3/6/12

Big Money Rustlas (2010) F***king Westerns, How Do They Work?

Historically I love a Western, but also historically (and yes historians have written about it because it is so vast), I can't stand Insane Clown Posse. You might ask why that is, and there are so many good reasons. First and foremost, as a fan of rap and hip hop in general, I have to say that their music is horrid. Lacking any real skills on the mic, they make up for it with so called "shocking" lyrics full of violence, misogyny, and general stupidity. I should point out that these are the guys who wondered in their 2010 song ”Miracles" how magnets worked, but couldn't muster up the wits to find out. Then there's the fact that these are grown men in their 40s wearing black and white clown makeup without a sense of irony. I know lots of people have clown issues, but the only Psycho Clown that will get me creeped out is Shivers the Clown. So I will never be convinced that Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J are hard mofos. Instead, I will assume they they are opportunistic entrepreneurs who somehow stumbled on a crazy rapping clown angle and made that work for them, and not just for a while, ICP have been doing their thing since 1989.


In 2000, they released their first film, Big Money Hustlas, a Dolomite homage marked with all the traditional un-PC earmarks of a ICP project. Then, ten years later, they came back to the screen with a prequel of sorts, 2010's Big Money Rustlas. When it appeared on Netflix Instant, my inner cinematic masochist could not resist checking it out. Violent J (the larger of the two rapping clowns) stars as Big Baby Chips, the head outlaw in the little town of Mud Bug. Along with his goofus sidekicks Dirty Poot (Monoxide) and Raw Stank (Jamie Madrox), Chips rules the town and all the illegal activity. That is until Sheriff Sugar Wolf (Shaggy 2 Dope) rides into town. He begins cleaning up the streets, but ends up facing Chip's trio of assassins, the heat vision wielding Ghost (Boondox), the smelly mess known as The Foot (2 Tough Tony), and a crossdressing midget who plugs him through his shooting hand. If Sugar Wolf is going to rid Mud Bug of Big Baby Chips, he's going to have to learn to shoot with his left hand, and with the help of his pal Dirty Sanchez (Mark Jury) he sets out to do just that and reclaim the town in the name of his father Grizzly Wolf (Ron Jeremy).

As you might be able to tell, Big Money Rustlas is chock full of ICP's pals, but what really keeps the movie going, and gave me some enjoyment out of the experience, were the many cameos from their famous friends. Wrestler Scott Hall (who was originally supposed to play Dirty Sanchez) is very amusing as a guy charged with changing Mud Bug's population sign, and  legendary wresting manger Jimmy ”Mouth of the South" Hart shows us as a card sharp.  Jason Mewes, best known as Jay from the Kevin Smith films, plays a deputy who doesn't want to get shot while J.J.Walker and Bridgette Nilsson appear as a pair of concerned townsfolk. Midget pornstar Bridget Powers has a large sized role as Shaggy 2 Dope's love interest (as apparently she did in Big Money Hustlas as well), and in one of my favorite moments Tom Sizemore appears as Tom Sizemore because, you know, that makes good sense in a Western. This doesn't even begin to cover appearances by Todd Bridges, Vanilla Ice, Tech 9ine, and Saved by the Bell's Dustin Diamond as well as many others that your favorite Juggalo could point out. While none of them add anything to the film, it did make the entire experience much more palatable than I expected.

Big Money Rustlas hinges in the performances of Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J, and that's some rather squeaky hinges to be hanging on. Shaggy 2 Dope is the better of the two, and he had some great comic timing at points.  It's clear that his performance was somewhat drawn from Dolomite with a fair amount Pootie Tang thrown in for good measure (Shaggy's pimp hand standing in for Pootie's belt). What could have been an interesting comic performance is instead derailed by low humor and the inexorable, unexplained clown makeup. Violent J on the other hand is as hamfisted with his acting as he is with his rhymes. Generally his dialog consisted of a few bad-ass lines coupled with exhortations of his "motherfucking money", and he did little else. While he made a believable heavy, it seemed without menace which even a comedic bad guy needs. All his scenes are stole by his henchmen, Raw Stank and Dirty Poot, Jamie Madrox and Monoxide respectively. Every scene they appear in is actually hilarious, and apart from the celebrity cameos, they made for the best part of the film.

I haven't talked any about director Paul Andresen, and there's really not much to say. The former ICP, Metallica, and Van Halen video director made his non-documentary film debut with Big Money Rustlas, and while the film is cleanly shot and features a number of impressive crane shots, it has no real visual style. Not that it was needed or expected. Like the rest of the film, it was serviceable. I really wanted Big Money Rustlas to be more than terrible, but in the end I found my reaction to be some light laughter that was immediately coupled with head shaking. It was hard to believe that I was being entertained by ICP, but it was happening right in front of my eyes no matter if I liked it or not. Now, I'm not saying that I'll be running out, buying cases of face paint and Faygo or getting a Hatchetman tattoo on my rump. I won't be changing my name to Lighninz 4 Bugz, and there's little chance you'll ever hear me give a "whoop whoop" about anything. However, I would watch another ICP film. For all its faults, Big Money Rustlas makes up for them by being entertaining, and out of all the things I might have expected from this movie, that was never one of them. So a Psycho Clown can be fun to watch, but they still don't understand fucking magnets.

Bugg Rating

3 comments:

  1. Oh my. That's all I can really say: oh. My.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love both of these movies.... It takes a certain taste to like.....im not a juggalo but im "down with the clown" so to speak...love twiztid and boondox. You will never see a tighter family love other than juggalo family... Seen it first hand... Mmfcl!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love both of these movies.... It takes a certain taste to like.....im not a juggalo but im "down with the clown" so to speak...love twiztid and boondox. You will never see a tighter family love other than juggalo family... Seen it first hand... Mmfcl!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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