Posted on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Dangerous Men is a very strange, very special beast that has to be seen to be believed. Although you could be forgiven for thinking it was written and shot by aliens who had never seen a movie (but had a few described to them), it’s actually the one and only film of the late John S. Rad. It’s a singular, glorious, totally unbelievable, jaw-droppingly bizarre, wonderfully tone-deaf slice of pure, uncut insanity. We can debate Rad’s lack of technical merits all day long, but Dangerous Men is bursting with imagination and life. Like Edward D. Wood Jr., here is a “bad” filmmaker whose work is cleverer and more brimming with personality than most movies made by professionals.
Now Drafthouse Films, the company that has previously resurrected long-lost masterpieces of total insanity like Miami Connection, The Visitor, and Roar!, has acquired Dangerous Men and plans to unleash it upon on an unsuspecting public.
Experience the Dangerous Men trailer for yourself after the jump.
Shot over 26 years, Dangerous Men is a stream-of-consciousness action epic. Subplots arrive and vanish without a trace. Protagonists come and go as their actors are available. Minor, unnamed characters transform into heroes. Bizarre tangents frequently derail whatever plot is actually occurring. But it’s the tiny details that complete the experience, like a minor villain who wanders naked through the desert for waaay too long and the unnamed police detective deciding to take a break from a major case to spend some time with his pouting girlfriend. There is nothing conventional in Dangerous Men and its glorious, quasi-accidental brilliance is outsider art at its strangest and most satisfying.
If you watched that trailer and don’t quite understand what Dangerous Men is about, fret not – you won’t understand after you’ve watched the entire movie, either. All you need to know if that there are a bunch of dangerous men, a single dangerous woman, and a biker crime lord who goes by Black Pepper.
As bonkers as this movie gets, Dangerous Men is made with stunning honesty. There is no irony in Rad’s filmmaking. There’s nothing cynical on display here – he’s just an artist trying to make his masterpiece, even if he has to do it by himself. Rad is credited as writer, director, composer, editor, producer, production designer, set decorator and more in the closing credits. He is the only person thanked by name in the “Special Thanks” scroll. He meant business when he made this movie and wasn’t shy about letting anyone know how much of this movie is purely him.
If none of this sounds like your kind of thing, it probably isn’t. This is a movie for fans of fringe cinema who like to walk on the weird side. If it does sound like your thing, know that the film will hit select theaters on November 13, 2015 before heading to VOD in December. If you have the chance to see this with a large, baffled audience, you should take it. You will never see anything like it again.
And while you’re here, be sure to check out the gallery of character posters below. Black Pepper is everyone’s favorite, but I’m partial to Chief, myself.