Blame it on Rio (1984) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Tuna's comments in white. 

Blame it on Rio (1984) was released this week on DVD. Everyone has seen the VHS version, which has tons of breast exposure and some full frontal from Michelle Johnson, who received a Razzie for worst newcomer for her role. The film also stars a very young Demi Moore, who is also topless, but seemed to have her hair taped to her nipples. I am happy to report that, with the DVD version, there are several clear frames of 22 year old Demi's nipples, way before the breast enhancement. 

Michael Caine, as the man who has an affair with his best friends daughter, is excellent in the part, and Joseph Bologna as the best friend (and secret lover of Caine's wife) is also very good. The scenery is fantastic. This is a teensploitation/comedy, and a pretty good one. 


see the main commentary
Scoopy's comments in yellow: 

I'm not sure why this film is rated only 5.0, or who is responsible for those votes, but that is a mighty low score for a movie I have watched three times without touching the fast forward. I believe that it is a very enjoyable entertainment picture with beautiful nudity, in the same general vein as Sirens. It is a sensuous feast for the eyes and ears, although the script isn't much to write home about. It's not without weaknesses, of course, but let me try to tell you the weaknesses and strengths, and you can decide if you would like to watch it.


1. Michelle Johnson's acting was atrocious in this, completely at the amateur level. She merited that razzie. Her lines sound like she was reading them (poorly) from a TelePrompTer.

2. The Joseph Bologna character was poorly written. It's one-dimensional and unrealistic, and Bologna's hyperactive interpretation didn't help much.

3. There is no great wisdom or creativity in the script, and the humor is actually not all that funny.


1. The cinematography is spectacular. The colors, the locales, the camera set-ups, and the close-ups of Michelle Johnson are all excellent, and the DVD is a clear and bright transfer.

2. The locales are spectacular. It's like being in Rio without having to pay for the plane fare or look at the slums. The interiors, the clubs, the house they stay in, the landscapes - it just looks great.

3. Michael Caine is perfect, both funny and touching, as the weak man who can't keep from slipping into an affair with his friend's beautiful daughter. He held out longer than I would have. If I were married to friggin' Rhoda, and she was pulling a superbitch maneuver like dropping out of a vacation at the last minute without telling me, and then Michelle Johnson came on to me, I'd would have had Michelle's knees pinned to her ears in about 30 seconds. But maybe that's just me. And if I were as rich and successful as Caine was supposed to be here, I probably would have hired someone to arrange a mysterious accident for friggin' Rhoda. 

4. Michelle Johnson is naked early and often. She was young, beautiful and stacked. She stripped off her top on the beach in daylight, then again on the beach at night when she seduced Caine. She appeared stark naked when she took the Polaroid of herself, including a brief spread-legged shot, and she also teased Caine with her breasts one other time. Demi Moore is briefly topless on the beach and in the water, and it's quite interesting to see what her natural body looks like. She has almost no breasts at all. Johnson, however, had enough for both of them, so who really cared about her bad acting? There were also plenty of other topless tootsies on the beach.

5. The music is the sensuous Brazilian type.

6. Friggin' Rhoda is only on camera for a few minutes. 

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • excellent transfer, but no features


  • according to Leonard Maltin, this is a remake of a French film called "One Wild Moment"
  • it is the source of one of Chris Berman's better nicknames, Jose "'Blame it on" Rijo.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2.5/4. 

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.1 
  • With their dollars ... it wasn't a smash hit, but it grossed $19 million domestically. 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Tuna and Scoopy agree on the rating. Both of us found it a solid genre picture, and a pleasant way to pass 90 minutes. Basically two thumbs up. It isn't Schindler's List, but it is what you hope it will be.

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