We first meet Bubba (Chris Stephens) in human form. He's a nice-but-dim fella, happy with his lot working at the local "Dawg Pound" in the backwater town of Broken Taint, Cracker County. When not fraternising with his canine pals and accidentally getting their excrement in his hair, he likes to unwind by visiting the town's bar - Rusty Bombshell - and drool over his love interest, the beautiful Bobbie Jo (Malone Thomas).
Unfortunately Bobbie Jo is currently dating Dwight (David Santiago). He's a real man - "one that can fix motorcycles and has a doublewide trailer".
Following an altercation with Dwight outside the Rusty Bombshell in which Bubba insists he'd sell his own soul if only Bobbie Jo would be with him, several flashes of lightning introduce a new arrival in town: none other than The Devil (Mitch Hyman). He ingratiates himself with a drunken Bubba at the bar by offering to make him the most popular man in Broken Taint, in return for Bubba signing over his soul. Hell, ol' Nick is even throwing in a four-slice toaster and a smokeless ashtray as part of the deal: how can Bubba refuse?!
The following morning Bubba is woken by his early morning alarm ... only to discover he's been transformed into a werewolf (from this juncture Fred Lass takes over thespian duties as Bubba). "I must be dreaming" he reasons as he checks himself out in the mirror.
Nope. Once he realises this is for real, Bubba has but one reaction: "Awesome!"
Bubba starts to enjoy his newfound coolness as the local cigar-chomping werewolf, winning friends by killing a pair of would-be robbers at his local bar and finally getting the girl of his dreams. All seems well for our hairy protagonist.
However, in the meantime, The Devil has stuck around for awhile and taken a tour of Broken Taint which involves touching up nuns, sticking bananas in car exhausts, feeding liquor to babies and more. Even more disconcertingly he's been duping the dumb locals into signing contracts with him and leaving them with embarrassing inflictions as a result - a local chef, for example, is left with a third arm protruding inconveniently from his forehead.
The locals gather at Rusty Bombshell to demand Bubba help rid their town of The Devil and get their old lives back. With wide-eyed Bobbie Jo looking on, Bubba clearly wants to play the hero. But where does he start...?
Based on Mitch Hyman's long-running comic book series of the same name, BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF may sound like a bag of shite but it's actually a great way of spending 77 minutes. If you're willing to allow it to do so, it offers nothing but surprisingly good-natured fun. Sure, there's gore - both of the practical and CGI variety - and the odd joke about blowjobs or whatever, but I wasn't prepared for just how affable this whole affair was going to be.
A large part of the reason for this is that the film is clearly a labour of love for all concerned. The cast are totally into it from the off (Stephens is a likeable stooge; Lass impresses physically as the furry version of Bubba; Thomas nails her role superbly, providing the heart of the film by injecting true warmth into what could've easily been a throwaway performance). Stephen Biro's screenplay offers a savvy blend of wisecracking humour, action and irreverence. The music - a combination of original pieces by George Shaw and some great country-punk tunes courtesy of The Blast-Offs - works perfectly. Production design and cinematography are far more slick and stylish than you'd probably ever dare imagine for a film with such a title.
The DVD's front cover carries a quote which claims the film's humour is "low brow". That it is, but knowingly so. It's actually a deceptively clever little film. Kudos to Hyman, Biro and director Brendan Jackson Rogers for bringing BUBBA to the screen with such aplomb.
MVD Visual's region-free DVD presents BUBBA uncut and in its original 16x9 widescreen ratio. It looks spot on for the most part, boasting warm rich colour schemes, fine detail and a pleasing lack of noise during those rare dark moments.
English 2.0 audio is a competent proposition, posing no obvious issues.
The disc opens to an attractive animated main menu page. From there, an animated scene selection option affords access to the film via 18 chapters.
A fine array of supplementary material begins with the excellent 16-minute documentary "From Page to Screen: The Making of BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF". This makes for an entertaining, fast-paced viewing, offering lots of cast and crew soundbites in-between a plethora of enjoyable on-shoot footage. Prepare for tales of 14-hours stints in the make-up chair, vomit machine malfunctions, how the small crew often "jumped in" to play support characters among other off-screen duties, shooting in a local bar while the regulars sat drinking and watching from the sidelines, and much more. Everyone concerned is free from self-congratulation, which results in this being an enormously warm, likeable extra. Highly recommended.
A blooper reel runs for just under 3 minutes and comprises of a mix of actors getting the giggles, microphones making unscheduled appearances and folk fluffing their lines. The shoot looks to have been an incredibly amiable one.
Five deleted scenes follow. These run for a total of 3 minutes and range from the extremely brief (Bubba washing shit out of his hair) to slightly longer passages (Satan making a house visit to spread the "bad news").
"Werewolf Make-up Processes" is a 2-and-a-half minute montage of behind-the-scenes footage showing how much work went in to making Lass look the part.
Also 2-and-a-half minutes in length, we get a music video which offers a canny combination of clips from the film alongside more welcome behind-the-scenes footage.
The film's official trailer rounds off the extras in fine style. It's a briskly edited 94-second offering which perfectly pitches the film as a mix of mirth, gore and unexpected style.
BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF is a lot of fun. It's also surprisingly accomplished on a technical level. I enjoyed it a lot, and it's given a great DVD release here courtesy of MVD Visual.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by MVD Visual|