Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Bad Bunch

The Bad Bunch (Tom, Nigger Lover, America the Beautiful, Kiss the Establishment Goodbye) Dir. Greydon Clark (1972).

Jim is a hair hopping ex G.I. creepo in this inept, rundown dime store blaxploitation flick. The director Greydon Clark who also stars in it, is the same director I fondly remember as the guy 
who made Joysticks, one of the most retarded arcade themed punk sex comedies of the 80s. That film would pair up well with Surf 2 as a throw caution to the wind punxploitation beach party blast. An alternate title for the Bad Bunch was "Nigger lover" which is as jaw droppingly offensive as it gets!

Just as Wes Craven cathartically crafted LHOTL as a response to Vietnam and the "American nuclear family, this is Greydon's oddball response to Vietnam, he uses a Martin Luther King quote at the end of the film, which really doesn't smooth things over. All the characters in this film are hateful and shallow, they'd stab each other in the back with no remorse whatsoever. The second half kind of degenerates into a pool party, so it's not all pain and misery.

Ever heard of affirmative action?

 The unrelenting racism viciously spat by the stereotypical cops is paint peelingly abrasive! The brunt is softened by the ugly thrift store production design and melodrama (which in the second act threatens to sink the film's political momentum). Aldo Ray (who Quentin Tarantino has an unwarranted boner for) plays one of the cracker moron cops. Ray has had an insane career to say the least, he's appeared in good trash like Human Experiments, Hollywood Cop and Shock 'Em Dead (one of my favorites, which was his last film). Ed Cobb, who wrote some of the best tunes for The Standells and The Chocolate Watchband did the surprisingly tepid flavorless score. I can only imagine he got in a horrendous accident and lost his edge.

I murdered Greg Brady and took over as Johnny Bravo

The premise of Bad Bunch is basically about how even though soldiers are united in combat after the war, things are still as racially divided as they were in the 50s on the callous streets of Los Angeles. Clark shows up in the ghetto to deliver something to his black friend and is met with not only distain but a few knuckle sandwiches. He's called an "n-word lover" by the cops and is basically on his own. You might feel sorry for him until it's revealed that he's a lecherous spineless jerk who cheats on his hippie girlfriend and is generally unlikeable ( he seems to be wearing an ill fitting wig as well). His two adorable girlfriends are played by Jacqueline Cole (who later appeared in Joysticks) and Bambi Allen a sexploitation actress who died of cancer tragically at a young age. According to Sam Sherman, her death was attributed to primitive and dangerous silicon breast implant surgery.

Whatever man, Bobby likes my Richard Pryor impression

This film is a train wreck on the level of Blood Freak (the film stock and ugliness are its only connections) so don't look for any LSD laced turkeys. As far as Blaxploitation goes it's on the same inept level of "In Your Face" (or "Abar The First Black Superman") by Frank Packard, which has a million alternate titles and the same level of zero production value that gives it all kinds of charm. (I liked that film a little more and they both close with quotes by Dr. King). Clark was also a Z-grade actor who worked almost exclusively with Al Adamson and played Acid, one of the bikers in Satan's Sadists. He directed Shout Factory's recently released Without Warning (which I totally hated)! Even though he's made some of the most laughable clunkers like Final Justice with Joe Don Baker and the enormously popular Satan's Cheerleaders, you gotta admire the guts on this guy, I mean he just incapsulates that underdog work ethic, which is admirable and I enjoyed The Bad Bunch even with all its flaws and dopiness. Get drunk and keep your brain turned off or you may get pissed off at the failed attempts at social commentary. Fandor, one of the best streaming sites has it available to watch.

Nothing like a refreshing Ginger Ale after coitus

Can't we all just get along?

I bet that Snoopy poster would look groovy on some acid

Hippie Dan Clowes here reminding you to curb your dogs


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