Bad Movies Done Right – Big Money Rustlas

Every week Robert Saucedo shines a spotlight on a movie either so bad it’s good or just downright terrible. Today: Fuckin’ Lassos, how do they work?

Do you need to be a juggalo to enjoy Big Money Rustlas, the new film starring, written and produced by the Insane Clown Posse, a duo of highly theatrical rappers? Probably not, but you might just need to have suffered some type of severe head trauma.

Big Money Rustlas is not a terrible film — if you are a highly fanatical follower of the rap duo, a pre-pubescent boy or extremely high (I’m talking barely functional). The plot, a time-worn western chestnut featuring outlaws, sheriffs and an abundance of black and white face paint, borrows heavily from the work of both Mel Brooks and Chuck Jones — but seen through the noxiously juvenile tastes of a wannabe Seth MacFarlane.

The movie is obviously a love letter from ICP to their fans — a never-ending string of shout-outs, rapper cameos, allusions to the juggalo culture and a whole heaping of dick jokes. It’s hard to fault the rapper duo for delivering a movie that will satisfy their extremely loyal fan base. This is not a movie that was made for me, a guy who, until the song “Miracles” became a viral hit, hadn’t listened to an ICP song since the duo were covering Sly Fox.

Big Money Rustlas is a film for those hardest of hardcore fans — you know, the kind that throws rocks and human feces as Tila Tequila.

Shaggy 2 Dope, one half of ICP, stars as Sugar Wolf, the long prodigal son of Grizzly Wolf, the former sheriff of Mud Bug played by Ron Jeremy. Sugar Wolf returns home to Mud Bug to find the town in disarray. His mother (played by Cindie Haynie), once a kindly protector of children, is now giving hand jobs out to those who have the cash. Banks are constantly being robbed and bank robbers are constantly being shot down in the bars for their loot — and it’s all due to Big Baby Chips (played by Violent J, the other half of ICP), a gambling tycoon who has kept Mud Bug in his tight grip over the last few years thanks to fear and intimidation.

Sugar Wolf, not one to let injustice stand, decides to avenge his now dead father and put a stop to Big Baby Chip’s reign of terror. Oh, and the two happen to wear clown make-up at all times.

In a world where nobody stops and asks why two grown men would dress like rejects from Pagliacci, you know exactly what type of movie Big Money Rustlas is. Not one to shy away from anachronisms (Tom Sizemore cameos as himself), the movie is one big silly farce — as full of Loony Toons-esque sight gags as it is sex jokes.

In one scene of the movie that perfectly sums up the film’s tone, Sugar Wolf is involved in a brawl with Tank, a deadly assassin midget played by Jody Sandler. Without hiding the fact that the actor has been replaced with what looks like a Japanese love pillow, Shaggy 2 Dope spends what seems to be a full two minutes pounding away at a diminutive mannequin — acting out all manners of wrestling moves.

Big Money Rustlas is a movie made specifically for ICP’s fans and for few others. The film features an astonishing number of cameos from people most of America have never heard of — rappers and wrestlers including Jamie Madrox, Monoxide, Boondox, 2 Tuff Tony and Jumpsteady. More mainstream cameos include little person porn star Briget Powerz, Jason Mewes, Vanilla Ice, Brigitte Nielsen, Jimmie Walker and Dustin Diamond. Mark Jury co-stars as walking Mexican stereotype and sidekick to Sugar Wolf, Dirty Sanchez.

Much of Big Money Rustlas feels like an inside joke that I just didn’t get. I could catch a lot of the references to some of the more famous juggalo culture points or merchandising motifs — thanks in large part to the nearly ten minutes of juggalo commercials that were included on the DVD.

If you are not already a fan of the Insane Clown Posse but enjoy other bits of juvenile humor such as Jackass, Family Guy or Beavis and Butthead, there is a good chance you might find something to enjoy in Big Money Rustlas — even if it’s just laughing at the thought that somewhere in America there’s a grown man wearing clown makeup who thinks that this movie is the best film ever made — at least since ICP’s earlier film, Big Money Hustlas.

I can’t say I wasn’t at least a little charmed by the shenanigans contained within Big Money Rustlas‘ hour and a half running time. The enthusiasm and commitment to the absurdity of a film like Big Money Rustlas is admirable. The cast and crew knew exactly what type of movie they were making and they succeeded by all accounts. This isn’t supposed to be a good movie — it wears its immaturity on its sleeve like some kind of badge of honor. That said, the production values aren’t half bad. Director Paul Andreson knows how to hold a camera and frame a shot. Snappy editing helps the movie move forward pretty swiftly.

I’d be amiss if I didn’t give props to ICP for deciding to film a western. I guess it’s only fitting that with black rappers idolizing the gangsters of the 20s and 70s, a group of white rappers would decide to make a gangster film set in the wild west — a place that was whiter than an American Eagle sidewalk sale during a snow storm.

I could make a joke about white rappers acting black but at this point it seems rather inappropriate. In a world where African American culture has grown beyond being perceived as a single-facilitated militia of backwards baseball caps and misused consonants and rappers such as ICP, Vanilla Ice, Eminem and the Beastie Boys have been dabbling in hip-hop for decades, it’s no longer appropriate (or politically correct) to say that Big Money Rustlas is a movie about clown-wearing cowboys acting black.

Instead, I’ll just say that Big Money Rustlas is a film about clown-wearing cowboys acting like pre-pubescent teenage boys with a rudimentary understanding of sex gained through nothing but a steady diet of Maxim magazine and half-heard whispers from the boys’ locker room.

Why, then, would a non-ICP fan want to rent Big Money Rustlas? Three simple words: “Miracles” music video. ICP’s legendary video is included as a bonus feature. If you haven’t seen it yet, trust me when I say that it’s something special. It very well could be God’s gift to those who enjoy laughing at other people.

Big Money Rustlas is not a good film and it’s probably not a film meant for you. If you’re a card-carrying member of the juggalo army, though, chances are you’ve already seen this movie and are preparing a strongly worded (if grammar-challenged) comment to post on this column and rip me a new asshole. Well, let ‘em rip.

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