Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Stoned Age (1993)

After a not so easy night at the DJ gig, I preheat the pizza situation and opt not for a giallo, SOV or Cannon fodder, but the netflix streamy doohicky. The "Goofy comedies you'll love" section had mostly of Troma dreck (no thanks) and then this period piece which I recall reading about upon it's release. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Film Threat really talked this one up essentially as "BETTER THAN DAZED AND CONFUSED!" Well, rest assured, it is not better than Dazed and Confused. In fact The Stoned Age mucho sucks, but I did enjoy it on some levels.
The film concerns two burnouts, Joe and Hubbs and their attempts in scoring some potentially mythical chicks, and the competition they encounter from a legion of other burnouts. The simple premise works to the advantage of the film, as it creates a casual atmosphere which doesn't require too much acting or set pieces or variation in dialogue. As long as it's funny right? Yeah, you can smell the low budget on this from the opening shot, where we plainly see modern cars drive past a hitchhiker. From here we see where the majority of the budget must have gone, as Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" plays over the opening credits, as the BOC logo emblazoned "Blue Bomber" cruises down the strip. Now, I only spent 2 years of my life in the 70s, and I don't remember anything about it, but I've seen alot of old cruising vessels in my time (in films and still in action) and I don't believe I've seen anything that looks like the ugly-ass wagon these boys drive around in. Period detail does not seem like a concern for any of the involved parties, as most of the characters look straight out some bad-tv-show-with-fake-grunge-band crowd surfing scene. In fact, Hubbs, the asshole one looks a lot like Eddie Vedder to me, but that's beside the point. Most of the movie has the look of an early 90s made for cable erotic thriller, but I can get into that. I'm not watching this movie for any visual pleasure, as sad as that seems, but for some cheap laughs, and there are some of those...not enough though.
What I did like most about the film is that every character except the "audience identification sensitive guy" (Joe) is a total asshole, and even that A.I.S.G. is irritating and wishy washy, just like most "sensitive" people. Luckily Joe still wants to get laid, so you don't just wanna smack him the whole time. So yeah, seeing a film from the early/mid 90s where there isn't some kind of "message" about believing in yourself, or being true to yourself, or trying to understand others, or.....whatever, is pretty lessons to be learned here except that "teenagers" are sociopathic shitheads. I guess plenty of that came around in the late 90s...whatevs. Well, unlike the "damaged youth" films of the late 90s and beyond, I don't think this film is trying to say any grand statements about the curuption of western society or anything, it's just dudes being douches.
I find it kind of interesting in that the stoner and proto-metal concerns of the characters herein forecast the reevaluation of such previously derided genres by the hip crowd of the past decade. Who would have thought that there would be young dudes and gals walking down your street with long hair, scruff and BOC tshirts? I'm into it. Dudes from BOC make a post credits appearance, as does BOC live footage along with an big eyeball made by Screamin Mad George. Taylor Negron plays a liquor store employee for the second time (?) but with a much different vibe than in River's Edge.
Man, Film Threat was such a shitty magazine, thank god I encountered it as a youngster, cuz if I was older I would barf.

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