Sunday, March 25, 2007

When bad movies happen to good people

So I'm flipping channels a few days back and The Born Losers is on, so I cannot resist watching a bit of that. For those who have not had the pleasure - no, pleasure is not the word....hmmm, let's say the experience of viewing this 1967 film, here are a couple of the tag lines from IMDB:

CORNERED! A HOT SUMMER NIGHT...A PACK OF STRAY 'CHOPPER JOCKEYS'...


An innocent girl is first prize in the dirtiest game ever played!


Kitten on wheels, with her bike, her boots and her bikini!

So you get the idea. However, the reason I flipped to it in the first place is that this is a Tom Laughlin movie, he who would be Billy Jack. Now Billy Jack may be, by traditional standards, the most technically pathetic yet commercially successful movie ever made. Little considerations like the quality of cinematography, sound, editing, and acting did not deter Tom Laughlin from making a movie. Billy Jack has a special place in my mind because (a) the character was really cool to my 12 year old self, and (b) I got to see the movie even though it had some weird and raunchy stuff in it, and (c) it ran for something like 2 years non-stop in the Lux Theater in my hometown of Joplin, Missouri. (The Lux was infamous for the rumor that rats would run over the tops of your feet if you kept them on the floor.) In the modern day when a new movie, even a hit, will stay in theaters for maybe 3 weeks, a 2 year run is insane. Needless to say, Billy Jack struck a chord with the middle American audience.

But back to The Born Losers. As I'm gaping at the bad acting and the porno quality of the storytelling, there is a scene in which these two hairy bad-guy bikers, the characters "Biker" (that was creative) and "Krabs" share a big juicy wet kiss on the mouth. (IMDB Message board discussion on this topic is here.) This kissing scene is so out of left field, I couldn't believe it really happened and had to rewind. Yep, sure enough. Right on the mouth.

So it took me awhile to digest it, but I guess Tom Laughlin was trying to establish that the outlaw bikers were not just bullies, thieves, vandals, rapists, extortionists, and above all, un-American, but to top it all off, they were gay.

In summary, they don't make really bad movies like they used to. All of that energetic talentlessness is now funnelled into YouTube. But take heart! Read here about Tom Laughlin's possible masterwork in the making. This one I gotta see...

2 comments:

your daughter said...

speaking of bad movies, Premonition was terrible.

poor Sandra Bullock. another million dollar crapper.

Barry Martin said...

Sandra has had a string of bad movies. She needs to play that cop that wins the beauty pageant again.