Movie Review: TOTAL BADASS Will Make You Feel Like A Total Square

Meet Chad Holt, Austin’s own Hunter S. Thompson reincarnate, in this gutsy, bare bones (to be taken literally, of course) independent documentary following the notoriously unapologetic, shit-stirring legend of sorts during his last year of felony probation.

If what I’ve just described sent your moral compass spinning so fast papers are flying from your desk, I think Rock-A-Doodle is available on Watch Instantly.

Ray somehow, and I’ll add impressively, guides us through all of these extremes without inspiring a feeling of emotional hypothermia, which I’m sure is no easy task when your main character, a father of two nearing age 40, still dons black-face and proudly displays a “helicopter” rivaling Ninja’s of Die Antwoord circa their music video for “Zef Side” (or as I’ve not so fondly referred to it, “Dark Side of the Wiener”).

With Chad it seems that for every misstep, there’s a recovery. And that’s the key element necessary in this particular brand of intense, revealing, shocking real life slice of cinema. Like many of us, he hasn’t made it through the gauntlet of debauchery unscathed. He’s admirably non-judgmental, but with a filter as wafer thin as his the delivery will undoubtedly rub some the wrong way.

In the end, I think you’ll have carved out a fair place for him in your ticker, and his portrayal of Robocop with a front butt will remind you not to take yourself too seriously. With any luck now he’s steering clear of medicine cabinets, surrendering the unnecessary, recreational coke habit, and focusing on the charismatic, surprisingly well-adjusted children we find him doting on earnestly throughout the final portion of the film.

On another note, Bob Ray was also one of nearly two dozen local (some formerly) Austin filmmakers slotted to recreate scenes from Richard Linklater’s Slacker to not only celebrate the seminal film’s 20th anniversary, but also as a team effort (Thanks, Austin Film Society and Alamo Drafthouse) to raise money for the Texas Filmmaker’s Production Fund. TFPF has been providing emerging film and video artists with crucial grants since 1996, so cue the sound of several panties unraveling from their respective wads. The scenes will then be edited together for Slacker 2011 and will premiere August 31st.

Sidenote: I had the opportunity to provide special effects for Bob’s opening, pivotal, hit-and-run scene over the weekend, and here are those results:

[caption id=“attachment_12353” align=“aligncenter” width=“568” caption=“Photo courtesy Marc Savlov at the Austin Chronicle”]

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The aforementioned, unforgettable Chad Holt had a cameo and I’ll admit that showing up at eight o’ clock on a Sunday morning at the bustling, campus corner of 24th and Nueces with a box full of homemade blood made me the weirdo in the scenario.

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