Two buddies, Rack and Lonnie, have quietly been pursuing justice as deputies in a small Southern town. But when Racks irresistible girlfriend is kidnapped by a particularly nasty drug lord as revenge for the arrest of his brother, Tito, the duo decide to defy their boss, Sheriff Landry, and chase them down by any means necessary. Rounding up the towns most off-beat lawman Skunk Tarver, a defiantly silent man who chooses to use a bow n arrow instead of a gun they take off on a rip roaring road trip.

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

Toby Keith is the biggest American music star that you’ve never heard of.

Outwardly a lovable lug but with a take-no-crap persona, he was born out of Red-state nationalism post 9/11 and preaches a truck-stop set of guitar-twang values that has led to huge country-music chart success with songs such as 'You Ain’t Much Fun Since I Quit Drinkin’, 'She Ran Away With A Rodeo Clown’, 'I’ll Never Smoke Weed With Willie Again’ and his biggest hit, the anthemic war-cry 'Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue (The Angry American)’.

Like music legends Neil Diamond and Sting before him, it was only a matter of time before Keith enacted that inevitable next step in his media domination plan - silver screen stardom. To appease his legions of fans, Keith and comedian Rodney Carrington wrote and starred in the Dukes Of Hazzard-style action-comedy Beer For My Horses, the title taken from an old cowboy toast (and Keith’s Top 10 single) – 'Whiskey for my men, beer for my horses!"

From its opening title song, which encourages parents to mix Benadryl with cherry cola so the kids will sleep and they can come drinking, Beer For My Horses embraces all the most-cliched and unremittingly-offensive stereotypical images that Australian audiences associate with Bible-belt extremism. The opening sequence depicts Deputy Sheriff Keith and his buffoonish offsider laughing as a jealous husband baseball-bats a monster truck after catching his trailer park wife having a liaison. It sets the tone for a film that paints women as whores and/or bimbos, Mexicans as seething drug lords, correct police procedure as a hindrance and a dog\'s fart as comedy gold. The only African Americans in the cast are violent thugs who hang out in toilets and break into song; a sequence involving Willie Nelson, a travelling circus and a magical dwarf is truly bizarre; and the casting of early '90’s Hollywood It-girl Claire Forlani as the love-interest only shows how far her career promise has fallen. Good lord, even the poster tagline is repugnant – 'Vigilante justice – it’s a blast!"

It seems, however, that Toby Keith may have underestimated and subsequently offended his core audience. Beer For My Horses comes across like a high-falutin’ celebrity\'s take on the Good Ol’ Folk. It condescends to those that have supported him, mocks the very people and way of life that made him a star. His music is chillingly-patriotic, but at least it’s from the heart and that’s what his audience respects. His film piss-takes the values his decades-long career has honoured (and profited from).

The film peaked at 91 screens during its American theatrical run, finishing with a box office take of US$666,045.

The redneck-comedy genre is begrudgingly released by Australian distributors. Movies such as Witless Protection and Delta Farce (both starring the Woody Allen of hillbilly hilarity, Larry The Cable Guy) were sent straight to the weekly-rental section of your local video store. Toby Keith’s Beer For My Horses has also suffered the same fate. Frankly, any Down Under release at all of this down-home oddity is as big a mystery as the man’s stardom.


1 hour 26 min
Wed, 04/22/2009 - 11