X for Xmas

Packed with the innuendo of ‘Carry on Camping’ the story is set in the small town of Shag somewhere in New Mexico where the residents have been locked in battle with the nearby town of Pile to win the coveted Christmas chilli chutney cup which Pile has taken home for the last 30 years. This year with the culinary skills of Maxi, played by Jennifer Lopez a Latino lovely new to Shag, the town stands a chance of victory. Maxi has a chilli chutney recipe from the old country that can’t fail and which the residents of Pile want to get their hands on. Enter inept lawman Wager Pipes, in a standout performance by Brad Pitt incompetently trying to keep Maxi safe. He’s cast opposite Robert De Niro playing Sheriff Cumquickly, a chilli loving, gun slinging, son of a Birmingham and Midshires Building society cashier, hence the dodgy Southern drawl or is that Cigar too big for his mouth? Cumquickly called from retirement, has been promised Christmas dinner if he helps keep Maxi safe. And not just any dinner, but the full Christmas enchilada! Oh and did I mention he’s a cross dresser with a penchant for Jimmy Choo shoes.

De Niro has festive fun with his role as the fastest gun in a Valentino vest. Watch out for the Christmas tree scene where more shiny balls are blown up than you’ll see balls made for bearings in a ball bearing factory. Belinda Brick the Mayoress of Pile, played with the gusto of a female Falstaff by Bette Midler, imbibes and slurs her way through any number of ham fisted attempts to steal Maxi’s winning chilli recipe. Enter The San Scorchio Sauce Crew a gang of motor bikers led by Mayoress Brick’s brother Wiggy. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, dressed as Santa gives a wet your pants performance, and more than a few spanners fly with the bullets as Wager and Cumquickly do all they can to prevent the people of Pile from stealing the chilli recipe. The Pyrotechnics are a blast; there are more big bangs in Shag than in the Hadron Collider. This is Jerry Lewis on a blind date with John Wayne in a well boned Bustier, so slip on your holster and a banana skin and your half way there!

Will romance blossom between Maxi and Wager? Will Shag beat Pile in the big Chilli Chutney cook off? And will the Sheriff eventually sit down to the hottest enchilada Christmas dinner on the Scoville Scale in his best Westwood Waspie? In Sheriff Cumquickly’s own words ‘Hang on to your hosiery cowboy. I’m coming.’

By Joy Hanley

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