problems when they rip off B.T.’s drug stash. The drug’s were Steadman’s and he wants B.T. to pay him back. Part of the pay off involves Steadman taking Melissa for himself and making her his crack house whore!

Rick gets a measure of revenge when his nemesis in the old gang is conveniently thrown into Rick’s jail just in time for a savage beatdown and giving Rick the info about Melissa. Rick gets sprung from jail to work undercover for Richard Roundtree’s cop character to bring down Steadman and rescue Melissa!

As sleazy as it sounds, Crack House is a low budget affair that’s a little slow until Melissa gets all coked out. While the violence, swearing, and nudity is of course expected (and quite frankly, welcome) in a low rent feature such as this, it’s the laughs that really make Crack House feel like home sweet home.

Whether it’s Melissa’s silly spasms that show us how bad she needs her fix or the way she delivered her lines before she became an addict that had you wondering if she was already on drugs, Luke Spencer’s repulsively creepy facial hair, Rick shoving a dude’s head into a prison toilet and his pathetic attempts to go undercover against Steadman or Jim Brown stripping off his shirt to roll around with Melissa and spitting out lines like “get this bitch a speedball,” you’ll be laughing so hard, you’ll be in danger of dropping your crack pipe!

© 2017 MonsterHunter

2 thoughts on “Crack House (1989)

  1. I saw this when it came out originally, and it featured a brief prologue from Richard Roundtree–as actor Richard Roundtree, NOT in character from the film!–talking about how this film was so hard-hitting and necessary to battle the evils depicted (and though he didn’t say so, “glamorized” would be a better word!) in the film. It reminded me of Paul Leder’s intro to THE ROTTEN APPLE/FIVE MINUTES TO LOVE, and I suppose all of these go back to the prologue to Reefer Madness and probably before that. I saw this film with an audience where some of the customers were cheering on the outrageously depicted gang members, which makes me wonder exactly how cynical its makers were. I’d guess VERY cynical.
    Glad you are alerting people to CRACK HOUSE. It’s certainly that ultimate example of what it is!

  2. To me this is a minor classic-sleazy and entertaining.

    This had potential to become a franchise with unrelated sequels. Think of the possibilities: Smack House, Angel Dust House, Meth House, Benzo House, Oxycontin House, Flacca House, Everclear House…

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