Troma // 2009 // 38 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley // May 17th, 2013
Get out your f***in' checkbook!
No, it's not a sequel to the Pixar movies.
I am unaware of filmmaker Bobby Hacker, who apparently has a series of very popular short films on the comedy website Funny or Die. Cars 3 is the third in a series of shorts focusing on an aggressive, profane car salesman. It was shot in a matter of days back in 2008, premiered at the New Beverly Theater in California the day after it finished shooting and is now getting a DVD release courtesy of Troma. It fits right in to their catalogue.
Hacker plays Tim, the screaming car salesman mentioned above, who swears and bullies people into buying cars with his catchphrase, "Get out your f***in' checkbook!" He has made a deal with the devil and has less than an hour to sell a car, but his plans get derailed after he brutally murders the wife of a customer who subsequently swears bloody revenge.
There is no doubt an audience for Cars 3 and for all of Hacker's work. He is popular online and the 2008 premiere of this film was hosted by none other than Patton Oswalt -- an impressive stamp of approval. But his work will only appeal to very specific tastes, which I sadly do not share. Cars 3 is everything that rubs me the wrong way about absurd-for-absurd's sake comedy; it's Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! minus the cleverness and satire. The movie has exactly one note: loud. Everyone screams. The heavy metal music is constant. Half the film features flames at the bottom of the screen. Obviously, Hacker is having fun with the idea of "extreme" cinema, but Cars 3 never really succeeds at being the thing or making fun of the thing.
The good news is that at only 38 minutes, it is never boring. It's made with energy (too much?) an ingenuity, using lots of green screen effects that have the charm of looking like they were done in someone's backyard. Of course, the film also adds in a bunch of digital scratches for that faux-Grindhouse look, which is already played out (though wasn't in 2008). It feels like a movie that set out to be a cult hit. Those can't be manufactured. They have to be discovered and created by the audience. Besides, Astron-6 is already doing this kind of thing, and better.
Troma's DVD of Cars 3 contains the short film in 1.78 anamorphic widescreen, and it's impossible to really comment on how the movie looks because of its intentional cheapness. It looks as good as it should, I suppose. The stereo audio track is acceptable; the movie's sound design is so overly busy that separating things out more might not have even made a difference. Because this is a Troma disc, there's plenty of bonus content, too, most of it focusing on Hacker's other work.
There are more short films from Bobby Hacker, including the first two installments of "Cars," plus "Dear Jesus," "Dusty Desperados" and "Squaw Talk." Your mileage on these films will depend on how much you like Cars 3. Some other of Hacker's work is showcased on the disc, including a music video for "Jesus Sandals" from a band called Mister Scoops, and another for a song called "Cutting My Dick Off" by Heart Shaped Heart, both directed by Hacker. There's a fake commercial for something called Bundo. And apparently Roy Orbison is a popular character that Hacker plays, so he's here in a short film called "Roy Orbison's Bird Shit Fetish." The trailer for Cars 3 rounds out the Bobby Hacker-related section of the bonus features.
Also included is the regular crop of "Tromatic Extras," including trailers for other Troma titles (Father's Day, Tromeo and Juliet, The Taint and more), plus the standard "Radiation March" video and a short clip advertising Troma President Lloyd Kaufman's next DVD, Sell Your Own Damn Movie!
If Cars 3 sounds like your bag but you still can't decide whether or not to pull the trigger, check out some of Bobby Hacker's stuff online. You should be able to decide pretty quickly. Fans may want to pick it up to have a bunch of Hacker's videos collected in one place. Of course, they're collected in other places, too. Like the internet.
Not for me.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 38 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Short Films
* Music Videos