The Baytown Outlaws Is a Flaming Bag of Drivel

A worthless farrago of noise, dirt and senseless violence, The Baytown Outlaws mixes three filthy, mentally challenged Alabama psycho hit men called the Oodie Brothers, one trashy, trigger-happy wife named Celeste and her poisonous drug-dealing maniac ex-husband Carlos, who has kidnapped their paralyzed, wheelchair-strapped godson. Celeste hires the Oodies to rescue the kid, who is a human Brussels sprout in a cowboy hat. In the course of the action that follows, the homicidal Oodies cross paths with crooked cops, bloodthirsty federal agents, mobsters, road pirates and a gang of lesbian bikers carrying assault weapons. The resulting mayhem and slaughter is vile and disgusting. It’s a comedy.

Eva Longoria, in a desperate move to graduate from years of small-screen imprisonment on Desperate Housewives, plays the wife. Billy Bob Thornton, who should know better, plays the deranged, gun-toting, pill-popping dope dealer. The Oodie Brothers are Daniel Cudmore, Travis Fimmel and Clayne Crawford, who should all have stayed in bed. These are the kind of scuzzy reprobates you never want to see in the pages of the Police Gazette, much less alive or on film. They drive up in their recycled trucks made out of Dr. Pepper bottles and carpet tacks, knock on your door and blow your eye out when you look through the keyhole. Their first stop is Billy Bob’s drug shack, which he calls “the Walmart of bottom-dollar retail crime.” With the drooling half-wit boy in tow, they hit the road to collect their money, but Billy Bob wants the boy back so he can cash in on his trust fund. Seeking revenge, he dispatches a series of depraved road warriors, including that previously mentioned hammer-hard club of lesbian biker-chick prostitutes led by Quentin Tarantino road-company stunt woman Zoë Bell, and a band of tomahawk-wielding Native Americans hell-bent on bringing back the art of scalping. On the Oodie Brothers’ side, there’s a corrupt black sheriff who covers up every crime in the county.

There’s no one to root for in this wreckage because the funny bad guys are killed off too early, and whether the brain-damaged kid ends up in the hands of his illegal godfather Carlos or in the clutches of his evil godmother Celeste, he’s a lamb to the slaughter either way. The noxious music is by, among others, Lynyrd Skynyrd. Obviously debut director Barry Battles and his co-screenwriter Griffin Hood are aiming to cash in on the quirky redneck romps of their idol, Quentin Tarantino, but they lack the originality and the controlled lunacy to carry it off. According to the production notes, they originally called this movie a “Southern Whup-Ass Extravaganza,” because “this is who we are and where we’re from.” I’d like to be the first one to call in print for them to be sent back, as fast as possible.

rreed@observer.com

The Baytown Outlaws
Running Time 99 minutes
Written by Barry Battles and Griffin Hood
Directed by Barry Battles
Starring Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Billy Bob Thornton and Zoë Bell