Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974): Breakdown by Rantbo
An asshole, a slut and a grease monkey get chased by cops. VROOM VROOM! SCREECH! CRASH!!!
After seeing this film referenced in several Tarantino flicks, I broke down and decided to order myself a copy of the damn thing, if for nothing else than to be a more efficient and elitist movie snob. And thankfully, my money was well spent. DMCL is a classic 70s carsploitation flick, and also one the best chase movies ever made.
The set up is short and sweet like Mary’s halter top. A NASCAR washout and his disgraced drunkard mechanic decide the quickest way back into the business is to put together their own race car, with ‘barrowed’ money. The bitch Larry happened to shack up with the night before they rob a shopping mart, ends up along for the ride and the rest is one giant race against time and backwoods hick cops.
This film is a true gem of the genre. Every thing is shot at full speed, with real cars doing real stunts.
EVERYTHING! There isn’t a single miniature or special effects shot. What they filmed is what you see. That’s harder to find nowadays than someone willing to take a blow-job from Susan George. The film is just over an hour and a half long (the perfect Action movie length), and about an hour of that is spent on the road and driving hard. And while I’m not a fan of either of the title characters (it’s hard to root for a loudmouth ass and an even loudermouth whore), the third main character, Deke, makes up for the both of them in the few character development scenes featured within. In all the others, there are so many reckless stunts and cool crashes that I’d forget all together about the dickweeds behind the wheel. All-in-all, if you dig 70s car flicks, or chase movies in general, DIRTY MARY CRAZY LARRY is right on the top of the pileup. I highly recommend it.
[HOW BAD-ASS ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS?]
Peter Fonda is Crazy Larry
“You know what it means when someone like me gets off to a bad start?—Not a god damn thing.”
An ex-NASCAR racer, turned shopping mart robber, Larry is a fucking jag-off. A selfish, egotistical, apathetic, showboating, gum-chewing white-trash butthole. What’s not to love? However, Larry is one hellova driver, and for this movie, that’s all that counts. It’s not cocky, when you back it up, as Kid Rock would say. And I could easily see him as Larry in a remake.
Susan George is Dirty Mary ‘Super Crotch’ Coombs
Mary is your classic 70s butterface. Well, almost. Aside from the fact that she could eat an apple through a picket fence, Susan does have some pretty eyes, when her smile isn’t fucking them up. But, before you start thinking that I’m just objectifying poor Mary, she is a self admitted groupie whore. She can, however, give as good as she gets, and not just sexually. Even though she is loose as a pocket full of change, not all of her brains have been fucked out by doped up rock stars. But, she’s still young.
Adam Roarke is Deke Sommers
If Alec Baldwin were a mechanic, he’d be Deke Sommers. Deke’s a standup guy. Easily the only likable one of this wild bunch. It’s revealed that he’s had his problems in the past with the sauce, but it’s also made clear that Deke is a fighter for change and women’s rights. Well, when he isn’t busy using them for leverage in a robbery, that is. But, even so, Roarke is the one to watch this for. His stoic quiet guy routine is all but a charade when the chance for chivalry presents itself. It’s just a shame he waits until the end of the film to become an anti-heroic contender.
[THE BODY COUNT: –]
As explaining who dies and how would be a crushing spoiler, I’ll just say it’s not high, but still pretty badass.
[MOST SATISFYING ASS-KICKING]
‘69 Charger vs. Copper Chopper
Just when you think the Charger can’t get any more badass, someone has it razzle a fuckin’ helicopter.
Again, like I mentioned above, this is made 100% cooler than today’s films, by the fact that this was all done practically and in a lot of shots, with the real actors. Watching the definitive badass muscle car of the 60s and 70s, barreling down a stretch of road at 100+ miles per hour while a helicopter tries to cripple its hood and send it spinning into a grove of trees, makes for one of the best chase sequences ever put on celluloid. And this is just a couple minutes of the overall chase that encompasses almost the entire length of the film.
[DUDESWEAT AND MACHISMO]
Larry and Deke hold a special kind of friendship, that manages to surpass drinking problems and women on the side.
These two have been through the circuit for each other numerous times, and I think it’s safe to say that they love one another, a little bit more than the average hetro male friendship laws will allow. They bicker and fight like a middle-aged couple on a 20 year anniversary road trip, bring up painful occurrences from the past as ammunition against each other, yet find constant ways to touch and comfort shortly after their bigger tiffs. That’s love for ya.
Then there’s this guy…
“Imma eat chore lunch, you long haired faggot!”
[EXPLOITATION AND MISOGYNY]
Larry: “Every bone in her crotch—that’s what I’m gonna break.”
Larry insults, exploits and berates Mary on a non-stop basis. All of which, her loud-mouthed sassy ass deserved for being such an annoying floozy. But, then he takes it up a notch and shoves her to the ground.
Deke sets Larry straight, but the damage to female empowerment was dealt a mighty blow. You can own your sexuality all you want ladies, but don’t think for a second that a man can’t just throw your ass in the dirt if you get outta line. We’re still stronger.
Also, there is a small bit of blurred female nudity in the beginning when Deke invades the home of the shopping mart manager to hold his wife for insurance. And he finds her in the shower.
[EPIC MOMENT AND BEST ONE-LINER]
Larry is teasing (berating) Mary for the 10th time in as many minutes, and she finally has enough and attacks him with her bear trap grill. Having Mary’s snaggletooth chompers sink into his shoulder, understandably draws Larry’s attention away from the wheel and the three outlaws careen off the road, up and over a rock, through a fence, down a hill and through a second.
“So help me, if you try another stunt like that again…
I’m gonna braid your tits!”
[THE MORAL OF THE STORY]
“Any town’s a nice little town, when you nail a broad.”
[THE CHECKLIST: 09 outta 25]
[ ] Athlete(s) Turned “Actor”
[ ] Clinging To The Outside Of A Moving Vehicle
[ ] Crotch Attack
[X] Dialogue Telling Us How Bad-Ass The Main Character(s) Is/Are
[ ] Ending Featuring An Ambulance, A Blanket or A Towel
[ ] Factory/Warehouse
[X] Giant Explosion(s)
[ ] Heavy Artillery
[ ] Improvised Weapon(s)
[X] Macho Mode(s) Of Transportation
[X] Main Character Sports Facial Accessory(s)
[X] Manly Embrace(s)
[ ] Notorious Stunt-Man Sighting
[ ] Passage(s) Of Time Via Montage
[ ] Politically Fueled Plot Point(s)
[X] Senseless Destruction Of Property
[ ] Shoot Out(s) and/or Sword Fight(s)
[ ] Slow-Motion Finishing Move(s)/Death(s)
[X] Stupid Authoritative Figure(s)
[X] Substance Usage and/or Abuse
[ ] Tis The Season
[ ] Torture Sequence(s)
[ ] Unnecessary Sequel
[X] Vehicle Chase(s)
[ ] Vigilante Justice