It almost pains me to waste precious space on my hard drive or even space here on this website talking about the repugnant piece of redneck-sploitation shit-kicking garbage called The Baytown Outlaws. It pains me because I don’t have much to say about it other than it’s really really bad, but it also pains me because I’ve just spent the day going over all the ridiculously good movies from 2012 that have been nominated for Academy Awards that I’m kind of walking around in this numb state of confusion after having to sit through and wrap my head around this trash.
Granted, it never aspired to be more than an ultra-violent Southern Boondocks Saints or Tarantino-at-his-worst rip-off, but it aspired to be an action-comedy and didn’t even come close to being superficially competent enough to fulfill those basic genres. It tries to be funny, but it is woefully unfunny in the way its feeble attempts at comic relief only come across as racist “gee shucks we’re too dumb to know any better” intentionally insensitive punch lines. It tries to be an action movie but it mistakes action for “how much fake CGI blood can splatter everywhere and how many guns can be fired in a single scene without knowing anything that’s going on” activity clogging up the screen.
It’s about a group of vigilante killers in the south – you can tell because the Confederate flag is plastered EVERYWHERE – named the Oodie Brothers who work to mop up other bad elements for the local sheriff (Andre Braugher). The group is hired by Celeste (Eva Longoria) to get her godson back from the local drug kingpin – her deranged ex-husband Carlos played by Billy-Bob Thornton and his ridiculous soul patch facial hair. The outlaws snatch the kid and have to go on the run from Carlos’ gangs of thugs, each with their own gimmick àla The Warriors – one group is a gang of biker prostitutes led by Zoe Bell, another is a Mad Max-esque group of gun-toting African Americans with a huge truck/fortress, and the last is an exaggerated gang of Native Americans who scalp their victims with tomahawks. It’s totally unoriginal and senseless stuff that never entertains and, frankly, offends. It tries so hard to hit the same exploitative notes of the Grindhouse movies but we don’t intentionally laugh at the irony like we do with those, we grimace first and then walk away without laughing at all.
It’s a movie filled with c-list talent for the filmmakers to slap on the box to try to get people to watch, and maybe people will be tricked into seeing it, but it’s inevitably destined for the bottom of the bottom of the Wal-Mart dollar bin to hopefully stay there. I’m trying to find something I liked about this movie because I don’t want to be completely mean, but it’s pretty difficult. The cinematography was okay…I think? It’s sharp and oddly pastoral when they use shots of the southern landscape but that’s rare – otherwise it showcases the sun burnt and sweaty leads mugging and spitting with alleged “good ol’ goy” charm towards the camera in slow motion as much as possible. The Oodie Brothers themselves do the best they can with what they’ve got, and the main brother named Brick – played by Clayne Crawford – is barely alright but kind of heartfelt when he needs to be the big softy of the group.
Even if this movie does seem a little bit interesting to you I’d stay away. There’s better garbage to watch instead of this horribly boring redneck shoot em’ up. The ending leaves the story open for a sequel, but god forbid anyone lets that happen.