New Releases for Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Bubba the Redneck Werewolf
Directed by: Brendan Jackson Rogers
Run time: 80 minutes
The Lowdown: There’s two kinds of people in this world.
Those that love bad movies and those who don’t. And by bad movies, I mean movies that theoretically, logically, rationally should be so awful that you can’t endure sitting through them in their entirety, yet you can’t help but stay glued to the screen throughout.
BVB: Blood Violence and Babes loves bad movies because often those are the films that show the most chutzpah. They proudly fly a middle finger in the air to traditional cinema. They take risks and even when those risks fall flat, you can’t help but marvel at the brazen balls it took to even make the attempt.
Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is just that kind of film.
Based on an independent comic book from the mid-1990’s, and coinciding with the comic’s 20th-anniversary release, the feature film adaptation of Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is ridiculous fun. It’s a B-grade, drive-in movie that’s a lot more intelligent than you expect it to be. It’s sprinkled with blink-and-you’ll-miss sight gags and loaded with whip-smart dialogue.
Sure, Bubba the werewolf – as far as special makeup effects go – looks like the long-lost hillbilly cousin to Teen Wolf (the Michael J. Fox version, not MTV). And granted, some of the humor is so juvenile that you almost feel guilty for snickering. But damn if there’s not a smile on your face throughout its brief runtime.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a sample.
The dog pound where Bubba, the human version, works is called Barkham Asylum. The manager reads a magazine called Hogs on Hogs, which is nothing but photos of pigs on motorcycles. And its main office is decorated with various motivational posters – the kind with photos of mountains, the ocean or cute animals along with an inspirational saying.
Only in Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, each poster says the same thing – [Blank] is working hard – as in, “Beauty is working hard.” “Nature is working hard.” “Dolphins are working hard.”
You literally have to freeze-frame the film in order to make out what each poster says, but it’s well worth it.
Or this brilliant blast of dialogue between Bubba, as a werewolf, and a crusty old bar patron while they’re discussing how Bubba’s girl Bobbi Jo keeps shacking up with other guys in the back of a rental car.
“The American Automobile Association is not to be trifled with,” the bar patron drawls, “but I don’t believe gang bang is part of the roadside services described in the manual.”
Bubba, the human, sells his soul to the Devil in return for being transformed into “the most badass bad ass” in all of Broken Taint, FL (which is located in Cracker County, just FYI). He wants to have hair and muscles and be loved as a hero and, and most of all, win the heart of his beloved Bobbi Jo. The Devil sweetens the soul-buying deal by throwing in a smokeless ashtray and a four-slice toaster oven. Naturally, he turns Bubba from human to werewolf, satisfying the wish for more hair.
But the Devil isn’t content to just buy Bubba’s soul. He goes across Broken Taint playing nasty devil tricks – such as luring residents into an Endless Yummy Buffett, which is then revealed to be a bar that plays Endless Jimmy Buffett – and stealing souls while transforming the citizens into freaks of nature, such as a chef who wishes he had more hands to cook faster who suddenly sprouts a third arm from his forehead or the guy who wishes to be “The Batman,” as in the dark knight vigilante hero, so the Devil drives a baseball bat through his mouth out the back of his head.
Everyone turns to Bubba to save the day, which he tries to do as long as he’s not busy punching through people’s skulls or devouring the torsos of the bad guys he defeats.
Make no mistake, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is silliness personified, but it thoroughly understands its genre and wisely plays to fans who will appreciate its subtle asides and over-the-top gags.
If you loved Wolfcop – and boy howdy, BVB loves Wolfcop – then you owe it to yourself to seek out Bubba the Redneck Werewolf as soon as possible. Crack open a beer, check your brain at the door and settle in for the fun.
The Stuff You Care About: Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – Yes. Gore – Considerable.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Satan, man, that wicked old devil.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
Blood Father (Lionsgate, 88 minutes, R, Blu-Ray): For the first 20 minutes or so of Mel Gibson’s umpteenth comeback vehicle, you get the sense that maybe Blood Father is the movie to finally course-correct Gibson’s stunning fall from Hollywood grace. As a former alcoholic and addict, living in isolation in a destitute California trailer park, Gibson’s leathery skin, creased wrinkles and gruff delivery offer a glimmer of the A-list actor he once was. Then it all falls apart. Spectacularly so. After the fourth or fifth shootout, Gibson appears unhinged, his delivery ping-ponging between former characters like Martin Riggs and Max Rockatansky. By the second or third tearful plea for his long-lost daughter, whose believed murder of her drug-dealing boyfriend sets Blood Father off the rails, to get substance abuse help and not turn out like her old man, you’re literally shouting at the TV. Sadly, this one you can skip.
Ghostbusters: Extended Edition (Sony, 134 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): There’s a moment in the new Ghostbusters where you think, ‘So, this is what Bridemaids would have been like with ghosts and photon packs.’
That moment might come for some people around the second or third song-and-dance number. Or maybe it’s during one of the many overlong, not very funny, back and forth conversations that seem to comprise the majority of the first two acts.
What is very clear, however, is that no one should ever be thinking about a five-year-old comedy hit while watching a big-budget, all-female-led reboot of a classic franchise.
But it’s impossible not to. And that’s a shame.
Director/co-writer Paul Feig clearly has an artistic rapport with his leading ladies, Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, but he has no idea how to reign either actress in from going overboard with the same pratfalls and awkward interactions that have marked their best work (for Feig).
Wiig does her weird conversational thing where she starts a sentence only to have it dissolve in a bunch of nonsensical, self-deprecating prattle. And McCarthy gives her all, allowing herself to consistently be the butt of any joke in the vain hope that it’s funny.
Saturday Night Live cast members Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones also do their best, but Jones’ manic energy consistently feels at odds with the film’s lack of momentum and McKinnon – who gets the film’s best one-off comments – is kept just left of center when it’s clear she should have been the star.
No one involved seems to understand what made the original Ghostbusters work so well in 1984. It wasn’t four crazy comedians trying to one-up each other. It was four distinctly different roles inhabited by four genuinely funny people who knew when to step into the spotlight and when to let a co-star take the lead.
Feig also makes a major miscalculation by trying too hard to wedge in as many call-backs to the original film as possible. I mean, even the script is essentially a rehash of the first film. But by including Slimer (with a female Slimer, no less), the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man and even a one-off reference to Zuul, the new Ghostbusters seems like a pale imitation or at best a very needy wannabe.
The Legend of Tarzan (Warner Bros., 135 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): Johnny Weissmuller starred in 12 Tarzan movies from 1932 to 1948.
One dozen films.
But in modern day cinema, since 1981, there have only been five live-action attempts to resurrect the character, and one of those, 1989’s Tarzan in Manhattan, was made for TV.
If it seems like it should be easy to make a great Tarzan jungle adventure picture, especially with all the technological advancements in cinema today, you might want to keep waiting because this year’s big-budget The Legend of Tarzan isn’t likely to jumpstart a new franchise anytime soon.
It’s not that The Legend of Tarzan is a bad movie. It’s just an overdone movie. There’s too much happening throughout its overlong two-plus-hours runtime.
Between flashbacks and multiple story arcs and characters who seem parachuted in from another time period (I’m looking at you, Samuel L. Jackson, and you too, Margot Robbie), you’re simply exhausted long before Tarzan finally goes hand-to-hand-combat with a giant ape.
Alexander Skarsgård is actually great in the title role, although his impressive abs constantly steal every scene in which he appears without a shirt, which is basically the entire third act. But he’s handicapped by a script that wants to tell a big, important story about diamond mining and colonialism and the destructive impact of slavery on tribal villages when instead the powers that be should have settled for simply making a fun movie.
When Tarzan does take flight, whooshing through the jungle on a never-ending supply of sturdy vines, you can feel a little tickle of that inner child who marveled at Weissmuller back in the day. But then it’s gone just as quickly as it appeared.
Tarzan gets his Jane back, in the end. Hooray. But you won’t get those two hours back or a refund if you bought the higher-priced Blu-Ray expecting something more.
She Who Must Burn (Midnight Releasing, 90 minutes, Unrated, DVD): I’ve never seen a Larry Kent film before, but the African-born, Canadian-based director has concocted a Christian-conservative-values horror film with She Who Must Burn that is both downright chilling and eerily in tune with our current political and social climate. Women’s right advocates, whether abortion doctors or counselors, find themselves targeted for protest and then escalating violence by a religious leader and his fervent followers. It’s raw, proudly independent and has an important contextual message to convey amid the craziness.
Not to be Overlooked:
Preacher: Season One (Sony, 471 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): I’m a bad geek. I never read the original comic book run of Preacher by Garth Ennis. Thankfully, prior knowledge of Jesse Custer and his motley crew of miscreants isn’t required to get thoroughly hooked on AMC’s next great serial. Preacher is ballsy, bold and brash. The series’ first season isn’t so much concerned with laying out a grand vision as it is with fully immersing viewers in the hardscrabble Texas town of Annville. If you haven’t yet given over and watched Preacher, you’re missing out.
Gregory Peck Centennial Collection
The Thing: Collector’s Edition
Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes
Approaching the Unknown
Breaking a Monster
The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series
Feed the Beast: Season One
Carrie: Collector’s Edition
Phantom of the Theatre
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Supermansion: Season 1