Bad Asses on the Bayou: Third Time up for Viral Video Based Film

screenshot from Bad Asses on the Bayou
It is hard to be too critical about Bad Asses on the Bayou, aka Bad Ass 3. This is the third time up for the film series based on a viral video posted on YouTube back in 2010. Featuring a “Vietnam vet” in his late 60s who beats up a younger chap on the public transit bus, the footage turned Tommy Bruso into an Internet sensation. Unfortunately he was also on the Google-owned site a year before for getting tased by the police when a drunken Bruso got belligerent about being in the wrong seat at a baseball game.

In essence, the real life, “Bad Ass” was a bit of a nut, one “friend” stated that the man who served in the US military for 3 months during the Vietnam war, suffered from Bipolar and that he was bit off the rails, so to speak. Writer, director Craig Moss (Breaking Wind, Saving Ryan’s Privates)came up with a highly fictionalized version of Bruso where the “vet” turns vigilante when his one and only friend is murdered and the police do not seem to care (Bad Ass). This straight to DVD, and Netflix apparently, film proved popular enough that a second visit was set up where the screen version of Bruso, Frank Vega (played by cult favorite Danny Trejo) teams up with a pal, Bernie Pope (played by Danny Glover) for Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses.

Each of these films boasts an estimated budget of around $5 million and in the third installment, John Amos plays the part of Earl, father of Carmen (Loni Love) who is worth a fortune after his plantation is found to have oil under it. Carmen is kidnapped at her engagement party and the two men; Pope and Vega, decide to get their friend back.

These films are pretty low brow and despite the entertainment value of seeing Trejo, Glover and John Amos (a personal favorite) on screen, this one trick pony should be brushed down and put back in the stable. In all likelihood, the first film, which came out two years after the viral YouTube video with Tommy Bruso punching out a fellow passenger on the bus, came at a time when the public’s awareness of the bearded 67 year-old “hero” was already diminishing.

By now, a good five years later, type Bruso’s name in the search bar and not a lot comes up. A little like the plot of this film and the script it adheres to. It is a bit depressing to see Danny Glover reduced to playing these types of roles. Although he has aged well and still looks good onscreen.

Sadly, this type of film misuses his talents. Trejo has been in enough cheesy films to overlook his participation in this low budget followup to a film based on a mentally ill man who shot to fame via YouTube back in 2010. The stuntman turned actor has made a career out of playing oddball parts and when his Frank Vega says, full of outrage, “you shot my fanny pack,” we chuckle and nod our heads accepting this cockeyed attempt at humor by the screenwriter who is relying on Danny’s delivery to make this amusing.

This film ends with the promise of yet another sequel, this one possibly starring Glover, Trejo and Amos. While all three actors may welcome the income this would generate, the idea of one more abysmal repeat of marginal humor and three old age pensioners doing their version of Dirty Harry fills me with dread.

Bad Asses on the Bayou, aka Bad Ass 3, is a 2.5 out of 5 stars. This third in the series is as tired looking as its two stars. Perhaps the specter of Tommy Bruso can be put to rest now.

7 June 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

Robin Williams: Lest We Forget

Robin Williams as seaside

There are a number of us who will never forget Robin Williams. Quite a number of media publications are helping in that area. Combing the Internet for more stories of the late funny man. When the 63 year old comedian and actor killed himself earlier this year his family, friends and fans were devastated and shocked.

How could such a bright spark put itself out? His departure has left a hole in the world that will never be filled as his talent was unique and his ability to make us laugh above and beyond that of his peers. There were instances of desperation creeping in, but this comic’s routines always had that edge. Robin’s delivery was along the lines of “don’t like this one? Well try this one, or this one or this one…”

A machine gun staccato roll out of impromptu and seemingly impromptu jokes, gags and voices. Underneath all that talent lay a man in pain. Like all great comics, his comedy was born of a deep anxiety that was made worse with the onset of Parkinson’s and medication along with his increasing depression.

Stand up comics, even those who migrate over to other portions of show business, never lose that state of mind. A type of intimate misery where the comedy comes from; pain, personal and deep, enables the best comics to entertain audiences on a regular basis.

Sometimes, as in Robin Williams’ case, this comedic exterior hides not just pain, but fear. Over and above all these hidden problems, Williams was also a genuinely nice human being. Case in point being his act of humorous kindness to his young co star in “Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”

Young Skyler Gisondo wanted to ask his girl to the prom but was stuck on set with Robin Williams and Ben Stiller, as well as Crystal the monkey. The young actor asked Stiller and Williams to help him make a video where, with their help and Crystal’s, he could ask the young lady to be his date.

Williams, lest we forget, was a natural funny man, one who specialized in impromptu performances and who kept swinging that comedy bat till he hit a homer. Robin was, according to everyone who really knew him, a nice man, father, friend and coworker. Watching the video, one cannot help but laugh and fight back tears at the same time. So long Genie, President Roosevelt, Mrs. Doubtfire, and all those other characters you brought to life. You brought a lot to the party Robin and you are missed.

By Michael Smith

VHS Viral: End of a Trilogy (Review and Trailer)

VHS Viral: End of a Trilogy (Review and Trailer)

As far as anthology films go, VHS and VHS 2 were pretty original in concept, although the first in the trilogy was the best in terms of thinking outside the box and the end of this particular franchise, VHS Viral feels like it should be the last time this topic is revisited. The first film came out in 2012 and the series came out with a new film in 2013 and 2014, essentially a new film each year. While the concept deals with home video footage, which increasingly becomes oriented towards more Jackass than Punk’d, the underlying theme is that video tapes degrade with repeated viewing.

Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets: Back and Viral

Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets: Back and Viral

ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel knows what people like and he has brought back those celebrity mean tweets and it should come as no surprise that the video uploaded on November 20, 2014 – a mere two days ago – has gone insanely viral. With over 10 million views, and rising this latest group of performers run the gamut from A listers to “not-so” A listers. Hollywood comedy legend Bob Newhart, Chloe Grace Moretz and Gwyneth Paltrow were among the celebrities who read their nasty tweets out loud and it has to be said, that despite some pretty hurtful comments, this segment is still wildly popular and painfully funny.

Breaking Bad/Frozen Parody Best YouTube Viral Video Ever (Video)

Breaking Bad/Frozen Parody Best YouTube Viral Video Ever (Video)

Two days ago, on November 15, YouTube channel ANIMEME uploaded their Breaking Bad/Frozen parody and it may just be the best viral video ever on the Internet in terms of spot on parody. Disney Studios’ Frozen was a massive hit with kids young and old across the world. Halloween this year featured a load of Frozen themed costumes and this animated feature put Disney back into the number one spot for children’s films and brought a newfound popularity to the old Hans Christian Anderson tale of the Snow Queen.

‘Mr Frost’ New YouTube Series From Johnny Dynamo Producer (Preview)

‘Mr Frost’ New YouTube Series From Johnny Dynamo Producer (Preview)

The newest offering from Johnny Dynamo producer Joe Thomas is another YouTube series, this one about a talk show radio station titled Mr. Frost. Described as a cutting edge comedy, the show follows the fortunes of Nashville station WLBD which is stuck at the bottom of the local ratings and their star host goes missing. Station owner Gary Brubaker, played by Brian Feys, fires the missing presenter and calls in a favor from an old pal to come and save the day and, hopefully, the station’s ratings.

Johnny Dynamo Exclusive Interview With Jonathan Everett (Video)

Johnny Dynamo Exclusive Interview With Jonathan Everett (Video)

The Guardian Liberty Voice had the chance to speak with one of the Johnny Dynamo star’s Jonathan Everett in an exclusive interview where Jonathan talked to us about working on the series. Everett spoke about what it was like to work with series creator Joe Thomas (The Accidental President, The Body Sculptor), Tiny Lister, Terry Kiser and his some of his other projects as well as the Johnny Dynamo webisode. This “new” web series has proven to be very popular with Variety putting the show on its list of the Top 10 Web Series of 2013.