Monday, July 14, 2008

Cast Your Friends: Deliverance (1972)

Do you ever cast your friends in the movies you watch? Anytime there's a group of guys hanging out, that's when my friends' faces start popping up on screen. Apparently, my friends and I have such specific personality types, all so different from one another, that Hollywood producers use us for models of male friendship.

My friends Taylor, Brad, Ryan, and I make up our core group. Taylor gets cast as the smart guy who always speaks as the voice of reason. You know, the one most likely to survive. Brad plays the manly-man who'll punch a bird out of the sky if he's hungry. Ryan's the cool, quiet guy whose funeral the rest of the group reunite to attend. I swear, Ryan's character almost always dies within the first fifteen minutes.

I'm the clown, the one who keeps everyone's spirits up...sometimes at the expense of the group's safety. Taylor's character tells me to stop fooling around, Brad's character threatens to stab me with the spear he's just carved out of a pine tree, and Ryan...well, he doesn't say anything; he's dead.

Usually these movies are comedies, sometimes light dramas, Edward Burns' filmography comes to mind. So does Without a Paddle, sadly. Apparently everyone else got the memo to wait for a DVD release, as I was completely alone in the theatre. Anyway, last night, I watched Deliverance. I know what you're thinking. Please don't tell me you cast your friends in Deliverance. Well, I couldn't help it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Deliverance, here's a quick synopsis. A group of friends decide to take a canoe trip down the Cahulawassee River before a dam is put into place which will turn it into a giant lake. Along the way, a group of toothless rednecks decide to terrorize them.

Here's a breakdown of the main characters. Jon Voight plays the heroic everyman. When placed into a crazy situation, he rises to the occasion and kicks some major ass. Unlike other "Ryan" characters, he actually lives past the first fifteen minutes. Burt Reynolds, seen here without a mustache, is the manly-man who takes out anything from halibut to hillbillies with his bow and arrow. He's the "Brad" character.

The "Taylor" character is played by Ronny Cox. He's the guy who's way too intelligent to be rafting down Georgian rivers with overall-wearing rednecks hiding in the bushes. Ned Beatty plays the "Me" character. He whines at the first sight of outdooriness and would rather just hang out at home than float down white-water rapids in an aluminum gravy boat.

Everything's going fine. Then I get raped.

You clicked on that link, didn't you? Well, either way, this movie gets pretty crazy for a mainstream thriller from the early 70s. It's nothing compared to the gruesomeness and gag-reflex inspiring antics of Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave but it's an attention-grabber throughout.

One of the strongest points the film makes is not to generalize all people from the South as backwood booty burglars and to point out that Southern hospitality still exists even when chubby, curly-haired guys get molested amidst God's wilderness. Bastards.

What I learned last night was that while casting your buddies in a movie might seem fun, sometimes people get hurt...anally. Let's keep the casting up to the professionals, shall we?


Lunatone said...


elgringo said...

Thank you.

Laura Hart said...

I didn't click on the link, actually, until AFTER you jeered "You clicked it, didn't you?"

I thought, "hm, what's the worst that Scott could post on here?"

Well let me just tell you, I'm going to pinch you next time I see you for that awful, awful image and the even worse subtitles.

I'm deeply disturbed right now and don't like that I really could have saved myself from that :P

I still love you though!

Nageoire said...

Just after the "Scott" character gets raped, what happens to the rest of the crew? Do the other characters get...taken advantage of?

Note: Please do not post a link to a picture of the "Taylor" character (or any other characters) getting raped. Just in case that crossed your mind. Your first photo link summed it up.

"Photoshop" + Old Wrestling Photos + 2 hours of free time = Evil

whitney said...

Hang on, is taylor saying that he just photoshopped you into that rape picture? Because that's something I don't necessarily want to see.


Keith said...

FYI: Southern hospitality is actually a myth. Every single place below the Mason-Dixon is exactly like Deliverance, all the time. Sometimes worse. (Or better, depending on your point of view...)

elgringo said...

Taylor - don't worry, I'm the only one who gets raped. I'm ALWAYS the ONLY one who gets raped. The world's a sad place.

Laura - You know you loved it.

Whitney - You know you'd love it.

Keith - I believe you completely. Not wanting to offend my readers form the South, I pretended not believe the rumors so rampantly told across Californian dinner tables. Then I realized that they couldn't read anyway...what was I worrying about?

Daniel said...

lol, what a FREAKY movie to cast your friends in. A great movie, too. Way to take one for the team.

Megan said...

I used to have a huge crush on Burt Reynolds...

And he would be the first to tell you to get rid of the comment verification...

elgringo said...

Ned Beatty would be the first to tell you: ASK AND YE SHALL RECIEVE! No more comment verification!

Fox said...

El G, I just wanted to say that I liked that you have "rape" as one of your labels. Well... I don't like it, but it's something you don't see too often and it made me chuckle.

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