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Is ‘Bad Ass’ For Real?

Today, to close out 2011, I bring you a movie mystery. And no, it’s not a movie that’s a mystery; it’s a mystery involving a movie…maybe.

Last week, a teaser trailer for something called Bad Ass snuck onto the Internet. It stars Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman, and word is that it’s based on a video that went viral last year.

The story goes like this. In February 2010, a 67-year-old Vietnam vet named Thomas Bruso (aka Epic Beard Man) got into an unsavory fight on a bus in Oakland, California, and the whole thing was caught on video, posted on YouTube and became a sensation within hours. Now comes a movie based on this video. Hey, why not, right?

Hollywood makes movies based on amusement park rides and board games — why not make a film based on a video? All that needs to be done is write an 80-minute story around the 5-minute fight, but make Epic Beard Man more heroic. That shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe something along the lines of Falling Down but, you know, more urban.

And how about Danny Trejo for the lead? This role is freakin’ made for him! Stick in Dutton and Perlman as perfectly cast co-stars, film it fast and cheap, come up with an ad campaign that plays on a past Trejo flick, and you have B-movie magic ready to reap a couple of million in theaters before a quick DVD release.

And, based on the poster and the trailer below, that’s exactly what happened. So far, so good. But now comes the mystery.

Rumors have started to surface that Bad Ass is a hoax. Its director, Craig Moss, is best known for parody videos such as The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It. Also, the flick’s production company, Amber Lamps LLC, isn’t a registered company. “Amber Lamps” is actually an epithet bestowed upon a bus passenger wearing purple tights in the original video. Also, the film’s release date is April 2012…April 1, maybe?

But then again, Bad Ass does have an IMDb page full of legitimate producers, crew members and actors, including Craig Sheffer, Jennifer Blanc, Duane Whitaker, Danny Woodburn and Trejo, Dutton and Perlman.

Put it all together, shake it up and you get a real New Year’s mystery that is way more fun than the one you (hopefully won’t) face tomorrow morning when you awaken in a strange bed and are forced to locate your keys and wallet in the apartment of someone who seems nice enough although you have no idea who they are. (Yes, that is Slammed & Damned’s way of saying Happy New Year! Please drink responsibly.)

So, now, I leave this puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma with you, dear readers. Here are the original video (age-restricted due to content and language) and the trailer for the film based on it. What do you think? Is Bad Ass a real movie, or is it merely an Internet meme based on an Internet meme?

~Theron Neel

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One Comment

  • Ian, Russ
    Posted January 2, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Definitely not a real movie.
    If you watch the trailer closely, it has sequences from the movie “Red Heat”.
    First sequence is when the bus hits the fountain, another one is when the train hits the bus, and the last one is at the end with the bus hits a car.
    No way would a real trailer hold parts from another movie.

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