DIRT

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2001
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 106 minutes
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Nothing can replace the love of a mother, but damn if men won’t go to desperate measures to try and find a suitable substitute, usually in the form of a wife. Two distraught dimwit brothers, Junior and Scooter are abandoned after their mother’s death and seek out female companionship the only way they know how, by paying for it. After a bad deal with a hooker played by Jennifer Tilly, the brothers do what any two idiots would who don’t learn nothin’ – they try propositioning another hooker. Nothing seems to work out for these Forrest Gump-like yahoos. We then meet DeDe (Tara Chocol) a struggling mother who works as a cashier. Her abusive husband Vincent, played hysterically by Patrick Warburton, is cheating on her and gets physically abusive using a belt when she “embarrasses” him by discovering him with another woman. Vincent is not just abusive, he’s a sadistic Texas Ranger and not only dangerous to his own family, but any criminal in the vicinity of his fast-flying fists. Junior and Scooter meet up with DeDe in the parking lot of Piggly Wiggly and decide to simply kidnap a woman to act as their mother. DeDe is brought to their home and, strangely, she’s actually happy to have been abducted. DeDe needs a place to stay and the boys need someone to take care of them. So they make a deal. She wants out of her abusive home and convinces the boys to help her abduct her baby from Vincent. Unfortunately, this really pisses off the Texas Ranger who now wants them with a vengeance. Very quickly, this quartet form an unlikely family with DeDe providing as a loving mother would and the boys, well, while bordering on retarded, are accepting of that love. Things get more complicated when mom and the boys go on a bank robbing spree just to buy groceries and life’s necessities.
Vincent is none too pleased about his wife running off and he’s also a quick trigger. He gets himself into trouble with the law by plugging one crook full of too many holes. Enter Luke Perry as Vincent’s lisping attorney delivering a funny as hell performance. It’s a bit part for Perry, but so unlike his normal “cool” demeanor that it’s an absolute hoot to see him act the part of the moron.
Certainly there are a lot of familiar indie film elements in “Dirt” and you could easily call this “Raising Arizona” meets “Forrest Gump,” it’s the unique charm in the performances of lead actors and co-directors Trace and Michæl that make the film special. The real standout is Patrick Warburton as a menacing husband and Texas Ranger – he’s the nicest prick you’d ever want to get your ass kicked by. (If that makes sense.) I see a lot of bad indie films, and “Dirt” is just plain fun. I was shocked to learn how little it cost to make, it looks like a small independent made for about a million but it was shot over a few weeks and made for far less. It’s real, unique, sweet, romantic, hilarious, entertaining and fun, which means that “Dirt” should clean up.
Read the interview with Trace and Michæl and learn more about “Dirt.”



Posted on October 31, 2003 in Reviews by
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