Warning: things are about to get weird. After OD’ing on girly high school movies in May, I’m kicking off the summer with one of the more bizarre films in my DVD collection. I like to think it’s gained a sort of cult following over the years, but maybe it’s just a cult of me, my husband, and our friend Allen. Oh, and Tilda Swinton, who was quoted in the March 21st, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly as saying that this film was “kind of insane….Just go and find it.” Find it I did, in the 99-cent bin at Blockbuster, to which my husband exclaimed, “They’re practically giving it away! Don’t they know what they have??”
Gentlemen Broncos (DVD/Download) can only be described as an enormous box office flop. Budgeted at $10 million, it only ended up grossing just over $113,000 when it was released in 2009. I vaguely remember Jemaine Clement (who plays author and plagiarizer Ronald Chevalier) coming to our city to promote the film, and then it just sort of vanished. Written and directed by Jared and Jarusha Hess of Napoleon Dynamite fame, Gentlemen Broncos is essentially a story about a young boy who dreams of becoming a science fiction writer, only to see his manuscript stolen, and his book Yeast Lords adapted into a terrible low budget film. While this story is playing out, the filmmakers also intersperse the story of the actual manuscript, acted out a couple of different ways by the always-brilliant Sam Rockwell. It’s confusing, but stay with me. The hilarity of the film stems from its satire of the science fiction genre, complete with bizarre character names, troll analysis, and pompous writing. Jennifer Coolidge steals just about every scene she’s in, playing the mother of the young writer who makes rock-hard popcorn balls, lives in a geodesic dome house, sells Dynasty-era nightgowns and befriends a redneck with a python (played with creepy aplomb by Mike White). This movie is so, so bizarre, but I absolutely cannot stop laughing throughout it.
Of course, even the greatest bad movies can sometimes benefit from a strong cocktail. It can’t hurt, right? In honor of the movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie Yeast Lords, I’m making a beer-based cocktail. This one features citrusy notes that pair well with a Hefeweizen, and is a great drink to kick off summer. When watching Gentlemen Broncos, I recommend drinking a Yeast Lord.
1 oz bourbon
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
4 oz Hefeweizen beer (I’m using my favorite German Hefeweizen, Weihenstephaner)
Mix first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with Hefeweizen, and garnish with Lemon wedge.
Each time I watch Gentlemen Broncos, I always wonder- what must the actors have thought when they read the original script for this? Did they laugh out loud like I do every time I watch it? Did they shrug their shoulders and just figure that it was so bizarre, somebody was bound to find it funny? I like to think that this movie is well on its way to achieving cult-classic status, and surely this groundbreaking and bound-to-be-highly-read post on Cinema Sips will push it over the edge. Or, maybe it’ll just be me, my husband, Allen, and Tilda Swinton in on the joke. Either way, I’m ready for a cocktail and a laugh. Cheers!