Saturday, January 06, 2007

RE: Hillbilly Jedi

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Saw something funny on AICN's review of the direct-to-video sequel to Walking Tall. AICN spy 'Vern' inquires what connects all of the original films with Joe Don Baker and Bo Svenson, the TV show with Svenson, the TV movie with Brian Dennehey, the remake with the Rock, and the two DTV sequels starring Hercules Kevin Sorbo together. His answer is kinda funny, and dead-on:

So on the surface none of these movies are connected, but I got a theory. Remember those movies "THE CROW," where it's always different people who die and come back to get revenge? The only connection is that some crow helps them turn into a vengeful ghost who makes everybody uncomfortable by quoting poetry all the time. This is the same kind of thing, the spirit of Walking Tall is passed on from sheriff to sheriff, from small corrupted town to small corrupted town. First it was in Joe Don Baker as Buford Pusser in the original movie. Then it was in Bo Svenson as Buford Pusser in the sequels and the TV series. And Brian Dennehy as Buford Pusser in the TV movie A REAL AMERICAN HERO. And The Rock as Chris Vaughn in WALKING TALL (2004). And now Kevin Sorbo as Nick Prescott in WALKING TALL: THE PAYBACK.

How does the spirit get transferred? It's obvious: it's in the stick. All these guys at one point carry some sort of stick or wood product as a weapon.


I know they are at best retarded, and at worst unwatchable, but I loves me some Walking Tall. Why? Because in real life, corruption is usually vast and far reaching, and it's always nice to see a movie wherein some country-ass boob takes this complex and evil force down with something so simple as a large piece of wood. To me, the first Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker was a modern-day Star Wars adventure. Joe Don was our hillbilly Jedi, and his hand-fashioned, blunt trauma-inducing piece of wood was his light saber. He was from a simpler age, where people respected the notion right and wrong, and he had to deal with a whole Empire as it were of rot-gut moonshiners and sadistic whorehouse operators. When Joe Don finally crashes his car into the redneck casino in the film's explosive finale, it's like he took down the Death Star.

The irony here is that the real-life Bufford Pusser, the person whose life is supposedly the basis of this long line of movies, tv shows, remakes, and videos, was supposedly a corrupt police officer himself.

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