I’ve plumbed the depths of the Netflix Basement and the Amazon Dungeon, why not check out what’s in the Hulu Movie Cave? They have some classic movies: Indiana Jones, Iron Man, Spectre. You know, the usual new releases and older, popular hits. So I stumbled upon Outlaws and Angels, a recent Western starring Luke Wilson, Chad Michael Murray, and one of Clint Eastwood’s daughters. What can go wrong? Many, many things, it turns out. This is one of the scuzziest, most loathsome movies I’ve seen, and I watched Space Boobs From Space. But I gutted my way through it so I can talk about it.
Outlaws and Angels (2016)
This is one of those “gritty” westerns, where all the actors are covered in mud and nobody has a single towel to wash their face. Where former teen heartthrob Chad Michael Murray has a grotesque facial scar, to show how wounded and evil he is. The camera lingers on sweaty close-ups for what seems like days. But this is no real actorly sweat. This is stage make-up Vaseline sweat, where all the actors are slathered with so much gel their foreheads glisten. I put the “gritty” in quotes because everybody is playing Cowboy, but nobody is actually believable as a person living in the Old West. All the wigs are bad and the facial whiskers are dubious, is all I’m saying.
The film starts with two girls walking down a muddy street in one of those Western towns that look like all the other Cowboy movie sets you’ve ever seen. The first warning that this movie was going to suck was that the girls casually step over a dude’s muddy, naked ass. Is he drunk, dead, or just sleeping with his pants down in the middle of main street? I’m not sure. Then one of the girls catches a bullet in the eyeball. She stands around for a minute while her friend screams and screams and does nothing to fix the situation. That was gratuitous, but not yet a deal breaker.
Then some bad hombres in masks run out of the bank holding bags of money. Each of the desperadoes, for some reason, has a bright red mouth painted on his sock mask. Okay, getting worse. Then the movie freeze frames as each robber mounts his horse, with a splash of red. The filmmakers have seen Reservoir Dogs more than a couple times, haven’t they? But we don’t get a Tarantino joke with the guy’s name, which is a waste because the movie is freeze-framed: You might as well tell us who they are. This is getting worse by the second.
Luke Wilson is hired as the ultimate bad-ass bounty hunter to bring the bank robbers to justice. Luke Wilson as a grizzled bad-ass!?!? Spoiler alert, he doesn’t succeed. His entire part in the movie is to give ponderously bad narration about the nature of good and evil and some sort of religious metaphors that I didn’t understand because I’m not convinced the filmmakers know or care anything about the Bible. In fact, they commit several sins along the way of making this stupid movie.
So the Bad Guys are a bunch of foul, despicable murderer-rapists and the Good Guys are even worse. It’s one of those kinds of movies. Frances Fisher, mother of Francesca Eastwood, Clint’s daughter that is in this movie, shows up briefly before getting shotgunned in the back by one of the bank robbers, a fat slob with a walrus mustache. I’m not sure an actress of her reputation and talent was needed for that part, but she gets off easy compared to the suffering of the other actresses in this story.
The robbers make their way on foot to hide out in a homestead where a chicken farmer, his wife, Teri Polo, and their two virginal daughters live. This turns into a laughably bad home invasion scenario. With Luke Wilson and the posse all but useless, we know with sickening surety that no help is coming for these sad bastards.
The degradations escalate from the robbers stealing their still warm dinner to threatening rape very quickly. The filmmakers drag out these scenes of sexual menace and almost certain sexual assault long past the breaking points. The plain daughter is threatened with rape by the fat slob. Mom is raped slowly. Francesca Eastwood hates her family and is into Chad Michael Murray, so her sexual assault is more consensual, but she’s also a bloodthirsty psychopath, which we will learn very soon. They get it on in a romantically shot but icky scene in a pond with moonlight lovingly reflected off the water. Then Fat Slobbo rapes the Chicken Farmer, or threatens to rape him in one very long 10 minute scene. I’m not sure of the details because I was fast-forwarding through all of this.
I’ve seen beheadings, eviscerations, machine gunnings, monster stomach explodings, and other assaults on filmic decency. But this is one of the rare times where I had to avert my eyes and fast forward through all the many, stomach-turning rapings. I mean seriously, these bastards just robbed a bank, shouldn’t they be in any kind of hurry to get out of Dodge and not waste countless hours decadently raping this entire family?
The family makes no attempts to escape their predicament. Instead, they bicker and insult each other. We learn that dad was a drunkard and probably committed lots of incest. Yuck. I have no words to convey my contempt for you, movie. At one point, Incest Dad decides to challenge the hombres to a fist fight, but the greasy-haired robber draws his gun, then slowly cocks it. Incest Dad is all surprised and scared, but 1) He has to know that even if they go along with everything these guys want, they will never be left alive, and 2) Greasy Hair has a gun to your head, why don’t you try to grab it and do anything to avoid the hellish nightmare that awaits you? Instead he picks option 3) Get pistol-whipped in the face and choke on your own blood.
The movie robs us of the smallest pleasure we’d get from this kind of thing since the plot demands that the family goes Straw Dogs on these disgusting sickos. But what happens instead, in a mind-boggling plot twist, is that Francesca Eastwood turns out to be the biggest sicko of them all. She blows away her own sister in a stomach turning slow motion geyser of gore. Then she bludgeons her dad to death, with more fountains of blood, also in slow motion. Then she rides off with the bad guys after telling her mom she was thinking about killing her, too.
Then in quick order, she kisses Chad Michael Murray, then gut-shots him at point blank range, shoots Greasy Hair, and gets into a terribly staged shoot-out with Fat Slobbo. They’re standing two feet away from each other but neither can hit the other, until Francesca gets a lucky shot that miraculously catches Slobbo’s rape-loving pee-pee.
Jesus Christ, movie, if that’s the end you were going for, why couldn’t you have done it before all the raping? Francesca could’ve killed these idiots at any point BEFORE she graphically murders her entire family for them.
If my review in any way makes this movie sound like a good time, then I have failed. It is thoroughly soulless, pointless, and repugnant. Do NOT see this movie at any cost.
Spoiler Alert: Alleged “hero” and leader of the “hero” posse, Luke Wilson, comes upon the now insane Teri Polo and decides to steal her left behind bank robber money so she shoots him. The end.