2011. 82 Minutes. Rated R.
“What’s a town with no ducks?”
Not many people know this but there was a time I was called DDR Lamarre, and for good reason. My little brother and I would spend hours playing Dance Dance Revolution at our local arcade, patiently putting our quarter in line on top of the screen for a chance to show our moves. Dance Dance Revolution is a Japanese game where the arrows on screen direct the movement of your feet on a floor keypad (it looks much more like a Mexican Hat dance than anything you will see at a club). Even though we were in Fall River, we never saw any gang wars being won by DDR, but then, they never saw The FP.
In a future, in the town of Frazier Park, battles between gangs are won by playing Beat Beat Revelation, a game VERY similar to DDR (except it swears at you if you lose). When J-Tro’s (Jason Trost) brother B-Tro (Brandan Barrera), champion of the 248 gang, dies in battle, J-Tro leaves to become a lumberjack. The victor, L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy) of the 245 gang, takes over the local liquor store. L will not give booze to those he doesn’t like and thus people turn to harder drugs. The bums are not on the street anymore and there is no one to feed the ducks. B-Tro’s friend KCDC (Art Hsu) must find J-Tro and bring him back to the FP to challenge L and bring back the ducks.
This movie is like 8 Mile with Eminem, but amazing. It pokes fun at common plot lines of overcoming loss to win love and achieve goals with a fun homage to Rocky, Karate Kid, and DDR. It is chalk full of fun montages with catchy Japanese tunes that probably would be on a DDR machine.
The dialogue is full of ebonics and obviously over the top one liners. N.i.g.g.a in this film, you learn later, stands for “Never Ignorant about Getting Goals Accomplished”. The F word is said over 250 times in this movie, which is more than the 1997 South Park movie where it is said it 146 times, and had a whole song devoted to the word. Regardless of the swearing, it is a movie that will be well-quoted among those who watch it( I’ve already added “for reals” into my daily vocabulary).
This movie is full of fun costumes. J-Tro sports an unexplained eye patch. L looks like Canadian Mr. T while L’s girlfriend, Stacey (Caitlyn Folley) could be mistaken for early Madonna. She has my favorite wardrobe: an I Love NY shirt with a duct tape strip to make it say “I love FP” and a shirt where dogs show their front and back sides on each side of the shirt (does anyone else remember those with the cat butts? I need one for Christmas).
Stacey stays with L because she needs the booze for her drunk father not to go on a rampage, but she obviously wants to date J-Tro. Forget flowers, J-Tro gives her a clean tampon while she rummages at the local playground for a buried one to use. Doesn’t everyone?
Even from the trailer, it is obvious everyone knew what they were doing. The camera quality is good, the shots are well done, and the acting isn’t half bad. This movie belongs in the cannon of cult classics, a bad movie for sure, but with good dialogue, good camera work, and a fun storyline. This movie is much better than Wiseau’s The Room (which I wish would stop being played at Coolidge Corner Theater), because they didn’t set out to make a “good” movie that became famous for being bad. They made a fun bad movie. For reals.