In 1984 Cheech and Chong released an album entitled "Get out of my Room" it contained a parody song of Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA called Born in East LA. It was performed by Cheech and it became a hit spawning a heavy rotation music video. It was also the only song written solely by Cheech. He and Chong were starting to have animosity which all came to ahead in 1987 when Cheech was offered a solo film in which he would write, direct, and star in. That film was Born In East LA.
Cheech stars as Rudy Robles a Latino who was Born in East LA. He lives there with his family and one morning is asked by his mom to pick up his cousin Javier (Paul Rodriguez in a great supporting role) he's coming from Mexico and will be arriving at a local factory known for employing illegal immigrants.
Rudy leaves in a hurry and forgets to grab his wallet. Once there the place is raided by immigration, and unable to answer a few questions, and without ID he is arrested for being here illegally. His cousin manages to get out and arrives at Rudy's home where is is all by himself. Rudy gets allowed a phone call and calls home to reach his mother or sister so they can bring his identification to clear him but only Javier is home. The phone is by a painting of Jesus and when is reached the answering machine Javier, who speaks no English assumes Jesus is speaking to him. With no one to verify Rudy was born in America he is deported to Tijuana.
Once in Tijuana Rudy makes one desperate attempt after another to get home. He ends up making friends along they way. One of them is a street hustler named Jimmy (Daniel Stern).Jimmy offers to hook Rudy up with a coyote to take him back home in return for working for him to pay off the debt.
The film was a modest hit when it came out and did make a solo star out of Cheech. I remember seeing it in a packed theatre on opening night and the crowd was on fire through the entire film. The jokes come fast and range from slapstick to satire. The film, as silly as it is does contain a message about America and Immigration. It was a very well written screenplay to say the least.
Born in East LA developed a cult following over the years and received a huge boost after Cheech and Chong got back together to perform. Shout Factory, under there Shout Select lable have picked this up and are releasing it in a Blu-ray collector set. The transfer looks great. It's one of the best looking ones they have done to date. It is loaded with special features, and yes for fans it does have the longer alternate tv ending
NEW Audio Commentary By Director/Writer/Star Cheech Marin And Film Historian Marc Edward Heuck
NEW Interview With Cheech Marin
NEW Interview With Actress Kamala Lopez
NEW Interview With Actor Paul Rodriguez
Extended Television Cut Of Born In East L.A. (Standard Definition)
Although some of the jokes are a tad dated the film is still funny and does still have a story that holds up to this very day. It's definitely a must own for fans and worth watching if you have never seen it. Go ahead and pick this one up.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars!