Lambada, as the emcee at a film premiere last week aptly put it, is "dirty dancing con salsa," but lest you think ill of the people who tied in their rush to get two lambada movies to the screen, great effort was made to give these exploitation films socially redeeming values.
Columbia's "The Forbidden Dance," according to the end credits, is dedicated to preserving the Amazonian rain forest, while Warner Bros.' "Lambada" is so reminiscent of "Stand and Deliver," it ought to be dedicated to Jaime Escalante.
The two lambada outings, which were released dripping wet around the country Friday, marked the first head-to-head duel of former producer partners Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who cashed in on the break-dancing craze so successfully with "Breakin' " a few years back. "Forbidden" was produced by Golan's 21st Century Film; "Lambada" came from Cannon Pictures, which is now owned by Pathe.
The vital information is that "The Forbidden Dance" offers more lambada, which means more of what you're looking for. Both movies are doggedly calculated for crossover appeal, with those snotty--but, of course, fundamentally decent--Westside rich kids getting wised up by poor Eastside barrio Latinos.