Every now and again, one breaks through, one transcends the genre
of film in which it is ensconced. The little guy hits the homer,
the underdog pulls out a last second go-ahead 3 pointer. DEADBEAT
AT DAWN did it. Jim Van Bebber did it. And for that, this film
and this filmaker deserve the highest honor we here at Brains
On Film can bestow. The plot synopsis. Look assholes, that's all
we got...we mention the films, break them down and then tell you
to go fucking watch them. That is a honor... DEADBEAT AT DAWN
written, directed, produced and by-God starring Jim Van Bebber,
all hail, here it goes...
Goose (Van Bebber) is the leader of the Ravens, a vicious Dayton,
Ohio street gang. Look, Dayton may not be the poster child of
gang action that rushes to mind when you think gang activity,
but we have a budget to stick to so fuck off. We open with him
defending his turf against the big rival gang, The Spiders, lead
by Danny, a real asswipe who likes to slap around his pregnant
girlfriend, which I understand and all because, you know, that
is her responsiblity to make sure she don't get knocked up an
all. After a quick ass kickin', Danny runs off to lick his wounds.
Goose's girlfriend, a mid-80's white trash beauty queen-type,
with the ripped jeans, big hair and a white puffy shoulder shirt,
Christy, tells Goose either quit the gang or she's leaving him,
odd given just a few moments ago she was smiling and cheering
the Goose on, but as you know I digress. Goose takes off to ponder
this ultimatum, and while pondering, he practices his kung fu
in a graveyard, what you wanted a dojo? Then, he clubs a dude
over the head with a pair of nunchuckas and steals his motorbike,
drives home and tells Christy he's getting out of the ganging
biz. Flying solo, Goose is an open target for Danny. Danny enlists
his Seargeant at Arms, a raving lunatic named Bone Crusher to
kill Goose. This Bone Crusher is a bad motherfucker, how do we
know this? On the way there, Bone Crusher spends a moment dropping
some major league science on his fellow gangbanger and, of course,
on us, the viewing public, while on a rooftop, "I'm the baddest
motherfucker in the world!" Heavy! See, I told you. This
scene demands multiple viewings and constant quoting so study
Meanwhile, Goose has left Christy in the apartment, which is
a warehouse closet with a mattress on the floor, while he bags
some quick cash by selling some cocaine. While he's gone, Bone
Crusher and his pal show up at his apartment, with a couple nice
Big BerthaTM Drivers (funny referential golf humor) and unfortuantely
for Christy, they get a couple holes in, John Daly style (more
funny referential golf humor). Goose is totally devastated to
find Christy's mangled body doing a nice impersonation of the
15th at Augusta. (oky, no more funny referential golf humor) Distraught,
Gooses does what any grieving fella would do after finding his
lovable hump buddy in a heap bloody and dead...sobbing, he dumps
her body in a trash compactor. Before making his way to his father's
rat infested apartment, to score a Milwaukee's Best Light. Goose's
Pops has a problem or two, the rats he sees in the apartment are
chased incessently and there are holes in every wall from taking
swipes at these rats, real or imagined. He's a paranoid Viet Nam
vet (sorry for the redundancy) who threatens Goose with a meat
cleaver to give him smack money. It ain't pretty. Once again an
incredible performance for an actor whose pay was probably a couple
7 layers at the Bell. Thank you Charlie Goetz, wherever you may
be. Goose ends up cold cocking his old man and takes off, but
not before giving his old man a wad of cash. You know, guilt and
Goose gets some killing on his mind after tying on a major league
drunk, but it is himself he decides to off. But before he can
pull the trigger, his old gang buddy shows up and smacks him back
into sobriety with some two fisted tuff love. He tells Goose that
the Ravens and the Spiders are joining for a big robbery, and
that Goose is going to participate whether he likes it or not.
After Goose takes an ass whopping he agrees.
Seeing his chance for vengeance against Danny, Goose arms himself
to the teeth with knives, those aswesome throwing stars, and his
ever faithful nunchuckas, even though they are all just meeting
up to divvy up the loot. It's a good thing he did, because Danny
whips out a machine gun and wipes out all of Goose's former gang.
Goose scoops up the dough flings some stars, nunchucks a couple
assholes and high-tails it, leading to the film's brutally violent
and fucking incredible 4 star finale. To try and explain what
the 3rd reel does for low-budget filmmaking would be make it seem
trivial. Van Bebber's true potential is shown in all of its glory,
as an actor, director and story-teller. It is all executed in
grand style and breaks ground while remaining true to its roots.
If you do not rise to your feet at least once during the conclusion
of DEADBEAT, maybe you should apply jumper cables to your ball
sac, cuz' mister youse is dead.
Van Bebber is truly a tour de force...considering he had about
$15 to work with, DEADBEAT rivals so called actioners of 50 times
the budget. When you consider that most of the actors and crew
had never been on either end of a camera, it is even more incredible.
Van Bebber is completely believable as Goose, as is the use of
Dayton, Ohio's piss poor economy as it looks like it was shot
up in Abandontown...(thanks Matt). Marc Pittman's Bone Crusher,
is downright brutal and brutally funny especially in the aforementioned
rooftop rant. This methed up fucker gives the performance of any
lifetime with 45 seconds of screen time...Bone Crusher is big,
bad and believable, believe me.
Van Bebber somehow manages to pay homage to The Warriors, Faster
Pussycat, Born Losers and a host of other drive-in wondershit
without ever seeming derivative. Knifings, golf clubbings, decapitations,
finger flinging, throat gouging and more are handled with with
shocking realism, even though Van Bebber's effects budget wouldn't
have filled one of Tom Savini's nostrils with cheap Peruvian ZipLock
dust. Anyone who has ever thought about making a film should study
DEADBEAT. I know I am...Van Bebber took a student loan in his
3rd year of college and at age 23, decided 10 rolls of film would
be all the education he would need and this bit of movie Copperfield
was born. The cast did all of their own stunts which included
Van Bebber taking a 30 foot jump, multiple fist fights and hanging
on the side of a moving car bumping the walls of an alley at about
40 mph, all seriously h-core. Before JACKASS and all that reality
bullshit people wanted to make goddamned movies and some put their
bodies and minds on the line to get it done. Backyard Wrestling
this ain't fuckers this is ARRRRRTTTTTT!
Van Bebber is somewhat of a mystery, to come out of the gate
with such incredible film only to wallow in obscurity is bizarre.
His long-unfinished Charlie's Family (review forthcoming) is considered
the most realistic view of Manson's exploits, and gorehounds love
his shorts that are floating around, Roadkill is truly one of
the best shorts I have ever seen. Van Bebber was last spotted
co-penning along with David Szulkin (author of the required masterwork
Last House On the Left Book) a revamping of the sleazo classic
The Toolbox Murders...We should be so lucky to see this jewel
get filmed. Of course much has been made of Van Bebber's unhappiness
with the Synapse final release of the DEADBEAT DVD. He was unhappy
with the color, the sound and even his own commentary. Van Beeber
unleashed his hystrionics on Synapse like a man possessed. Much
of fandom's snickers may have driven this recluse even further
underground as Synapse decided to make their arguements public
by releasing Van Bebber's drunken answering machine diatribes...here
they are set to music...if you want to hear the audio click here.
Be prepared, Jim is a little drunk and a whole lot pissed, it
is 41/2 minutes into a man's head that has somehow become unhinged,
we don't know how or why, but Van Bebber seems unhappy.
Jim Van Bebber come back, we need thee. I mean that, if ever
a filmaker in the modern era showed so much promise and then fell
off the flat side of the earth, I don't know of him. DEADBEAT
AT DAWN may be the best throwback (read: homage) to the great
era of drive-in flicks that has ever been made. IT IS THAT FUCKING
GOOD. For that alone Jim Van Bebber has to be given his props
and held in reverence. If you cannot agree, to quote Goose...."Fuck
Discuss this baby.
Black Gestapo Black
Girl From Tobacco Row
Rape Squad Join
The Meateater Do
Dixie Dynamite POW!
Run Stranger Run
Horror House On Hwy 5
Behind Locked Doors It's
Nailgun Massacre Some
Bat Pussy It had to
Thunder Alley It is
Blood Freak A Classic
The Geek Bigfoot Porn
High School Ghosthustlers
Frankenstein Island You
SuperCock Not that kinda
The Alienator Feeling
Angel Midnight Fantasy
Vanity and the Beast
Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Nightmare Prof. Tread
still can't sleep.
Shanty Tramp She is sumpin'
If Footmen Tire You...?
Viva' Knievel Evel of
The Killing Of A Chinese
Bookie! Smart Guy.
The Pink Angels Gayness,
The Burning The 80's,
ahhh the 80's.
Q - The Winged Serpant! Larry
Fight For Your Life!
WARNING Racist content
Walking Tall Buford Pusser
in the Hizouse!
Sleepaway Camp Internet
Born Losers Ya Loser!
Shriek of the Mutilated
Bro. George gets busy.
Bury Me An Angel
Gal Biker and more.
The Grim Reaper Reap
Abby One of William Girdler's
Deadbeat At Dawn A
Sonny Boy Carradine,
Great Hollywood Rape-Slaughter
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried. A Should-be
Hot Summer In Barefoot
Night Train To Terror
I Drink Your Blood Glug,
Vixen Russ Meyer and breasts!
Truck Stop Women Honnnk
Daddy's Deadly Darling!
Flesh Feast Maggots!
Soapy the Germ Fighter!
Why Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast?
Moonshine County Express!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists Pets!
Hunter's Blood City
Slickers get offed!
Devil Times Five Sean
Terror at the Red Wolf Inn
Headless Eyes See It
World's Greatest Sinner
One of the best!
The Baby! Goo Goo!
Summer Camp Nightmare Viva
Attack of the Beast Creatures
Let's Play Dead Incest
Island of Death Vacation
Evil Come, Evil Go! Bye,
Darktown Strutters Get
Poor Pretty Eddie Deep
Miami Golem Jewish Folklore
Tenement NYC Apartment
To Kill A Clown Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
The Spook Who Sat Next To
The Door Booya!
I Woke Up Early The Day I
Died Mr. Ed Wood.
The Mutilation Man Andy
Copp goes arty on us!
The People Across The Lake
The Woman Hunt Load Up
These Are The Damned
Crowhaven Farm TV movie
|Goose trapped in
the window head down an alley at about 40 mph.
|Goose heading towards
the end of the line!
|I'M THE BADDEST
MUTHAFUCKER IN THE WORLD!!!!!!
|Danny 12 years ahead
of Eyes Wide Shut with this look. Nice hair.
it on the line for us. This Ohio boy sure is good!
as the whole gang gets frosted as we build to the grand finale!