Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Lonely Street” (2009).
Just to prove that Uncle Bardie will pull out all the stops for his followers, he stayed up late a lot of nights to discover this one. He chanced upon a “Lonely Street” on You Tube. It sure wasn’t one Uncle Bardie knew about. You probably never heard of it either.
Adapted from Steve Brewer’s first Bubba Mabry mystery, “Lonely Street” is R-Rated and a bit raunchy from time to time. But it never takes itself serious. The movie was made for $2,000,000. That’s not low budget. That’s cheap. If you’re looking for a waste of time that’s a lot of fun, this low bud is for you. The movie may have cost a pittance, but the dialogue in “A Million and One Ways to Die in the West” was never this funny. And that one cost $40,000,000 to make. Let’s see. That’s $40,000,000 per joke.
Jay Mohr, the working man’s Ryan Reynolds, gives an Oscar-winning performance as Bubba, the movie’s hero. Not. Bubba is a private eye with no cases. Almost. Then a big man name of J.G. shows up at his motel room. He offers our hero a security job for a nameless celebrity. He’s not naming the celebrity, and I am not either. But do the words “The King” ring a bell.
Remember T1000 in “Terminator 2”. That was Robert Patrick and now he is “The King” in “Lonely Street”. He introduces himself, “I’m everywhere and anywhere at the same time.” In other words, he’s one heck of an alchemist or he is “The King of Rock’n’roll”. I’ll bet it’s the second one.
Bubba takes the case Mr. Aaron, “The King”, offers and he finds a jacket in his closet as an advance on his thirty dollars an hour. It’s not a Cadillac but it will do for the time being. Just to show us the kind of guy he is, upon encountering Hot Fried Okra, he comments, “Women show up all the time in my cases. Only she had her teeth and she spoke English.” In other words, Bubba is as low budget as this movie. She catches him trying to take a looksee at the log in the motel where he’s come to spy on the man Mr. Aaron wants him to tail.
He spies a slinkily dressed woman enter his man’s motel room. Just to put the nail into that coffin, he goes on to say, “I never wanted to be a sleaze bag with a made up name more than right now.” This movie has more motel rooms than Elvis had Cadillacs.
Bubba meets “The King”, knocking golf balls on a driving range. He reports his findings. They start discussing how dead The King’s supposed to be. Then Elvis smiles and brags, “They put me on a stamp.” Bubba can’t resist. He adds some wise acre, “Thirty years later they’re still licking your hiney.”
The guy he spied on back at the motel was Hank the Tank. Bubba catches the Tank sneaking out of a building with a CD he stole from Finkelman Entertainment.
Bubba sneaks back into Hank the Tank’s motel room. The Tank is a celebrity snoop. Bubba discovers that he is about to out the dead celebrity. To tell the world that the King is vertical and breathing. The Tank enters his motel room and Bubba does the only thing a decent pee eye can do. He hides under the bed. Suddenly the Tank is dead. In a motel room of all places.
The cops take Bubba downtown and brow beat him with “Who’s your client?” Bubba ain’t telling, though the lieutenant brow beats him a lot. Finally they let this “two bit gumshoe who’s never handled a case, never been in the local papers” go.
The Tank’s boss, Felicia Q, shows up in Bubba’s motel room which also serves as his office. She gives him her business card. I never knew how funny business card humor could be. He doesn’t have a business card but he makes sure she remembers him. “That’s Bub-ba. Three B’s, one U and an A.” Needless to say, he wants to make an impression.
It is beginning to look as if Mr. Aaron’s man, J. G., has set Bubba up for a fall. And for the Tank’s murder too. But Bubba is not going to go down easy. He checks with one of his cohorts, a rat named Rodent. Rodent had been watching the Tank’s room for Bubba. When he asks Rodent if anybody went in or left the motel room, Rodent answers, “Everybody went in and out of that room. It looked like a Cinco de Mayo parade.”
Next thing you know Bubba is messing where he shouldn’t be messing. He’s following the Finkelman the building is named after. Talk about sleaze Joe Montegna plays Finkelman full throttle sleaze. Finkelman meets up with J. G. Now if you’re snooping on a conversation between anybody and J.G., you don’t want J.G. to find out. J.G. finds out and hits Bubba over the head. As Bubba puts it, “I wish he’d knocked me unconscious ’cause that really hurt.”
Next thing you know Felicia Q is making a second appearance. She drives up and trouble starts heating up.
So what are the bad guys after? A demo. Do they get it? I ain’t telling. That would be a spoiler.
On top of an outrageous plot and funny dialogue, what else does this movie offer? A pretty good soundtrack. And the King do sing. So take a listen to “When the Rebel Comes Home”, then see the movie. It will make for a very low budget date.