24 August 2002 | prideofparma
A Brilliant Send-Up Of The World Of No-Budget Filmmaking
I recently viewed a screener copy of the film "Bad Guys," and I have to say, this is one of the most hilarious portrayals of the independent film industry that I have seen in years. Basically, the film centers around a producer, a director, and a couple of washed-up actors who are desparately trying to mount a film production with no money and even less talent.
The story begins on the first day of the film shoot, when the producer uses an old prop bus, already rigged with explosives for a scene later in the day, to pick up the film crew to transport them to the location. Forgetting that the bus is wired to explode, the producer lights up his cigar and almost kills the crew before the first day of shooting! This starts the movie off with a bang, and things just progress from there.
The funniest bits include the inept director, played by Bryan Genessee, who spends his day dealing with drunk actors, a grip department that keeps placing the generator in his shot, and thirteen-year-old local extras hired to play elite commando soldiers in their high-top tennis shoes. Also, the role of the sleazy producer David Dingdong, who spends most of his time cruising the local Denny's restaurants looking for underage girls to violate, is played for maximum laughs by newcomer James Estrada. Finally, Martin Cove's cameo as an actor trying to get more out of a production assistant than a ride to the set, has to be seen to be believed.
Admittedly, Michael Madsens' role as a DEA agent who has a side business selling arms to Afghanistan (not weapons--literally arms for children who have encountered land mines) is a little over the top, but Madsen manages to make it work. Overall, this is nothing we haven't seen before, but the quality of the acting and production values help turn an well-used Hollywood cliche into one of the freshest pieces of independent cinema I've seen in years. Four stars for this one.