Remember that scene in The Boondock Saints, where Rocco can’t comprehend how Connor and Murphy MacManus pull of their death-defying assassination stunt after breaking through a hotel air vent? You know, this rant?
That’s exactly how Dangerous Men makes me feel.
The late John S. Rad’s film is a technical clusterf$ck, from unsynced audio to horrendous jump cuts without any foreseeable logic. This is a poorly constructed film in every imaginable category, from actors who are dead on arrival, to a story that can’t be more than a few sentences long. Yet if you’re reading about Dangerous Men, then I assume you’ve already seen Roar and Miami Connection. In that case, you’re probably already dying to hear what abhorrent cinematic atrocities await in this year’s only true cult phenomenon – Drafthouse’s latest resurrection release.
Do you really need a plot summary here? It doesn’t matter. I promise. But in the spirit of expressing SOME sort of continuity that ties these dumpster-fire scenes together, we follow a vengeful woman (played by Melody Wiggins, I think?) who hunts DANGEROUS MEN in response to her fiancé’s murder. There are bikers with eagle tattoos, a world full of men who only want to rape this one poor girl, and a villain named Black Pepper who’s neither African American, nor connected to pepper in any way. In fact, he’s a bleach-blonde surfer bro who looks like he was plucked from a 70s workout video – which makes it all the better.
What you’re in for is utter lunacy. You probably already expected that, but at no point could any crew member believe that Dangerous Men could ever pass as a watchable movie. Maybe that’s because Rad himself notches every single production credit (Produced by/Music By/Edited By/Directed By/Settings By), but what comes of the nose-diving disaster is pure comedy gold. In the stereotypical “trainwreck” fashion.
Fight sequences are a shamble of mistimed reactions, effortless attacks, and the same painful sound effect played in succession about thirty times per scene. The music sounds like a cross between a Seinfeld-inspired porno and incessant acoustic elevator music that only ceases for some ten minutes the ENTIRE film. Dialogue is captured along with ALL the background noises imaginable, which is ever-so obvious as volume cranks up when characters talk, complete with fuzzy white noises that disappear as soon as mouths shut. Oh, and of course mouths don’t actually match most of the lines, as some are blatantly played over sealed lips. Miami Connection boasts cheesy, foster-brother bonding, and The Room is mumbled nonsense, but Dangerous Men is a new level of unintentional beauty. A new high – or low, I should say?
Side note: what the f#ck is up with Rad’s knee obsession. I’ve heard of ass guys and tit men, but are knee fetishes really a thing (are they, Rex Ryan?) Not only is the line “rub my knees and lick my belly button” uttered authoritatively numerous times, but Black Pepper’s romantic lovemaking is just a compilation of BP going to town on a healthy pair of knees from every possible angle. No one stopped production that day to be like, “Yo, John, we’ve got some epic knee-kissing shots, but what about a little variety?” The world is a weird, scary place…
Everything about Dangerous Men is awesomely atrocious. The soundtrack is out of an SNES game, the acting is out of a 4AM infomercial, and for a movie shot in 2005, it comes with a vintage 70s granulation. Such a rampant disregard for quality certainly deserves some merit, because even those who try can’t make a movie this bad. Rad’s imperfect masterpiece thrives on sheer actioneering audacity, and with every whiffed punch, the mystery of this unsung attraction grows with commanding power. Dangerous Men is the best time you’ll have watching the worst movie you’ve ever imagined.
Dangerous Men is not to be taken seriously – but it should be cherished, shared, and experienced by cinephiles alike. The fight sequences are essentially poorly choreographed pillow fights, yet each one insights riotous laughter. There’s absolutely no tension to be found, yet Black Pepper might be the greatest movie baddie in history. The film couldn’t be edited with less attention to pacing and structure, yet its relentless ability to keep pushing forward is a miraculous feat of stamina. There are no surprises, yet every scene is a glorious present wrapped in wrinkly newspaper and sloppy scotch-tape placement. You’ll watch Rad’s film fully acknowledging just how hilariously inept the entire project is, while simultaneously acknowledging that a man with a passion for filmmaking chased his dreams and didn’t give a damn what anyone thought – for better or worse.
Emotionless reaction shots, zero characterization, guns that have absolutely no special effects when blasted – Dangerous Men is rare winning dish from a one star restaurant. It’s to be watched for the right reasons, most of which should involve dangerous levels of inebriation and a passion for Z-Grade absurdity. You’ve been warned – and also encouraged.