January 27, 2013

Native scalpers in Baytown Outlaws

“Baytown Outlaws”: A Tarantino wannabe takes on rednecks

Billy Bob Thornton and Andre Braugher provide window-dressing for the racist fantasy of "The Baytown Outlaws"

By Andrew O'Hehir
[D]irector and co-writer Barry Battles is after the specific grade of faux-Tarantino-ness represented by “The Boondock Saints,” arguably the first true cult hit of the 21st century. This is like the neo-Confederate version of “Boondock Saints,” mixed with a faint dose of the Coen brothers’ “Raising Arizona.” A trio of unwashed and nearly illiterate Alabama brothers, who are supposedly lovable despite being depraved contract killers and the sons of an infamous Klansman, hit the road in a zany kidnapping plot involving a disabled teenager. Among the numerous people they must kill en route are a gaggle of leather-clad hookers, a Native American biker gang who go around scalping people, and a bunch of heavily armed African-American dudes in an assault vehicle.

Yeah, I’m serious. The main action of this movie involves three über-macho white guys, whose charismatic leader, Brick Oodie (Clayne Crawford), wears a Rebel-flag T-shirt in every scene, driving around the South killing women, blacks and Indians. Mind you, Battles is smart enough to try to soften the psychodrama around the edges: Braugher plays the corrupt African-American sheriff who serves as the brothers’ patron, and their kidnapping errand is conducted at the behest of Celeste (Longoria), the ex-wife of a Latino crime lord. (There’s also an utterly irrelevant tender moment between Brick and a hot illegal immigrant.) But Carlos, said evil Latino crime lord, is played by Billy Bob Thornton, who is partly of American Indian ancestry but not really all that plausible as a Mexican or Cuban or Dominican.
Comment:  "A Native American biker gang who go around scalping people"...sounds like a typical "savage Indian" stereotype.

For more on scalping in movies, see Al Carroll on Tarantino's Scalping and Tarantino's Apache War Fiction.

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