I was minding my own business at Six Flags in St. Louis many years ago, when this squeaky clean man in a suit handed me a miniature comic book. Flipping through the pages, I quickly realized it was propaganda from one of those Bible-thumping, hellfire and damnation evangelical cults that festers on the fringes of humanity; the kind of group that doesn’t want anyone to have any fun of any kind. This was obvious by one drawing that showed a well-endowed woman walking by in a short skirt while a lascivious man leers after her and murmurs to himself, “Hmn, nice!” The next frame showed that same man writhing in the pits of Hell.
Satan, it seems, is somewhat of a spoilsport.
In “Turntables,” Reese (Noah Beil) could be that same man. (Which, of course, is to say that he could be pretty much ANY man, but that’s beside the point.) Reese, an up and coming DJ, has an eye for the ladies who, in turn, seem to be drawn to him because of his growing celebrity. Never mind the fact that his rich girlfriend will be moving in with him soon. Reese fully intends to take full advantage of her cash and still get as much outside action as he can get away with.
That is, until he meets Artemis (Kristen Kakos). The Goddess of Darkness and Guardian of the Honor of Young Women, amongst other things, Artemis notices the hopelessly skirt-addled Reese leering after her but doesn’t act. When she overhears him make a lewd comment about her, however, she decides to teach him a lesson by turning him into a woman. Suddenly an attractive female mark, Reese (Kate Duyn) experiences firsthand just what kind of crude, sexist pigs we guys really are.
Well, sure, we can be. But most of us aren’t the uncontrollable lust driven madmen that co-directors Danny Baldonado, Fred Medick, and Shane O’Connor depict every guy in this film to be. (These three must hang around with quite a crowd.) Reese as a woman can’t go anywhere or do anything without at least being hit on if not sexually assaulted.
While the message behind “Turntables” is an admirable shot across the bow to overly obvious droolers like that old comic book caricature, the film’s exaggerated and heavy-handed generalization greatly harms what is otherwise a sassy, if improbable melding of “Trading Places” meets “A Christmas Carol.”