Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WTF?!? Ruckus Revisited


In a distant installment, I extolled the virtues of a movie filmed in and around my hometown of Woodland, California. Well, not actually, but I did remember mentioning that I wanted to obtain a copy of the DVD version of the movie so that I could hear the audio commentary and find out a few answers- Why the hand sweep movement? Why so few women in the town? What did Linda Blair think about Woodland? And most importantly- WHY?????



First off, this was a chance to view the movie yet another time in a situation in which I could concentrate on its brilliance without trying to find the Woodland area shooting locations. This was also another chance to see if I was overly harsh about the film and whether I had gotten anything wrong. There were a few things that I had missed; Dirk Benedict’s character does introduce the sweeping hand movement earlier in the film than I had previously remembered; I might have been taking a nap when he initially gives this signal to Linda Blair’s character who is hiding him from the Pickup Truck posse. And there were a few more women in the movie than I had remembered; during the Burger Window scene, a few women can be seen milling around in the background. These women who I missed previously bring the total population of women in the town to something like 12 or so. My apologies.


So, what mysteries are solved in the DVD commentary? Well, the trio of Director/Writer Max Kleven, Actress Linda Blair and Actor Dirk Benedict do not apologize for the film as might be expected. In fact, they seem quite satisfied with their little film and hold out hope that this DVD release could spawn interest in an all-important Ruckus sequel. Really. They feel that if the movie had been given a chance initially it would have been bigger. I will admit that the film did not get an adequate release, but I find it hard to believe that this would have made a difference in its success. Although, I could be wrong. After all, wasn’t “The Dukes of Hazzard” a huge success at this time?I think that the biggest disappointment for me was the lack of any juicy Woodland stories. Sure, Linda Blair does mention Woodland at the beginning of the movie. There’s also the Knight’s Landing reference midway through, but for the most part they do not reveal anything of interest. Well, Mr. Kleven does say that he wrote the movie around the locations that he found and that seems correct. When I look around here, I too would probably be inspired to write something about overzealous yokels. Or maybe not.



So, while I do not regret getting the Ruckus DVD, it would have been great to hear something about Woodland. (It could have brought some insight into why nobody here at the time remembers the movie.) Maybe everyone just took a nap that month. The mystery continues!