|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Index||34 reviews in total|
RAT PFINK A BOO BOO (5 outta 5 stars)
I have been dreaming about seeing this movie ever since I heard it mentioned in an old issue of Castle of Frankenstein Magazine when I was like 10 years old. It never plays on TV, never ever made it to any repertory cinemas in my neck of the woods... and not even the more eclectic video stores around here ever carried it. God bless the amazingly fast growth of DVD technology which allowed me to finally *purchase* the movie for my very own at a ridiculously low price! Even so... after purchasing it, I was scared to watch it at first. After having dreamed about this movie for so long could it possibly live up to my expectations? Or would it be just another in a long list of disappointments? Well, I needn't have worried... this movie... as low-budget and cheesy and downright STRANGE it is... it is absolutely brilliant! Infused with incredible passion from the director and the cast... it transcends its monetary limitations and is wildly infectious in its creativity! Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, our two low-rent superheroes, are obviously inspired by Batman and Robin... but actually created and filmed BEFORE the popular 60s TV show! A bunch of psycho delinquents are terrorizing women... when they begin to pick on the girlfriend of rockabilly musician Lonnie Lord (secret identity of Rat Pfink) they cross the line and incur the wrath of our heroes! Genius filmmaking! Just imagine what director Ray Dennis Steckler could do with a budget!
It is difficult to prepare people exactly for what they are going to see, this movie is a class act of its own: Made by the sixties maestro of improvisation, Ray Dennis Steckler, and this is his true masterpiece. It is jawdroppingly hilarious at every turn and totally inept at the same time, but it is FUN. Much better than most self-confessed comedies. Director Steckler, who always worked without a script, started this little monochrome movie as a dark, sinister thriller about 3 thugs harassing and stalking his gorgeous real-life wife, Carolyn Brandt. For reasons unknown he becomes pretty quickly fed up with the thriller, so our two protagonists are rushed in to a closet and stumbles out in Batman and Robin-like attires as the crimefighting duo, Rat Pfink and his assistant Boo Boo. At this point Rat Pfink feels that needs to remind Boo Boo that they have one weakness: Bullets! And then they are ready to rock. Highspeed chases at 20mph follows, speeded up by the oldest movietrick in the world: Fast motion. An incredibly inept fistfight in a backyard ensues, where poor Boo Boo stumbles and falls all over the place and in between all this our hero just whips out a guitar to sing a song for no reason whatsoever and everyone starts dancing. Steckler hijacked a local town parade for his movie, as his sub-shoestring otherwise wouldn't allow for such extravaganza. Time to round up your buddies for a good laugh, the more, the marrier. Like the crows sing in Disney's Dumbo: "I have seen everything, when I see an elephant fly" 9/10
When one considers all that went into the making of this film, it truly takes one's breath away. It started out as a "serious" film about two college age chaps whose girlfriends are abducted; it is up to these fellows to come to the rescue. Steckler, like most of us do during "serious" films, grew bored and decided to spice things up a little: his heroes stepped into a closet and came out as Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, caped crusaders. Steckler even coopted a real parade by marching his heroes in front of it. Improvisation, found art, fun trash: call it what you will, it's a great way to spend an afternoon that might otherwise be wasted frolicking wholesomely in the great outdoors.
OK, but it made you look. He would have had a good laugh though...because it's so much GODdamned fun...& because he was Kubrick...contemporary of ed wood, steckler shot a take & moved on...but he took this guerrilla filmmaking just one wee step further...he didn't actually use a script or have much of a story...they'd just find themselves shooting a beach blanket scene & he'd think, "cool. a beach. what if a gang of hoods in dune buggies & capes ripped over the field just as the hurricane swept in? that'd be dynamite!"...& so a second & third plot would develop...ignore the namby-pambies who prattle on about pedestrian crap such as, well, you know, Plot, Theme, Vision, and uhm, Coherence...rigid t**ts, who needs 'em...check it out...if you're reading this, you're interested anyway...the movie was given it's title because steckler sent in the credit specifics to the fellow who was shooting them & it was still then titled "Rat Pfink AND Boo-Boo"...his boy goofed & when ray got them back & heart-droppingly saw "Rat Pfink A Boo-Boo," did he curse? did he welp? hell no... he shouted out in ecstasy, "That's the new name of my damned film!"...well, he probably didn't...& he only kept the title because he couldn't afford to reshoot the credits...& the world's a better place for it...& your world will be amusingly broader for having rented it...and so will stanley's, when he thinks to watch it again, smiling on the beaches of jupiter with sun-ra...cheers, Snr. Steckler.
Despite the fact that I missed the first ten minutes of this movie, I was still downright amazed by the sheer absurdity of the plot and the Batman-like fight scenes. I'm not saying this was a bad movie. It was a great movie. It has a certain quality to it that many movies don't... it's an abomination, but you can't tear yourself away from it. The characters are both absurd and captivating at the same time. It's certainly pushing the envelope for the "bad but incredibly amusing" category. And as for the costumes... Boo Boo's hat deserves a review of its own.
I watched this infamous turkey a few days back while stone cold sober, which certainly isn't the right way to go with such a weird film. The first twenty minute or so I thought was actually quite good, unintentionally amusing but with a compellingly quirky sixties ambiance. For a while I thought I had started watching an obscure art-house film by accident, but then the ineptitude started to really kick in. My interest started to slip and then the movie changed completely in tone, into a totally bizarre Batman and Robin spoof. It went from unintentionally funny to deliberately flat out hilarious. I rarely laugh at comedies, being naturally quite a grump, but this had me in stitches. The characters (Kogar in particular) and dialogue were nuttier than a squirrel nest and the course of events so ludicrous as to be bordering on surrealism. For such a comparatively short film, this was bursting with invention and inept ingenuity, and anyone who likes Hollywoods unbelievably dire recent attempts at comedy should watch this, to see what humour is really about. Film buffs should check it out too, apparently Stanley Kubrick loved it.
If you've seen Ray Dennis Steckler's cult classic 'The Incredibly Strange
Creatures...' and thought it was a silly, unbelievably bad mess, you haven't
seen anything yet!! 'Rat Phink a Boo Boo' actually surpasses it! It is even
sillier, more incoherent, cheaper and basically makes absolutely NO SENSE at
all. At least '..Creatures..' had a semblance of a plot, 'Rat Phink..'
doesn't even bother trying! The movie begins like a thriller with the
kidnapping of a rock singer's girlfriend by some heavies then... well I
won't spoil the experience for you! Let's just say things don't turn out
QUITE like you might think...
This is one of the strangest low (and I mean LOW!) budget movies of the 1960s. Watching it is like watching a car crash. You know you should stop looking at some point but you just can't tear your eyes away!
Makes Ed Wood look like Sam Fuller.
I have to say, I popped "Rat Pfink" in the VCR last night after watching
"Blade Runner" for the first time, and I found it a lot more entertaining
and fun. Ray Dennis Steckler's bottom-drawer ripoff of "Batman" (it even
owes a lot to Jerry Warren's "Wild World of Batwoman") is actually
entertaining in that exclusive, so-bad-it's-good way, with cheesy homemade
costumes (Rat Pfink looks like a burglar in his ski-mask) and an overlong
fight sequence that takes place in what is probably the producer's backyard.
The presence of the luminous Carolyn Brandt (Steckler's girlfriend) livens
things up nicely; like another reviewer stated, she's not much of an
actress, but she's certainly easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, like a lot of
the director's other films, "Rat Pfink" is padded out to an insufferable
degree, to the point where it almost put me to sleep (but maybe that's a
compliment in itself).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ray Dennis Steckler usually gets lumped together with Ed Wood in the pantheon of legendary 'bad directors'. That's unfortunate and unfair, because at his best Steckler is a talented and unique stylist. His best film, The Thrill Killers, is a taut melodrama set in the remote canyons of Los Angeles County, but for pure, unadulterated cinema nuttiness, Rat Pfink A Boo Boo is the one to see. It's a film of two parts: the first half is a heady blend of elements lifted from New York-lensed roughies such as The Defilers, Godard's Breathless, and every rock n roll movie of the late 50s, whilst the second half is a slapstick comedy influenced in equal measure by Batman and Beach Party. The film looks great: Steckler knows how to frame and light a shot, though he's less adept with action sequences, and the hyper-reality of the Los Angeles locations are effectively contrasted with the sur-reality of the comic sequences. It's also a well-paced 67 minutes, and Steckler effectively keeps your interest by constantly stirring new and unexpected ingredients into the pot. The cast are terrific: Carolyn Brandt is gorgeous as lady in distress Cee Bee Beaumont (who keeps a copy of The Autobiography of Malcolm X by her telephone!), Titus Moede does the best Royal Dano imitation you'll ever see as Titus/Boo Boo, and real-life rocker Ron Haydock makes for a convincing Lonnie Lord/Rat Pfink, who, we are told, has sold an astounding ten million records to his adoring fans. It's no one's idea of Great Cinema, but Rat Pfink A Boo Boo is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of outsider art.
It starts out innocently enough- world famous rock star Lonnie Lord and his gal pal Cee Bee frolic about California in an endless whirl of touch football games and swingin' rock and roll tunes! But things go wrong when middle-aged hoodlums decide to kidnap Cee Bee and hold her for ransom! Luckily, Lonnie and his pal Titus also happen to be Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, two crime fighters with goofy costumes and no particular powers with which to fight crime. But they sure give those hoodlums a licking, albeit after a car chase that takes roughly four and a half hours to play out. But it does, and Rat Pfink and Boo Boo save Cee Bee from the evil In Cold Blood-esque gang AND a rouge gorilla named Kogar! It's all wrapped up in a swingin' beach finale where the drunken salesman from "The Incredibly Strange Creatures...." looks on!
This is definitely a strange movie, to say the least. It's from the great Ray Dennis Steckler, but despite it's amazingly silly subject matter it's not as good as his other classics; the movie lacks a starring performance from Steckler (he's great in his "Thrill Killers", the aforementioned "Creatures", and his later "Body Fever"), and some of the photography is very dark and confusing.
But the music is great, and Steckler regulars Titus Moede, Ronald Haycock, and Carolyn Brandt shine. Brandt, Steckler's one time wife, appeared in nine of his movies, but this is the one where she looks like she's having the most fun. This movie is amazing in it's own twisted way- at no point does it make sense or come close to a regular narrative, but the freedom and joy Steckler had while making it comes across in every frame, and that's why Steckler's strange body of work holds up so well today. He had a passion for film-making that most directors could never hope to grasp.
|Page 1 of 4:||   |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|