Crackheads Gone Wild 4: Rock & Roll
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It ain't Saturday night, but I still feel like taking a long, hot shower after watching CRACKHEADS GONE WILD 4: ROCK & ROLL. This is about as sleazy an enterprise as you can imagine, and what's worse, it's barely even entertaining in an indulge-your-guilt freak show kind of way. Mostly it's just dull, sad, and/or head-scratchingly stupid.
Taping a bunch of ditzy, boozed-up college chicks casting off their inhibitions during Spring Break is one thing, but going around encouraging pathetic crackheads who look like they're not long for this world to publicly debase themselves, or provoking them into delirious, petulant rants as they stagger precariously on spindly legs, is another, considerably less wholesome thing altogether. We're supposed to laugh and be entertained because they look terrible, act demented, and are so rock-bottom pitiful that they'll degrade themselves on camera for a little (very little) cash.
The guys behind this are making loads of cash themselves. A lengthy, rambling post-script shows one of them lounging on the balcony of his posh hotel room overlooking Houston--the final stop on their multi-city crackhead tour--bragging about how he's struck it rich selling these DVDs ("Life is a beautiful thing," he gloats, rubbing his hands together as the irony of this statement doesn't even occur to him) and how it isn't necessary to kill "the snitches" because he can now get back at them by flaunting his monetary success. Yeesh. This is just as distasteful as the crackhead stuff but without the dubious entertainment value that even it might provide.
If you do enjoy watching those wacky crackheads in action, though, you're still going to be disappointed by much of this disjointed schlockumentary. The first segment is nothing more than some guys pulling pranks on each other in an apartment somewhere--you know, the kind where you squirt lotion in a sleeping person's hand and then tickle his face with a feather. One unsuspecting dude napping on the couch gets the old hot-foot in the form of some paper stuffed between his toes and set alight. This sort of thing may be amusing if some frat rats taped it with a camcorder and showed it at their next keg party, but somehow I don't hear Gene Kelly singing "That's Entertainment!" here.
Some of it resembles the kind of candid-camera-style stuff they used to do on "Jackass" ("Crackass", maybe?) I got a chuckle out of the guy wearing nothing but a diaper and a gas mask, skulking in and out of shops brandishing a small whip, but we don't get to see enough reactions from unsuspecting passersby for it to pay off. And then there's the part that shows our intrepid filmmakers breaking into a derelict house in Baltimore for no reason except to document how decrepit it is inside. What's that all about? About midway through, a rap video by someone called DuGotti is inserted for no apparent reason except to serve as an extended commercial break.
Even when we get to the titular crackheads, the entertainment value is only ratcheted up about half a notch. One guy does a nifty magic trick with a dollar bill. Another one does a silly dance for about five minutes. Some ravenous old dude named Hungry Jack is shown gnawing every scrap of meat off a large bone, while a couple of others are encouraged to walk around with their whangers flapping in the wind. Various hard luck cases ramble semi-coherently about this and that while the poor sound quality renders much of it unintelligible. The arguable star of the show is Princess Slayer, whose startling countenance graces the DVD cover. We get to see this poor soul pull her pants down and bounce around on a discarded mattress in some filthy back alley somewhere, while even the other crackheads looking on shake their heads. Are we having fun yet?
From what I've read, the first installment in this series was somewhat more serious--some have even called it a valuable educational and cautionary documentary. I can't attest to that, but I do know that CRACKHEADS GONE WILD 4: ROCK & ROLL is blessedly untainted by such lofty aspirations. As the guy who's comfortably ensconced in his Houston hotel room tells us, it's all about business, making a whole lotta money, and being able to say "Life is a beautiful thing" while the miserable cretins he exploits are scuttling around in the squalid streets below.
Added: Monday, March 31, 2008
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