[Schlock Chuggers is an ode celebrating the wacky, strange, obscene, and vulgar in which members of Flixist and Destructoid drink heavily, watch trashy movies, and talk about it. Any suggestions? Feel free to drop them in the comments!]
Who doesn’t love a good revenge story? A dead brother, a city crippled by an underlord kingpin, and a hero who’s returned to find the place he once loved in ruins. The underdog rises to reclaim his throne. It’s electrifying, exhilarating, and 2011s The FP dances on that formula’s grave, giving it the most modern of updates. Written, directed by, and starring Jason Trost, this film has pagers, beepers, pay phones, and most importantly DDR.
Of course, they don’t have the rights to DDR, so their dance game is called Beat Beat Revelation. Our eye-patched hero, JTRO watches his brother, BTRO die on the dance pad and vows to never dance again. He flees the town and becomes a logger (as you do) until an old pal, KCDC tracks him down and convinces him to pick up his boots once more in a strange satire that’s often more uncomfortable than it is funny, but no matter what The FP is one hell of a spectacle.
I have Kevin Mersereau from the DTOID to help me unpack this bizarre creation, so hopefully your resident bald boys can survive this beat off and not get 187’d or accidentally drink meth on the mean streets of Frazier Park.
That Part Where BTRO Dies Dancing
The opening sequence shows BTRO and a mohawked, grill wearing pyscho named L Dubba E going head-to-head on the dance pads. Suddenly, BTRO falls right before his brother’s eyes. He still kicks, trying to dance in his final death throes. It appears he’s having some sort of heart attack, but then the machine’s screen shows 187. Was he murdered? By the machine? By L Dubba E? No one knows, and this question is never answered.
Kyle: I have to say that, for a movie in which people are killed on the dance mat, you’d expect some gymnastics, some of that unbelievable footwork you can see from DDR videos on YouTube, all handstands and shit. These dudes shuffle the same way I do playing on the lowest difficulty at the arcade, right before a six-year-old girl replaces me on the machine and nabs perfect scores on both pads, making me feel like a damn fool.
Kevin: I’d argue that the footwork is about on par with the quality of every single other aspect of the movie. It’s terrible, but that’s kind of the point. Although, I wouldn’t have complained about seeing a little Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo-style theatrics. That shit never gets old.
Kyle: The FP also holds its street cred beautifully with its flashing 187 on the screen--a number of course made famous by gangster rappers as the number used by the California Penal Code for murder. Who knew that a DDR machine could kill someone and then gloat about it?
Kevin: Hate the player, not the game. In this world, these are highly-trained dancers who know how serious the stakes are. Beat Beat Revelation is merely the battlefield, Kyle. If anything, I wanted to see more of that beautiful, flashing, Lite Brite-inspired 187. If I remember correctly, there were only two dance-related deaths in the whole movie. What the hell is up with that?
Kyle: In the movie’s defense, that’s two more people than have ever died playing DDR, so you can only kill so many people before the audience’s willing suspension of disbelief is ruined.
That Part Where JTRO Trains by Dancing in Tires
Since L Dubba E and his gang now control the FP, JTRO is convinced to return and try to reclaim glory and peace for the city. Under the expert tutelage of BLT, he can regain his skills and become even better than his brother.
Kyle: In order to be the very best, every hero needs a montage. This one is--well, very stupid. Pushing a car will not make you better at DDR, no matter how many times someone calls you a bitch, moons you, or throws used condoms at your face. I’ve already tried. It just won’t happen.
Kevin: I’m convinced that there must be some sort of method to the madness. When JTRO first arrives at that rundown shithole for his training, he’s told to sleep outside in a tent. Gradually, he works his way up the ladder of trust to the point where his mentor allows him to sleep on one of the trash-covered couches. By enduring all of these humiliating acts, he eventually proved himself to be worth more than the weeks-old literal garbage he bested. Eat your heart out, Mr. Miyagi. This is how it’s done.
That Part Where JTRO Accidentally Drinks Meth
Because of politics, L Dubba E refuses to face JTRO until he earns some street cred, so he and his crew make it to a backyard party where he’s set to beat off against a weird Russian kid named Triple Decka 1K, who plays dirty. A woman hands JTRO a drink that he thinks is beer, but nope! It’s meth, of course.
Kyle: Don’t do meth, kids. Of course, making meth has been seen as the sexy science of dweebs who need to pay for medical treatment since Breaking Bad, but even Walter White never made liquid meth.
Kevin: That scene was great because I had no clue what the fuck was going on. The camera starts dipping in and out of reality, but somehow, JTRO still manages to crush his opponent due to sheer muscle memory. This is where all that hard, montage-induced car pushing and used condom target practice finally came into play. JTRO didn’t need frivolous things like the ability to think to win the day.
Kyle: So, I decided to check Google to see if liquid meth is real, and apparently it is, but I don’t think it wasn’t invented until after this movie was made, so score one to The FP for predicting the future.
Kevin: Well, I think it’s technically alcohol spiked with methamphetamines, but the message still rings true. The FP is truly a prophetic masterwork, and it’s clearly only a matter of time until we’re all dancing to the death over trailer park rivalries. This is our generations’ Brave New World.
Kyle: I have to politely disagree. Not with the Brave New World comparison, which is apt, but KCDC clearly states earlier in the film that because bad dude L Dubba E owns the only liquor store in town, all the drunks are turning to meth. A close reading of the film would dictate that this means all the desperate alcoholics got degrees in chemistry and learned to liquefy meth into a drinkable substance. Next time pay attention to the movie, please.
That Part Where JTRO and L Dubba E Have a Dancing Cage Match Showdown
Now, to reclaim the FP and run his brother’s maybe-killer out of town, JTRO has to beat off in a best-of-three Beat Beat Revelation match. The first round goes to shit-talking L Dubba E, and the second goes to JTRO. For the third round, naturally the stakes are raised. This time two gates come up, and they’re in a cage. Since they’re standing on dance pads, though, this changes nothing.
Kevin: It’s not even really a cage because they could easily have climbed out of the other two sides whenever they felt like it, but the spectacle still certainly lends an aspect of gravity. These are two of the dumbest people alive, who believe everything that bright, flashing lights tell them, and they have been training for literal minutes for the opportunity to prove that they are better than their rivals at a video game. The stakes have never been higher.
Kyle: That sounds like exactly the sort of dystopian hell modern esports are dragging us toward. Let’s hope The FP doesn’t predict the future twice.
Kevin: Don’t fight it, baby boy. This is our destiny. Give me a few more drinks, and I’ll gladly start throwing used condoms at your face to kick off events. Also, modern esports can’t hold a candle to the kind of white trash, millennial-inspired drivel on display here. This shit is magic.
Kyle: This is a hell of a ride with a lot of bizarrely quotable dialogue that you can’t really say these days without risking your job, family, and future. Half of your laughs are with the movie, and the other half are in shock that people attached their actual names to this. I do, however, love the subplot concerning the fact that a city without drunks is a city without bums, and a city without bums has no one to feed the ducks, and what’s a city without ducks? Stay tuned after the credits to see how that plays out!
Kevin: If Twitter ever realizes that The FP is a thing that exists, they are going to spend at least forty-three minutes discussing why it’s “problematic,” and those anonymous avatars will proclaim from their almighty towers that this has no right to exist, without even taking the time to realize that it’s a legitimately hilarious movie. It’s easily one of the most offensive things I’ve seen in a minute, but it’s heart is in the right place. If you can stomach it, you’re in for a deliciously terrible treat.