Even Roger Corman, the once and future master of exploitation filmmaking, learned the hard way with BORN TO KILL (1975) that no amount of retitling and tinkering with the marketing campaign can make cockfighting appealing to the average moviegoer. And that was a good movie. This hillbilly comedy written, produced, shot, edited, scored and directed by Joshua P. Warren isn't: The cinematography is muddy, the sound is indistinct, the pacing is deadly (136 minutes is way too long for even the best lowbrow comedy) and the cast is amateurish from stem to stern. It's the kind of thing a bunch of tipsy frat boys with a camcorder might cook up over a holiday weekend, except that their efforts would only be imposed on their families and friends. Billy Bob Tweed (Brent Ponder), who lives in a North Carolina shack with his brother Joe Bob (Jesse Hooper) and crazy dad (Wayne Liles), dreams of owning his own farm, and thinks he's finally found a way to make his dream come true. He's come into possession of a super-rooster with human genes (How? Who the Hell knows?) and plans to take it on the cockfighting circuit and win some easy money. The bird elegantly named "Big Ass Rooster" wins his first fight with ease: The competition, an ordinary rooster named Demon, turns tail and runs. Demon's owner, the belligerent Monty (Steve Lewis), swears revenge. About an hour-and-a-half's worth of fart jokes, crap jokes, midget jokes and "you're such a flaming homo" jokes later, he and his stooges steal Big Ass Rooster. Billy Bob and his friends, including dumber than dirt Clovis (Warren) and Bubba (Shannon "Redman" Franklin), must get the bird back. Meanwhile, a mysterious figure in a white lab coat (George Frady) periodically appears, brandishing a photo of a missing monkey. The film's sense of humor is unregenerately juvenile "That's the biggest cock I've ever see," Clovis declares on first seeing Big Ass Rooster which might be all right if any of it were even the least bit funny. But it's not.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: NR
- Review: Even Roger Corman, the once and future master of exploitation filmmaking, learned the hard way with BORN TO KILL (1975) that no amount of retitling and tinkering with the marketing campaign can make cockfighting appealing to the average moviegoer. And that… (more)