NEW YORK, Sept. 5 -- It's been a long time since the heyday of the redneck movie, the swamp movie, the hillbilly movie, the cornpone southern action comedy.
Peter Graves in "Poor White Trash" is probably the apotheosis of the genre, with Herschell Gordon Lewis's "Year of the Yahoo!" being the bottom of the low-budget pickle barrel and the immortal "Smokey and the Bandit" being the mainstream blockbuster version.
To have all the elements of a redneck movie, you need:
1) Rednecks, preferably beer-guzzling, racist and violent ones.
2) Backwoods babes in short shorts and halter tops.
3) Tattooed bikers.
4) Moonshiners in muscle cars.
6) Bathroom humor, preferably outhouse humor.
7) At least one bar fight, preferably with broken beer bottles.
8) An old grizzled coot.
9) At least one high-speed "Dukes of Hazzard"-style motor vehicle chase involving river-jumping.
10) Implied incest, bestiality or gene-pool confusion.
Okay, so I'm toting up the count on this week's movie, "Inbred Rednecks," and I get a score of 7 and a half, not too bad for Joshua P. Warren, the one-man film industry of Asheville, North Carolina, who uses amateur actors to try to pull off the first genuine country-bumpkin comedy in eons.
Josh obviously has done his redneck homework in the town Thomas Wolfe could never go home to, and the result is kind of horrifyingly bad at times, but in a way that grows on you until you actually LIKE these barfing brew-quaffing rubes.
"Inbred Rednecks" is the sensitive story of Billy Bob and his six-foot-tall hormone-enhanced gamecock that he christens with the endearing name of Big Ass Rooster.
Billy Bob and his best friend Clovis (played by Josh himself, who also wrote, directed, photographed, edited, scored, and punched the little holes in the side of the film) take Big Ass to the local cockfights to try to score big cash off Monty and his undefeated cock. Monty's warrior bird takes one look at Big Ass Rooster and decides to commit suicide, setting off a celebration at the local roadhouse that features a colossal ass-whuppin and about 17,000 really painful redneck jokes.
Monty has to get his revenge, of course, so pretty soon he's plotting to steal Big Ass for himself, but not before Clovis can make his play for the bootylicious local fast-food girl, the gravelly-voiced Bubba can barf his way through the state fair, the excitable Billy Bob can lead the local sheriff on a high-speed chase ending in senseless midget death, and Joe Bob can unearth an old beach picture from Myrtle Beach that shows President Clinton exposing his privates. (It's actually a plot point.)
In other words, no plot to get in the way of the story. This is not just a pure-dee North Carolina movie. This is a pure-dee WESTERN North Carolina movie, because they know that, if they have to, they can hide in those woods forever.
One dead body. No breasts. Two dead frogs. Two dead cocks. Ugly-Ed-on-his-moped rock-throwing target practice. One giant rooster. Slapping. Finger-eating. Four ass-whuppin's, with one scalping. Hand-slicing. Stuffed-monkey neck-chewing. Basketball to the privates. Exploding toilet. Cockfight montage, with flying feathers and banjo music. Psychotic midget. Big Jimmy Extra Large Condom Box price check. Grenade explosion. Bazooka explosion. Jogger abuse. One motor vehicle chase. Gratuitous monkey sub-plot. Gratuitous weenie roast. Puke Fu. Electric-fence Fu. Chicken-suit Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Joshua P. Warren, as the bumbling lovelorn rube who tries to impress a girl by ordering "the most expensive combo on the menu" and expresses his appreciation by saying "She's got legs from her ass to the floor"; Tiffany Leigh Linebaugh, as the fast-food cashier babe interest, for saying "Oh my God, I've died and gone to a redneck hell"; Wayne Liles, as the paranoid frog-hating well-armed crazy old Vietnam-vet coot; Mark-Ellis Bennett as the weird beard paranoid Peeping Tom; Mike Weeks as the corrupt sheriff who says "Let's get the ass-whuppin' started!"; Shannon "Redman" Franklin as the beer-gutted whiskey-voiced sidekick who says "A guy walkin' around here with an attitude, JUST BECAUSE HE'S A MIDGET"; Butch Long as the grizzled grandpa whose relationship advice is to "act like a little flamer"; Brent Ponder as the genetically-engineered wild man cock owner; and Casey Fox as the road kill midget.
Two and a half stars. Joe Bob says check it out. (To reach Joe Bob, go to joebob-briggs.commailto:joebob-briggs.comor email him at JoeBob@upi.commailto:JoeBob@upi.com. Snail-mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221.)