With just days to go before the Privilege Grant winners are announced, I am a bit floored with work, but not so much so that I can’t watch a few movies here and there. I forget exactly how Range 15 came to my attention, but I ordered it months ago and it’s been sitting on my mantle since then. I’m not the hugest fan of zombie movies in general, but the backstory on this film had me intrigued.
According to Wikipedia (not the greatest source to be sure), the film is the 4th highest crowd-funded film on Indiegogo, and is a collaboration between two veteran-run apparel companies: Ranger Up and Article 15 Clothing. The guys were originally disgusted by how much Hollywood consistently got wrong when it came to portraying the military – everything from inaccurate uniforms and weaponry to the depiction of personnel as meathead Neanderthals without personalities or thoughts of their own. So, like military-minded men tend to do, they decided to find a solution and created a movie of their own.
The plot is not what you would call sophisticated – a plane crashes and unleashes a killer virus that turns people into zombies and a group of veterans wake up in a drunk tank with the mission to save the world. But here is what makes the film so funny, and such a great watch:
To accomplish that mission, the filmmakers essentially treated the script like a behind-the-scenes look at the way soldiers behave when they’re at war, which means it’s steeped in political incorrectness and gallows humor. Put it this way: If you’ve ever served in, say, an infantry platoon, prepare to laugh your ass off. If you’ve ever attended a PETA protest and/or enjoy the smell of patchouli, prepare to hate the shit out of this film.
The trailer has been viewed on YouTube almost 250K times.
If, like me, you have no military experience of any kind, some of the film is perplexing. Why do the Army guys like challenge coins so much? Why can they not open gates very easily? Why are the heroes mad that they need keys to drive a hummer? Why is everyone obsessed with who the second fattest guy is and who he might sleep with? And what is with all the gay shit?
Don’t get me wrong – I am precisely the sort of immature asshole who laughs uproariously at dick jokes, but this was super gay, even for me! The administration of the cure rectally was, uh …. pretty gay. Aside from all the inexplicable homo eroticism, however, there are some cruelly hilarious moments that had me on my knees laughing.
My absolute favorite part is when Mat Best throws car keys to the Colonel’s daughter, who is missing both her hands and most of her arms. “Coming in live” he hollers and then tosses them, and of course the keys hit the ground after bouncing off her chest. The monologue then cuts between the Colonel and Best talking and the hapless, armless daughter trying to pick up the keys, which is understandably a bit of a challenge.
Yes, I’m a dick. Yes, I laughed. The ‘actress’ is a combat veteran who lost her arms in horrific circumstances. Her story is actually quite interesting:
I got sort of quasi-engaged at the end of high school. My fiancé, for lack of better term, asked me to marry him and asked me to wait a year, so I lost my scholarship. We were at dinner with his parents one night, and his mom and I were in the kitchen cooking. His mom is like the woman’s woman. She cooks, she cleans, she sews, she works, she’s got 14 kids—not all of them are hers. The first wife died and she took over the family, and she is just unstoppable. That’s my nightmare. I’ve never wanted to settle down and have kids and a white picket fence or anything like that. While we were chopping vegetables, she said to me, “Don’t worry, Mary, I’ll train you to be the perfect housewife!” I joined the army two weeks later.
Mary ended up on the bomb crushing crew aka Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and hugged an IED when it detonated, losing her limbs in the process. Not exactly the wilting violet, cuddling a teddy in her safe space crybaby that modern feminists would like you to believe represents most women.
Mary’s friends shower her with T-Rex shirts, which I find as hilarious as this movie. You can now download the film at the Range 15 website, something I highly recommend! It’s kind of neat that I made a whole post about men who made a film to counter inaccurate depictions of military men and raised a ton of money (probably mostly from other men) about a woman, but I’m going to accept the inevitable criticism and let it stand.
Mary earned her stripes. One of the other female characters earns her demise in quite a satisfying way. You’ll have to watch the film to see what I mean.
Ultimately, the Range 15 guys earned their stripes, too.
Show them some love and download their movie.
You won’t regret it.
Lots of love,