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Director: Fran Rzeznik

Producer: Zinka Benton

Written By : Zinka Benton, Fran Rzeznik

Cast: Guilford Adams, Debra Cassidy, Katherine James, Amber Lea Voiles, Sean Corrigan, Jane Braugh, Michael Miller

Rating: out of 5

High school students Allie Black (James) and Courtney Davis (Cassidy) seem to have too little in common to be the closest of chums, but they are, and this is just the first of many glaring missteps in the dreadful gender comedy EQUINOX KNOCKS.

These two Texas teens--one the brainy, athletic girlfriend of the quarterback and the other a spell-reading, wannabe witch--share only their status as outcasts and perennial targets of the school's highest caste, led by the poisonously evil Lynette (Voiles). With her clique, The Ettes--Rayette, Donette, Duh'Ette, and Dinette--Lynette goes to extremes with unbelievably bad schemes to ruin Allie and steal her hunky, football-player boyfriend, Matt (Corrigan).

Meanwhile, during the titular celestial event, Allie foolishly mocks pal Courtney's spell-casting by prancing around the pentangle and asking to wake up in the morning as a boy. Well, guess what? Allie wakes up in the body of a teenaged boy (Adams).

This magic gone awry yields two hours of: Allie's transformation into Caleb James (Adams), a guy who loves barrettes and nail polish and can rifle a pass the length of the football field; Courtney as the supportive best friend who aids and abets Allie/Caleb in her new gender; Lynette's fevered, breast-heaving machinations to get next to anything equipped with a dick and a football.

Along the way we encounter the sort of over-the-top eccentric small-town characters that must have seemed like hilariously good ideas in story conference, like the cross-dressing hotelier Caleb winds up working for or twisted high school counselor, Mr. Benis (Miller). Only the characterization of the rabid-to-win high school football coach rings true in this mess. And it is a mess. Don't let anyone tell you it's camp. Eyebrow-waggling soap operatics and a musical number do not camp make.

Two who managed to tread water when all else was sinking around them--Debra Cassidy both resembles Sara Gilbert and borrows a sardonic edge from the Darlene character ("Roseanne") for her performance as Courtney. Jane Braugh, as Allie's surprisingly unfazed mom, Officer Peggy Black, moves and speaks a bit like Holly Hunter.

The rest--writers, director, actors--went down with the leaky craft. Bad, bad, bad, interminably long movie, the kind that really pains those who applaud DIY filmmaking. Somewhere out there, someone has a good, or even adequate, story, with able but unknown actors, and no money, partly because stuff like this got made.

EQUINOX KNOCKS is not recommended, not even for the folks whose properties were used as locations in the film. It's that bad.

—Roxanne Bogucka, an ACTION GRRL!

HYBRID Ratings Guide:

- Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

- Itís worth a full-price ticket.

- Itís worth a matinee ticket.

- Wait for video rental.

- Check out the video from the library, if you must.

- While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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