directed by John Rad
starring Melody Wiggins, Kelay Miller, Bryan Jenkins
Long-time viewers of cult movies roll with certain things that tend to drive normal tastes insane – amateurish acting, cardboard sets, and unintentional dream-like plots. The payoff is that fans of these movies experience untold wonders, many of which rely on directors doing their best with limited budgets, but a singular vision and a lot of imagination.
And if the results are more Ed Wood, Jr. than Orson Welles, at least there is a sense of vision and individuality behind the mess. Such is the case with Dangerous Men, a movie filmed over 22 years by Iranian filmmaker John S. Rad.
Dangerous Men, is a strange fever dream of a movie, a mash-up of different tones and scenarios. Just when you think you have a handle on the plot, a curveball is thrown and you follow another character around for a while. Starting out as a ’80s/’90s action movie when our hero thwarts a liquor store robbery, we then swerve into the main story of a black widow heroine seeking revenge on lecherous men. Characters appear and disappear, possibly due to the 22 year shooting schedule.
Characters speak an oddly stilted form of English, and a Casio keyboard repeats the same theme constantly. Scenes run for longer than they should, and the movie seems written by a gang of pre-teen boys weaned on a steady diet of Andy Sidaris action movies and Benny Hill reruns. As with many cult films, violence, action, and sex are heavily featured, but with an odd unique twist, like with the odd fixation on licking women’s knees.
As with any creative art that took over two decades to complete, Dangerous Men is a labor of love, and while it only made $70 in its first theatrical run (yes, $70), one can see it becoming a cult movie sensation, much like Samurai Cop, Miami Connection, or The Room. Drafthouse has packed the Blu-ray/DVD release of Dangerous Men with a wealth of extras, including a commentary track with Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly from Destroy All Movies who are alternately charmed, amused, and confused, just as you will be.