Buffalo '66

By John Saleeby
August 1, 2008


I hadn't the slightest intention of renting "Buffalo '66". I was walking around the DVD rental place emitting thunderous snorts of disgust at all things Zemekis when my eye fell on "Buffalo '66" and I decided to rent it before that crazy "Forest Gump" devotee could tear out my my other eye. I figured "Buffalo '66" would be worth a few cheap laughs on account of it starring Vince Gallo (who also wrote and directed it.) Everybody knows what a screwball Vince Gallo is - He made that crazy "Brown Bunny" that movie sophisticates make mean jokes about while all the normal people make jokes about . . . uh . . . Fuck, I don't know. Have they gotten over "Gigli" yet? So I sat down to watch this movie with the same "What the heck" attitude as when I rented Ed Wood's "Glen Or Glenda". But if "Glen Or Glenda" had the same impact on me as "Buffalo '66" I would have spent the past six years of my life walking around in high heels and an angora sweater.

"Buffalo '66" isn't just a Good Movie, "Buffalo '66" is a CLASSIC. As they used to say in CREEM, "A Certified Good 'Un, Ya Know?" I'm not just talking like this to get your attention like when I said that The Boomtown Rats were The Best Band Of The Seventies (I only blurted that last one out cause Forbis had something hanging out of his nose and I didn't want you to notice). I predict that one day millions of film fans will enjoy "Buffalo '66" while "Back To The Future" and "Who Killed Roger Rabbit" get the "I Know Who Killed Me" treatment (Found out about that one when I asked a normal person if they're still bitching about "Gigli". Say, have you heard about something called "The Village"? Whoa!).

Another big "Buffalo '66" surprise - All the other hep cats I spoke to about this wonderful "Buffalo '66" movie I had discovered had already seen it years and years ago! And I was all hot to be The Cool Guy Who Brought This Unappreciated Gem To The World's Attention. You know, like when I first heard Duff McKagen's first solo CD. I told Forbis about it hoping that maybe he'd let me write about in Acid Logic and he casually mentioned that he had been meaning to get around to writing a Motherfucking Masterpiece about "Buffalo '66" for the past five years or so. Oh, I guess he was too busy writing articles about Duran Duran video compilations and movies with long dreamy close ups of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

If "Buffalo '66" can be said to fit into any particular genre , it would qualify as a Loser Film. The Loser Film was once as prevalent a genre of American film as The Western, The Musical, and The Minstrel Show. Oh, I'm sorry, we're all supposed to pretend that we forgot all about that last one. Sorry. Despite the efforts of such Pioneeers Of Loser Film as Charlie Chaplin, Marlon Brando, Jerry Lewis, Jack Nicholson, and Woody Allen, Americans today are too insecure to view themselves as anything less than Super Human Sex Machine Martial Arts Masters and The Loser Film has gone the way of musical production numbers full of Jewish Vaudeville stars singin' 'Bout Dem Cotton Fields Back Home. Oh, I'm sorry. But, Boy, is Vince Gallo a Loser in"Buffalo '66"! If I hadn't seen that advance copy of Corey Feldman in the title role of the forthcoming "The Wil Forbis Story" I'd say he was The Biggest Loser In Movie History.

When we first see Gallo's character Billy Brown he is being released from prison. So he's happy, right? Wrong - Billy has to PEE really bad! The first few minutes of the movie are Billy running all over the city of Buffalo with his hand over his crotch, whimpering like a 'lil dog. You ever see Jason Stratham in this situation? Finally Billy runs into the first unlocked location he gets to - A Tap Dancing School. Here we find the film's other lead character, Layla, played by Christina Ricci. A lotta guys think Christina Ricci is Hot Stuff but ever since Bai Ling's nude shower scene in "The Crow" I'm kinda fucked up when it comes to movie chicks -- I'm scheduled for electro shock therapy tommorow morning, we'll see how it goes. But I must say, when we first see Ricci she is doing a little tap routine and Bouncy! Bouncy! Bouncy! There are no other words for it. It helps that she plays a total nut in this movie but we'll get to that later.

Billy finally makes it to a urinal but his winning streak continues with a big fat homo standing at the urinal next to his. So now he's can't piss! What could possibly make things worse? How about a phone call to his parents? Sure! First of all, his Mother has no idea who he is and he has to go through all this crap to remind her of the fact that she has a Son named Billy and make her understand that he is on the phone with her. Then he goes into all this stuff all about how he is calling from the "big" "fancy" "expensive" hotel where he and his Wife are staying after flying into town on a "First Class" flight. Huh? Wha? Huh?

Billy goes Psycho, kidnaps Layla, and next thing we know they are driving to Billy's Parents house in her car. But this isn't the "Last House On The Left" Young Girl Abducted By A Blood Thirsty Mad Man Melodrama that we've been set up for. First, once he finally manages to relieve that poor bladder of his Billy really isn't that bad a guy. Second, Layla doesn't seem to have any serious objection to being dragged into this situation. What else is there to do on a freezing cold afternoon in Buffalo? Go home and watch "Jerry Springer"? Cause what did Billy have in mind when he kidnapped Layla? Taking her out into the woods, raping her, killing her, and . . . I'll leave the last part up to you . . . ? No, something even sicker and even more messed up then that - He wants Layla to go to his Parent's House with him and pretend to be his Wife! It's ACTING, Layla's shot at THE BIG TIME, stick with Billy and you're going STRAIGHT TO THE TOP! And not only does Layla go along with this crazy scheme but SHE REALLY GETS INTO IT! As far as Layla is concerned that's it for the rest of the movie and probably her whole Life - She is Missus Billy Brown and it is Every Red Blooded American Girl's Dream Come True.

Billy finally works up enough nerve to knock on the front door and - God Help Us - his Parents turn out to be Ben Gazarra and Angelica Huston! That's great to put on the credits of the DVD box and get people to rent the movie but not very good for the first twenty years of Billy's Life. Mrs. Brown has a videotape of the Super Bowl in which the Bills got their asses kicked while the four of them are at the table eating a meal of tripe (See the movie, I don't want to talk about it) and Billy is aghast at what he has unleashed on the World as Layla launches into this incredibly delusional saga about how she and Billy first met. But Mrs. Brown's not paying attention - Her Super Bowl video is at the part where Bills place kicker Scott Wood is about to go for a crucial field goal. In the first of several miracles in the movie Layla is made the shut the hell up, everybody turns to watch the kick, and Wood . . . BLOWS IT!!

Mrs. Brown completely loses it and we finally learn the terrible truth about Billy's whole Life. "Thirty years I supported that team!" Mts. Brown wails "Thirty years! And the one time they won the Super Bowl I missed it cause I was having Billy!!" Yes, Billy was born the day Buffalo won the 1966 Super Bowl "I WISH I NEVER HAD HIM!!!"

But Scott Wood's failed field goal means a lot to Billy, too. As Mrs. Brown freaks out there is flashback to Billy on the phone to a bookie five years earlier. Billy bets ten thousand dollars on the Bills in the Super Bowl - To win. Then we see Billy watch Scott Wood missing the same kick in the same game - "I'm fucked!" Mickey Rourke appears as The Most Evil Bookie In Movie History to pass sentence on Billy - Since Billy can't cover his bet he will spend five years in prison instead of the guy who really did commit the crime but at least had more sense than to bet on Buffalo to win the Super Bowl "Now get the fuck out of my sight" Billy spent five years of his Life in prison for trying to make his Mom happy in the only way he knew. And what does he get for it? "I WISH I NEVER HAD HIM!!!" Oh yeah, and a plate of tripe.

So there is only one thing left for Billy to do - Once he and Layla are finished visiting his Parents Billy is going to kill Scott Wood and then blow his brains out. It is the only thing left for him to do. Or at least it was until this batty Layla fell for him. So what will Billy choose - Love or Revenge? Oh, I forgot - You've already seen it, right?

I finally figured out why you all knew about The Greatest Loser Movie Ever all this time but I only found out about it a week and a half ago - I'm out of the loop cause I'm the only guy around here who isn't as big a Loser as all you other jerks. So go ahead and make fun of me for not getting into "Buffalo '66" until July '08 - Anybody else around here been into Ida Lupino's "The Trouble With Angels" for more than forty fuckin' years? Ha! I didn't think so!


John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - jacksaleeby1@hotmail.com

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