It Jumps, It Squeeks,
It Reviews Strange Movies
BAD GUYS (1986)
Say--Is that giant penetrating missile between their Speedo'd legs supposed to represent something?
Whoa, you just know that the "zany, action-packed escapades" of wrestlers who take on the "Kremlin Krushers" is going to mine comedy gold. Note that prominently placed "review" from the NY Times, which they're so proud of that it turns up in boldface on the back of the box. That's not a review, that's a comment. It's like a radio ad I keep hearing about some romance novel set in WWII Russia: "It recalls Doctor Zhivago." The ad refers to this a "rave," when it's one of those out-of-context lines that really could mean anything. Like "It rips off Doctor Zhivago." I've seen Ebert's bad reviews being used as "raves." "The best movie Adam Sandler's made so far!" he said of Little Nicky. Which he meant as "The bluntest nail I've pounded into my temple so far!"
I knew that it was a bad sign when I put Bad Guys into the VCR and it was at the 35 minute mark. That meant someone had reached their personal best at making themselves watch it. And they were stronger than me--I gave up at 30 minutes, when Ruth Buzzi came on. As a wrestler! Cackling like a witch on nitrous for every second of screen time.
It's one of those "So bad it's bad" movies. Nothing sucks worse than a comedy that isn't funny. Or having main characters that are completely unlikable when the movie thinks they're lovable. One newspaper headline--in a Los Angeles paper that's exactly 4 pages thick--refers to them as "Brutal Cops Maim Teenagers." I have no idea when that happened, as it comes after the Brutal Cops wail the shit out of a biker bar. There was another "newspaper" of paper towel thickness that headlined that fight, "Brutal Cops Beat Up Biker Bar." Let's face it, if you're commonly known as Brutal Cops in Rodney King's home town, you're pretty fucking as brutal as cops can be. And I'm supposed to hate the Kremlin Krushers just because it says "CCCP" on their shorts?
There are Fag Jokes, too. Mincing, lisping, prancing, makeup-wearing campy faggy-fag cliches right out of the 60s. This is odd as this movie cannot be said to have a homoerotic subtext. It has a homoerotic ubertext. The second scene in the movie has Blond Cop rubbing Brunette Cop's nipple in a way that says "Why, yes, I rub his nipples all the time, what's your beef?" (Brunette Cop does not say "Oh, I'm your beef!") Oh, and they work as Chippendales in one scene, and Brutal Blond rips Brutal Brunette's pants off. And, ya know, wrestling involves rubbing against sweaty men in their undies, so draw your own conclusions. My conclusion is: Subtext or not, Good GOURD, this movie sucks turnbuckle.
But I said that I'd watch, and I'll watch it just for you, the loyal reader. It's not like I've got anything else to do anyway. But I'm watching it small, measured doses. Dang, this thing's harsh. Daddy needs his reviewing medicine! Fetch the Jagermeister!
The next time someone tells you that Windows XP doesn't blue-screen, punch them in the snoot. It just ate all that I'd typed since that last bit, and I'm sure not rewinding the movie to see what I missed. My next computer's a Mac.
First bit of comic genius I saw when I restarted the tape:
AH-HAHAHAHA!!! You nut! You so cute! You...oh, wait, the horrible SU-SPENSE. I forgot.
The Commies beat an old guy who takes the flag and holds it up all Red Badge of Couragey. "That's the most patriotic thing I've ever seen!" says one of the Brutals. I can't tell which, as the dialogue's dubbed. "Now let's show them what AMERICA MEANS!" Which is jumping on people and beating them to shit. YEAH! Don Rumsfeld must LOVE this movie!
"USA! USA! USA!" chants Slaughter. "Report to the station first thing tomorrow!" says the Chief of Police. "Report to the gym first thing tomorrow!" says the Trainer. "First things first!" chorus the Brutals, as they kiss the Promoter on her cheeks. While looking at each other...NO! SUBTEXT! HERE!
Gag me with a wrestling belt, the end credits have a rawk video based on the movie. Throaty-voiced 1985 girl group that looks suspiciously like the Misfits from Jem and the Holograms, although their name is "Precious Metal." "BAD GUYS! God, you'll wish you never met us! BAD GUYS! They'll beat you till you're deadest!" Brilliant lyrics! Oh, how Morrissey weeps over not coming up with that insight. Okay, Morrissey weeps when he writes a grocery list, but if there ever was a group that'd make you cry (with pain), It's Jem and the Precious Metals.
This next lyric I listened to 5 times, and the first, best and only translation I have is: "When trouble starts, you gotta watch for those swingin' low! He feels so Greek, He falls from one mighty blow!"