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Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh Gosh, I really like those Redneck Monkey Movies.....

Geoffrey Lewis (Left): RIP
One of the stars of those old seventies redneck monkey movies died the other day, Mr. Geoffrey Lewis, and that really got me thinking about those old redneck monkey movies again. I'm Talkin' 'bout Any Which Way but Loose and Any Which Way you Can.

It was these movies 'bout two guys, some chicks, and a monkey who run a foul with a nazi biker gang and the cops...so....Clint Eastwood kicks the shit out of all the nazis and the cops.

I saw these movies when I was really young too. A lot of the American stations that I got as a kid (TBS, WGN, SBK) used to take turns showing redneck movies. Whenever I used to come home from school as like a 12 year old kid...the TV would darned sure have some sort of silly redneck movie on.

Redneck movies involved a lot of drinking, fighting, bottle throwing, truck driving, country music, and a touch of romance. An example of a more modern redneck movie would be like Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze where like Swayze has to drink and fight and bang chicks...but the seventies redneck movies were even more better than Roadhouse.

The pace-setter for seventies redneck movies were the Burt Reynolds ones where he has to drive a truck full of goods somewhere (or ride along side in a trans-am keeping the cops away from the truck is more accurate). This one was ALWAYS on after school when I was a kid and I must have seen it numerous numerous times. Looking back now, Smokey and the Bandit, didn't make any sense. Like, Reynolds is a "smuggler" yet he's smuggling BEER over state lines. As a kid I thought this was soooo bad ass but beer is not illegal in any state. What was so bad ass about "smuggling" cases of two-fours over state lines? Nothing. Anyone can deliver beer....it's not illegal at all. There really was no reason for Officer Jackie Gleason to have given Burt Reynolds and good ol' Cletus a hard time for 2 hours due to them having a truck full of beer.

A year after Smokey and the Bandit came out...someone had a great idea. They took the redneck genre of film (drinkin', truck drivin', n' fightin') and threw a monkey in the mix....not just any monkey, but an Indonesian Orangutan into the mix. Now, if you're not familiar with Any but Way which Can you're probably thinking that putting a Sumatran ape into a redneck movie is just a stupid idea....but you're wrong....it's not a stupid idea. It's a brilliant idea is what it is.

There's no real set-up either as to why Clint Eastwood and Geoffrey Lewis are hanging out with an Orangutan. Clint just goes into some shed near his house and fools around in the dark for a bit, and then the lights come on and it's an orangutan....and then they high five and start chugging beer. That's it. There's no scene about him meeting the ape and there really doesn't need to be. Clint Eastwood is a bare-knuckle boxer who has a monkey...get used to it.

The President of the United States
Look, putting a primate into your films just makes them better, it just does. It's like adding salt to french fries, or bacon on pizza...getting a monkey into your movie just automatically makes it better. It has to be a REAL monkey though...not an animatronic one like in that Korean gorilla baseball movie, and it can't be a midget in a monkey suit like in that Matt LeBlanc baseball movie...IT MUST BE a LIVE n' REAL MONKEY....like in Bedtime for Bonzo starring Ronald Reagan (I've never actually seen Bedtime for Bonzo but from the title I assume it's about the president of the United States helping a monkey fall asleep). It's gotta be a for-real ape...a computer generated monkey or a midget in a suit cannot replicate the effect, it just can't.

It always works, always. Like, Grandma's Boy was a great movie and then they made it even better by whippin' a monkey in it. It can't fail, it's a fool proof strategy.

If you don't like monkeys....there's something veritably wrong with you.


RIP Geoffrey Lewis

What a great actor, he's probably like the first guy ever to wear a baseball cap backwards and that became really cool to do for a while. The last time I saw this guy in a movie, I was actually quite disappointed in what I witnessed though.

The last movie I saw him in was Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects about ten years ago. It's a movie about this circus clown and his family of juggaloes, or whatever the fuck they are, who go around murdering folks. Geoffrey Lewis shows up in this film and takes on the juggaloes.....and loses. What the fuck?

Am I to believe that...a bunch of juggaloes can defeat Clint Eastwood's sidekick? That a bunch of retarded circus clowns can best Geoffrey Lewis in arm-to-arm combat? I don't think there's any situation that could play out in reality where that scenario is even remotely believable!

Lewis fucking hung out with Clint Eastwood, he banged that chick who shows her tits in Hair (the chick that goes on all those National Lampoon Vacations), he's dealt with nazis n' cops n' the mafia, WHILE HANGING AROUND WITH A SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN....and I'm just supposed to suspend belief and accept that this man can be defeated and killed by a bunch of fucking juggaloes? No way, Jose.

It's cool Rob Zombie casted this old screen icon for his juggalo movie...but I feel the direction he took the film was quite effronterous in nature....the film, all in all, was unrealistic and the movie suffered for it. Lewis should have kicked the juggaloes asses, dumped their vehicles into a dump truck and high fived his ape...like what would have happened if this movie took place in real life.

Either way, RIP dude, you were a cool guy.


What's Up with Clint, though?

What's Clint doing with his life these days? How come the seventies Clint was bare knuckle boxing in scrap yards, drinkin' with monkeys, kicking the crap out of nazis and cops, carrying around a 44 magnum, chillin' with Eli Wallach, and bein' good/bad/ugly......while the now-a-times Clint is like worrying about his mom's bridges over counties and hanging out with Meryl Streep? Seems like a weird direction to take his on-screen persona if you ask me.

With the death of Geoffrey Lewis, I think Clint should complete the Whether but Loose which Can trilogy and reprise his role of the Philo Beddoe character one last time. I know he's too old to flip out and shit but he can still be like a wise foul-mouthed granpa who drinks with monkeys and drives the story for the new-era bad-ass lead character.


Conclusion

You can't insert monkeys in every movie or it'll ruin the gimmick....but I would say every 1/14 films could have monkeys inserted into them without losing the monkey magic. So, if you're in the hollywood scene and you're a big-shot you should try to work a monkey into at least one in fourteen of your films, I'd say.

I don't think the Presidential monkey movies work though. I don't think Presidents should be making monkey movies...it's just stupid. Reagan's monkey movie just seems odd.


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