“He ain’t just some damn, dumb redneck anymore. He’s a… he’s a warrior! A warrior fightin’ for justice and the American way of life.”
– “And he eats human corpses!”
Before he was Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, he was just plain ol’ Bubba the Redneck.
Still stinking of puppy poo from his shift at the dog pound, Bubba (Fred Lass) makes a beeline to the Rusty Bombshell for a cold one. Why wouldn’t he have a spring in his step? He had a blast palling around with his four-legged friends, and now he gets to kick back with his high school sweetheart, Bobbie Jo (Malone Thomas). Well, Bubba finds out the hard way that Bobbie Jo hasn’t actually been his girl in something like a decade now. The hits keep on coming from there. No girl. No friends. Crap job (literally!). The guy can’t even take pride in his cut-off flannel armholes anymore. Bubba would sell his soul if he could be the man Bobbie Jo years ago dreamt he’d be.
Nothing? Lemme try again. I said, Bubba would sell his soul…
Ah, that’s better. The Devil (Mitch Hyman) comes from the Wishmaster school of “Be careful what you wish for…” Oh, Bubba wants to be the strongest feller in Cracker County with some manly hair on his chest? Bam! Werewolf. It’s supposed to be a curse, but Bubba loves being a thing that goes bump in the night. (And in the daytime too. No lunar cycle transformations or anything here.) Alas, the rest of the folks down here in Broken Taint are less thrilled with their deals with the devil. It’s Bubba’s fault that Old Scratch is there in the first place, so I guess it’s his job to make things right. Besides, he’s a superhero now. What better trial-by-fire than to square off against the Devil himself?
We’re talking about a movie where a werewolf gouges out a robber’s eyes, yells “Batter up!” and knocks his head off wiffleball-style with a severed arm. Oh, and then he feeds on the remains. (When it comes to werewolves and pub grub, dead thugs beat out chicken wings every time.) If you’ve ever thought “I need another ‘Who’s on first?’ riff like I need a hole in the head,” then take heart that Bubba the Redneck Werewolf goes ahead and gives you both. The Devil ushers folks into a Michael Bay movie marathon, and then – squibbledy-flabbedy-doo! – the marquee changes to “Foreign Film Festival,” with a theaterful of Floridians running out in mortal terror. You’re treated to geysers of vomit and allusions to The Seventh Seal.
Yeah, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf dug its hooks into me from the first strains of its infectiously catchy, country-fried theme song and never let go. This isn’t some crass, cynical cash-in riding the current wave of comic book adaptations (although, yes, Virginia, there is a comic). It almost feels as if creator Mitch Hyland stormed into a city council meeting in Deland, Florida and shouted, “Hey, let’s put on a show!” Community is central to the premise of Bubba the Redneck Werewolf, and that same sort of passion and fellowship went into its production as well. Everyone’s clearly having a blast bringing Bubba to life, especially Hyland, who steals every last scene he’s in as a conniving lawyer-devil. The movie doesn’t let its low budget get in the way of its ambition, heaping on metric tons of CGI alongside all the practical effects. Its sophomoric and slapstick-y sense of humor is tempered by a good-natured sweetness. Think vintage Troma by way of a big ol’ bear hug, and you’re somewhere in the ballpark.
The howlingly funny (zing!) Bubba the Redneck Werewolf scored a pretty nice special edition release on DVD, and there’s a Blu-ray to match if you’re okay with the whole BD-R, manufactured-on-demand thing. Amazon Video doesn’t have all those bells and whistles, but the movie itself is streaming at no additional charge for Prime subscribers.