Thursday, November 24, 2011

Seabo (1978)

Director: Jimmy Huston

Starring: Earl Owensby, David Allen Coe, Don 'Red' Barry, Ed Parker, Sunset Carson, Holly Conover, Rod Sacharnoski, Ron Lampkin

More info: IMDb

Tagline: First there was Cool Hand Luke then Billy Jack, but there has never been anyone like Seabo.

Plot: When a man faces racial persecution thanks to his partly Native-American heritage, he answers with violence and is sentenced to a brutal chain gang. When he learns that the evil warden is planning to massacre the prisoners, he organizes a daring escape.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe.

The tagline gets a little bit right. It wants to be both of those pictures, especially the first one. The level of film making across the board is pretty poor. You'll be hard pressed to find a less charismatic lead in Seabo (Owensby) and his bounty hunter rival, Reb Stock (Coe, who demonstrates he's a much better songwriter/performer than an actor), fares a little better but it's clear that both of these guys squandered the money they were going to spend for acting lessons on magic beans or something. The funny thing is, for as bad as Owensby is, I'm interested in seeing some of his other output from the 70s. He starred in a few low budget action flicks that look like they could be fun.

Our hero, Seabo.

Back to this one, though, it's a mixed back of inept hilarity and, uh, well, let's see, uh, inept boredom. Scenes are dragged out too long, actors sometimes pause too long between lines (and there are no cutaways to compensate for it), I don't remember any coverage shots so there are lots of scenes where someone is talking with their back to the camera, lots of problems like that. You can have low budgets and still get around these things with the right people behind and in front of the camera. Coe also wrote and performed the songs which are fine, sometimes, but then again, you also get lyrics like this, "Ball and chain, pick and shovel...pick and shovel, ball and chain..." all done like a 19th century hard labor work song...and we get it several times.

His rival, Reb Stock.

Nothing I've said so far means it's a shitty movie. There are plenty of poorly made low budget movies that end up being highly entertaining. Not this one. Why? Because it's 5 minutes shy of being TWO HOURS LONG!!! It can be a chore to get through if you don't know it lasts that long before you start. It's not as painful as you might think. Now I'm not saying don't watch it, just be warned. Hell, I just might watch it again someday. Knowing what I know now will better prepare me for some unusual down home cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment