THE TERRORISTS (197?), MIAMI CONNECTION (1987) and SAMURAI COP (1989). These are films that transcend their bad movie origins to become mini-masterpieces. The kind of films where you immediately email your friends about them and lengthy email back-and-forth ensues as you recount all the hilarious lines/scenes. Thanks to Marty McKee, I was able to experience this rush last night with one of the crowning jewels of cinemasochism, GETEVEN (1993; aka ROAD TO REVENGE).
GETEVEN (that is how the title reads onscreen) opens with three LAPD cops – Normad (William Smith), Rick Bodie (John De Hart) and Henry “Huck” Finney (Wings Hauser) – on the trail of some drug dealers inside a trailer. When a shootout erupts, Finney is shot and Normad doesn’t seem to give a damn. You see, he is more interested in the drugs as he is a crooked cop. Rick takes offense to his lack of care for Finney and knees Normad in the gut. “You just made a big mistake,” Normad says. “Not a problem,” replies our hero. Except it is a problem as the very next scene has the trio in an Internal Affairs hearing and Normad is weaving a web of lies that would make Fred Adelman blush. He somehow manages to convince the judge that Rick and Huck were drug users (“Their eyes were weird, like someone using drugs.”) and both guys are kicked off the force. Now, we’re never told this but just have to
|Pant-less Wings, Indian dummy, John De Hart|
Tom: "That scene just screams 'I'm on a shitload
of coke and I don't care who knows it!'"
Financial and job woes are the least of Rick’s problems though as he recently got dumped by Cindy (Pamela Jean Bryant, a Playboy Playmate of the Month in 1978). Or maybe it wasn’t recently as she’s been away a year. Again, we’re never given specifics as those are for sissies. Anyway, Huck, who talks to an Indian mannequin in his living room, has this bright idea to head out for a night on the town. And guess who they run into at the bar? Cindy! The lovebirds reconnect and Cindy remembers just why Rick sent her heart aflutter when he pops up on stage (“Hey Rick, come up and sing!” screams a voice off camera) and uncomfortably sings the non-hit “Shimee Slide.” Now I should tell you that this is where the film took off from B-movie to insta-classic. Seriously, watch this scene that some kind soul uploaded.
The main plot finally kicks in when a group of scummy looking dudes come in and start harassing Cindy. Rick takes no shit and he and Huck beat the crap out of these guys. Amazingly, Huck gets arrested in the melee. Wait, why were the cops there? Because an overly concerned girl in the bar called them to report a case of public nudity after a stripper got on stage following Rick’s mind-blowing singing. Yes, public nudity is the problem here. That’s just how this movie rolls. The next day Rick bails Huck out of jail and in a true howler, says to the processing officer as they are leaving, “Here’s a quarter. Go buy yourself a personality.” Keep in mind two things. One: this cop wasn’t hassling Rick at all. Two: Rick has zero personality; hell, he might have subzero personality. That line is the cinematic equivalent of a bald guy flipping his head side-to-side to showcase the beauty of his comb over.
Believe it or not, we are only just 30 minutes into this movie. And now the thing goes totally off the rails as we get a ten minute segment that can only be defined as Wings Hauser’s Masterpiece Theater. The first bit has him doing a drunken rambling at the bar with Rick where he accuses him of ditching him for Cindy and with sleeping with his ex-wife. Again, it must be seen to be believed (make sure to watch until the end).
Now, if you are still with me, I thank you for your efforts. But I’m going to make you watch another video as this is how the confrontation goes with Cindy’s parents.
You hear that loud thud? That was my jaw dropping on the floor after that bit. “Get thee behind me, Satan” is how I plan to greet all of my kids’ friends (if I ever have kids and I turn into a crotchety old, box chucking bastard). The scene actually ends with her dad saying she will end up “dead in a roadside ditch” due to her sinful ways. No worries for Cindy though as Rick knows how to calm her storm – a bubble bath! In a true example of her dedication to the acting craft, Bryant gives her all in making you believe she is enjoying this skin-on-skin romp. Tom said it best in one of our emails: “Damn, I hope that girl’s check cleared. She earned every penny of her miniscule wage.”
Pamela Jean Bryant earning that pay:
Alternate title: JOHN ASTIN GETS LUCKY!
chops. I don’t think I need to say anything more after you’ve viewed the HAMLET scene posted above. Not only did De Hart have the funds, he had the cajones to blow what I can only believe was a small (yet substantial enough) amount of money on this. Did I say balls? I meant to say mental imbalance. That this film got finished is amazing. Snagging Wings Hauser and William Smith to be in your ensemble couldn’t have been cheap and the darn thing is shot on film. Well, most of it. De Hart does have some inserts (including one bit where he awkwardly kickboxes and then feeds his poodle some ice cream) that are shot-on-video. Post-GETEVEN, De Hart went into the field of law. He passed the California bar exam on June 4, 1993 and has been practicing ever since. I’m seriously tempted to fly out to California and commit some minor offense, just so I can hire him and ask all about GETEVEN. First question: “What were you thinking?” From the opening appearance of the grammatically incorrect title to the final “surprise” moment, GETEVEN will keep your attention like – how do they say in GETEVEN speak – a poodle wanting some ice cream. Highly recommended!