5 Stars
Year Released: 1998
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 90 minutes
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The most annoying thing about the Super Bowl is all those stupid “What Would You Do for Super Bowl Tickets?” contests on those inane “Morning Zoo” radio shows. (I know it’s baseball season, but this is a good opening, so play along, damn it!) Anyway, you know the contests I mean: Some 250 pound ex-frat rat dips himself into a vat of melted chocolate then rolls around in pigeon feathers. Now that’s entertainment.
Well, S.R. Bindler’s brilliant documentary “Hands on a Hardbody” combines more high human drama with dumbass American idiocy than all of those shows put together.
The “Hardbody” in question is a brand new pick-up truck, given away each year in a contest as fiendishly simple as it is cruelly compelling: Twenty-four raffle winners report to a sponsoring auto dealership in Texas – where else? – and… stand there with one hand on the truck. For days. Last one standing wins the truck. Is this a great country, or what?
Culled from the over 100 hours of videotape Bindler and his tiny band of masochists shot during the contest and mixed with priceless pre-contest interviews, “Hands…” was far and away the most hysterical and engaging documentary since “Spinal Tap,” only this was for real.
And the best part was this: As you’re comfortably sitting in a darkened theater watching these poor exhausted souls struggling to sleep on their feet without falling over, all for a stupid truck, a tiny little voice subversively chimes up in your head, asking, “How long would YOU last?”
Take that, pigeon-boy.

Posted on July 20, 1998 in Reviews by

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