tomato red: blood money (2017)

I got out here before and went on about how I like a good Western. Now – I’m no Western fanatic or purist or something of that shit – I’m from the Midwest (US) -or, really – the MidSouth – and I can appreciate movies about small towns and small town people and small town problems and I’ve probably met or hung around characters like this in my adventures. But, if we talk about Westerns I really like, I point at things like After Dark, My Sweet, Bone Tomahawk, The Proposition, Galveston, The Three Burials of Milquiades Estrada, the 3:10 to Yuma remake and even Salvation, as grim as that was. Some good TV watchin’? The Good Lord Bird and Godless are some of the best TV I’ve seen. Some things I didn’t like? In a Valley of Violence, The Hateful Eight (I fucking hated that), Kill or be Killed, and that long ass movie by Ed Harris. I don’t at all mind the old 60s and 70s Westerns but the screechy sound and pyang pyang pyang ping of bullets usually irritates me so that’s why I qualified myself as NOT a connoisseur (how many times can you guess it took me to spell that before I just let spellcheck take over??) but I do really like this kind of movie. Did I like this one? I think the best I can give is a “sure….”

As much as I’ll come out here and admit that I’m stupid, I’m really not – so I don’t need things spoon fed to me or need to be sat down and explained things. I get it. I really do. I don’t think you can actually spoil something like this because there’s no big twist ending so I’m going to talk about some things that might spill the plot a little.

So, our boy gets out of jail for knocking over a bar, promptly steals a car and gets a job at the local dog food factory. Got it, I’m on the same page. His first weekend (I think) he goes out for local beers with the new locals and gets involved with some of them locals who get loaded and snort crank. I’m still with you, been there, done that (except for the dog food factory business, I’ve done these things). Some crank snortin’ broads talk him into jumping a gate and robbin’ a real nice house – that’s getting out of my league but I’m still here. After having a look around, he gets loaded on some Tequila and promptly take a siesta – where he wakes up bound to a chair and questioned by the lovely, small girl from Ozark with a nice, red hairdo and her tuxedo wearin’ brother. I’m still listening – this sounds like a good weekend back in my late 20s. Then he has a nice, soaking bath and the real homeowners come home so they all run off barefoot and laughing and eventually all converge again in this shithole of a town called Venus Holler where “Red”‘s mom is the town whore and her brother is the – jesus how do you put this these days – the guy who is really into guys but goes around porking ladies for money. I only bring that up because it comes into being a thing later. I think.

That’s an elbow up above, not Ozark girl’s boob if you’re looking. No boobs in this one.

My point of my long paragraph up there is that, somehow, there’s a lot of shit converging in this shit town on these poor white trash, shiteating folks for one movie and – I see this is written by the guy who did Winter’s Bone – there seems to be a little too much shit going on here for this town’s own good. I don’t know too much about the fellow who wrote these two movies but I do know that even in these poor, crap Venus Hollers there’s still good to be had because – I’ve been around folks like this and maybe this is just what some producers think life is like out there but, it’s not always. You know how on Netflix EVERYONE in their teens were addicted to something in high school and were ALL bullied and / or raped or how EVERYONE sucked off the wrong guy and is shithouse mad or how EVERYONE has been prejudiced on or how EVERYONE has has killed themselves or blah blah fuck shit blah? You know, none of that shit ever really happened where I live and I don’t live in a very ‘progressive’ place. At least in my life when I was growing up anyway. (See contradictory paragraph below)

Then I was minding my own fucking business the other day, doing some tile work in my garage and listening to the basketball game on TV when they cut in and had some breaking story about how some inmates had taken a guard at the prison hostage and people were VERY concerned about delivering how it wasn’t racially motivated etc etc etc but that those inmates were upset over the conditions they’ve been living in – at the jail. At the jail. So these guys committed some sort of violent crime (this hostage taking occurred on the ‘serious offender’ ward) and they’re upset that their food was bad? Or maybe their clothes weren’t washed often enough? So – rape or murder or kidnapping or beating someone or shooting or molestation or something like that is OK as long as get what, a clean toilet in their cell? I’m sorry, but I really don’t have sympathy there.

True story: the one time I spent in jail, when I got out I was in line with these two -obviously – men having a hard life who didn’t have clothes to pick up at the ‘check out’ window because their clothes had been “destroyed”. That freaked the fuck out of me almost as much as having been in jail but, a few days later I was at work reading the newspaper and I discovered that these two fuckers were back in jail after – stomping another homeless man to death. I didn’t personally know any of these three people but I don’t think I care if their prison soup was served cold. I mean, the {STATE NAME REDACTED} county jail is NOT that prison in Brawl in Cell Block 99 where you have to sleep on broken glass and shit in a hole in the ground. That’s more reminiscent of the shitters where we played softball ten years ago.

If we try to regain our focus and shift back to this movie, everything is bleak and all hope is lost. Then, someone is a boy that likes other boys and then he’s just dead. Murdered obviously but… why again? What did I miss? Was it because of the pigs? Was it because he was bird-dogging around with someone’s woman? Or someone’s man? Was it because he stole the tuxedo shirt? Or because he liked to do hair? I still don’t know, but he’s dead and that’s just grim. Crying ensues, dramatic tension follows, free blow jobs are given and buckets of fried chicken are bought but – well – nothing is good for anything in shitty Venus Holler. Not even a free blowie. And then, it’s over, just like our lead’s career at the dog food factory. I don’t actually have those shit for brains I speak of frequently so I don’t have to have everything nice and tidy (but my OCD would thank you kindly) and clean and wrapped up and orderly but – well – this is good, ok, yeah, sure. Not everyone who lives in the trailer park is a shithouse mess.


P.S. Maybe it’s just me but I didn’t even recognize Marcella as the mom (if you’ve seen her show).

8 thoughts on “tomato red: blood money (2017)

  1. This sounds grim. From same writer or something as Winter’s Bone? Hmm. No thanks. Too grim! Why do movies have to be so grim so often? I agree – I’m from a super small town & it wasn’t horrible & depressing & grim all the time with a bunch of nasty shit happening. It was just… Meh. Nothing much ever happened.

    Oh, yes – I thought that elbow was a boob.


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    1. For real. My experiences with the small towns I spent my life in is that nothing much ever happens. Like… nothing. Maybe you sneak beers at the Kolache festival and do some kissing at the grain silo but that’s about it. Maybe. Then it’s back to either looking out a window for fun or reading your grandpa’s book about airplanes. Excitement!

      Oh! And cataloging how much rain came in!


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      1. Tragedy? Oh! Like: someone got caught in the cotton thresher bad or the VFW ran out of Canadian Club bad? I don’t think anyone will look at this besides you so I don’t have to hide too much but – in Prague, where I spent way too much time, running out of whiskey was the big one.

        If you happen to look that up one night, yep, that’s the one. The town with the shrine to the baby jesus.


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      2. Like cotton thresher bad. Well, not THAT bad. But a lot of car accidents. And drownings & fires. Plenty of people I went to school with have died since (no one from my class yet, though). I maaaaaay have looked up Prague. Looks nice, actually! Looks like my old town (but bigger – still about triple the size of where I grew up). And I love the real Prague! Probably my favorite place I’ve visited along with Barcelona. I saw the Baby Jesus, too! HA! 😁


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      3. I think lovely Prague has grown since the 70s. There’s a college not too far from there so maybe some of the Christians are blorping over. Probably to see that baby! When I used to be there, the big thing aside from the VFW was the Sonic. And the cemetery of course. And the hotel off the highway where hippies went to smoke dope and do illegal witchcraft, according to my grandpa who frequented that VFW. Oh! And, naturally, there was that one house that banned TV and the kids all fucked livestock. Right? Yep.


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      4. Hey – I only knew of one guy who fucked a cow! And he was from the OTHER town, of course. (The other town our town’s school had to combine with as that one was even smaller).


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      5. Yep. There’s always at least one animal fucker in the county. Sheep, cow, pig… those guys sure are horny. Baby Jesus would not smile upon that. Maybe the Old Testament God but not the New Testament people. Well wait, that’s not right. If you banged anything that wasn’t a woman you either got killed or banged right back in your butt. That’s it. Simple.

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