The Chosen One: Legend of the Raven (1988)
By: Devon B. on January 19, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NSTC 4:3. English DD 2.0. 87 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Lawrence Lanoff
Starring: Carmen Electra, Debra Xavier, Dave Oliver, Shauna Sand Lamas
Screenplay: Khara Bromileym, Sam Rappaport
Music: Keith Arem
Country: USA
The Chosen One: Legend of the Raven is an early starring vehicle for Carmen Electra. I guess she was on Baywatch, but I know her as Jenny McCarthy's replacement on MTV's atrocious Singled Out. Actually, I never saw Carmen on that, I saw her talking about getting the gig on, I think, Conan O'Brien. She did some ass wiggling dance to show how she auditioned, and that was far more entertaining and erotic than anything found in The Chosen One.

Carmen's sister (Playboy Playmate Shauna Sand Lamas) is the chosen one because she has some pendant that looks like it could be picked up at a $2 store. When the sister is killed, Carmen returns home. Grief stricken, she still finds time for romance; she's such a trooper! Eventually, Carmen becomes the chosen one since her sister is gone…well, not entirely gone as she keeps popping up in spirit form to offer advice. Thankfully, it's never acting advice, as Lamas is yet another Playmate that has no business delivering dialogue. Carmen eventually dons a ridiculous costume and sets off to fight those who have wronged her and her family.

Now, this may sound a bit like a rip off of a certain Brandon Lee vehicle, but what's important to remember is that the influential bird here is a raven, not a crow. The acting is uneven throughout, and the whole thing feels like a low budget TV movie. Huge chunks of plot are inefficiently leapt over by shoddy narration, which I think is supposed to be Carmen's father speaking, but his voice is completely different when on screen and when narrating. There're a few amusing lines, but the only thing that's really funny are the super costumes, which are both cheap and ridiculous.

Of course, the obvious raison d'etre for this movie would seem to be helping those too young to buy proper porn get their rocks off. It's produced by a Playmate of the Year, India Allen; features another Playmate; and stars pubescent whack off queen Carmen… but there's not that much flesh on display. The sex scenes are relatively tame, and Carmen is clearly being doubled for most of what you actually see. I heard somewhere that it's not all doubles, but I'm so sad that I knew that before seeing the movie that I refused to try to re-find the information and provide a source. Even a gratuitous shower scene has no real payoff. I understand the filmmakers had different intentions than the usual nudie flick with this movie, but that's not excuse for making everything so lame.
Video
The Chosen One is presented full frame. The film's a bit dark, and has grain, specks, and spots.
Audio
The audio is a two-channel mix. Non narration dialogue is clear most of the time, but can be drowned out under background noises and the score. The narration was harder to decipher for some reason, and just sounded a bit murky.
Extra Features
This is a Troma DVD, so expect a slew of the usual Troma extras. Aroma du Troma, an ad for the Troma website and Troma merch, an ad for a book, Public Service announcements one and two, the interactive Troma tour are all here. As usual for the Australian release, this DVD is missing the Troma Intelligence Test and the coming distractions (which are presented as a slideshow of the covers instead of the full trailers). For more info on most of these extras, including the missing ones, see my review for Beware! Children At Play. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, the Radiation March short also makes a rare appearance.

For specific Chosen One extras, we get a six still gallery, and a few short interviews. Running at under a minute are interviews with Zebra Woman and Shauna Sand Lamas. Also under a minute, but not really an interview, are words of wisdom from Frank Salsedo. Running approximately one minute is an interview with India Allen, and there's also a roughly 90 second interview with editor Thomas Telster. The best interview is one that runs three minutes (epic!) with director Lawrence Lanoff and Allen again, with Allen revealing that a certain action hero developed a crush on Carmen during shooting. There's also a feature length commentary with Lanoff, which isn't necessarily bad, but isn't really that informative, and I didn't find it particularly engaging.
The Verdict
The Chosen One isn't really cheesy enough to qualify as so-bad-it's-good, and, despite it's R rating, lacks the leading lady nudity that could potentially make a film like this worth enduring.
Movie Score
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