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Dazed and Confused with the Texas Groovers

Fandango; courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

Greetings and salutations* film nerds and nerdettes from the chicken-fried stratosphere high above the Great State of Texas (hands down, the coolest shaped state in the Union) where Poppa H is about to re-enter the atmosphere of his hometown with a daredevil’s panache by parachuting into the Fort Worth Stockyards from 20,000 feet. You suckers heard me, screw commercial airlines, this traveler’s saving a few greenbacks by mailing himself 2nd class freight to Texas along with 3-tons of air mailed jerkied beef. Who mails beef jerky to Texas anyway?

Who knows, who cares? Alls I know is I’m preparing to be projectile ejaculated from a UPS aircraft like Slim Pickens riding that nuclear bomb in Dr. Strangelove. Oh … I have shrinkage* but, good thing I packed my adult diapers, cause I’m riding this bucking bronco all the way to ground zero–yee-haw!  Hmm, says here on this parcel, the jerkified beef’s for underprivileged cowboys and rodeo clowns down at Billy Bob’s … I guess I shouldn’t be eating all their … oh shit, they’re pushing us out the airplane, banzaaiiiiii!

MRF Internal Monologue: Plummeting from 17,000 Feet

OMG bad idea, bad idea!  Holy Shiiiiiiiitttttbaaaaalllllls! I think I just froze the left side of my brain!! ... I can’t move my right arm* Aaaaaahhhhh!!! 

MRF Internal Monologue: Plummeting from 8,000 Feet

This freefall is so rad! Flying commercial is for suckers. There’s nothing better than watching a Texas sunrise while plummeting to earth on the back of 3-tons of aluminum encased beef. It’s like riding a really big metal bird with … no … wings? … Uh, is it bad if they haven’t opened the parachute yet?  AAAAAAHHHHHH!!

Fandango; courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

MRF Internal Monologue: Floating To Earth

Thank you Baby Jesus, the chute opened and my diaper stayed on, I must be living right. I could use a nip as I’m in the process of building up my tolerance to alcohol. What for? Shit man, I’m preparing my liver for my high school reunion that’s about to begin in T-Minus two minutes and counting. Once I touchdown on the mothership, this cowboy’s reuniting with a crew of Texas ne’er do wells (called the Groovers) to celebrate 15 Years of Debauchery and Delusion with the five maddest men this side of the Pecos River …

On the docket: party at the ranch, dig up DOM, smoke a pig, dance the fandango, howl at the pale moonlight, tip a cow, hotwire a tractor and play chicken on the bridge with a Santa Fe Pacific train a la River Phoenix in Stand By Me. Needless to say, I’ve got no time, no time!* to wax philosophic about the latest movie releases so how about I take you on a trip in the way back machine to revisit a flick that inspired me and my homies to become the deranged man-children we are today?

Fandango; courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

Dancing The Fandango With The Groovers

All you fun-loving cinephiles with an itch for some Texas Scratch should dive into Fandango, the Texas road trip movie that started it all. All those spontaneous late night road trips across the state to hook up with co-eds … all those moronic 4 a.m. drives to pick up dime bags in College Station … all those trips to dig up DOM can be traced back to a little-known 1980s classic that showcases a smooth-talking Kevin Costner in his finest role.

Meet the Groovers, five buddies who after graduating from UT, take one last road trip across Texas only to find the Vietnam War (and marriage) waiting on the other side.? On their journey to the border to dig up something they buried long ago, the boy’s hang out in Marfa (home of James Dean’s Giant), shoot roman candles off in cemeteries, suck face with jailbait babes at the local Dairy Queen and skydive with a lunatic flight instructor in one of the best scenes in Texas cinematic history. If you want a taste of my Tex-Mex Upbringing, you should check it out, son. It’s worth a view for the skydiving scene alone. 

Fandango; courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

Phew … The eagle has landed. Poppa Brass Balls is on terra firma and here comes the Groovers with a tequila IV drip, hot damn. I love being home. It’s time for Otto to get blotto*… Until next time, keep jumping out of airplanes America.  This is MRF signing off.  Be bad and get into trouble baby.*

Groover Picks to Click
•    The Skipper – Kicking and Screaming (1996) Dir. Baumbach
•    L-Train – Urban Cowboy (1980) Dir. Bridges
•    The Hawk – Diner (1982) Dir. Levinson
•    Hondeaux – Sideways (2004) – Dir. Payne
•    Jen Lo – Tommy Boy (1995) – Dir. Segal
•    The Captain – Heaven Help Us (1985) – Dir. Dinner
•    MRF – Seems Like Old Times (1980) – Dir. Sandrich

Happenings Round Town
•    Lust, Caution (2007) Dir. Lee – Embarcadero
•    The Darjeeling Limited (2007) Dir. Anderson - Embarcadero
•    Klimt (2007) Dir. Ruiz - Lumiere
•    Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song (2007) Dir. Brown - Embarcadero
•    2 Days In Paris (2007) Dir. Delpy – Embarcadero
•    The King of California (2007) Dir. Cahill – Embarcadero
•    Sunset Boulevard (1950) Dir. Wilder – Dolores Park (10/6, 8pm)

Volume 32 Footnotes*
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder
•    “I have shrinkage …” – Seinfeld (1993): Costanza loses a girl at the beach because of his shrunken turtle.
•    “I think I just froze the left half of my brain … I can’t move my left arm!” –  Better Off Dead (1985) – Curtis Armstrong snorts snow while taunting John Cusack into skiing down the steepest slope in Burbank.
•       “I ain’t got no time … no time!” – Nashville (1975): A harried Alan Garfield (as Barnett) to anyone seeking audience with his wife Barbara Jean, the Loretta Lynn-inspired Queen O’ Nashville.
•    “Otto likes to get blotto” – The Simpsons (1991): Stoned school bus driver Otto espouses his life mantra to an under-aged child.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.