Schlock du Jour: Ride with the Devil (1999)

Directed by Donald G. Jackson (Rollergator) “Written” by Scott Shaw.

This introductory paragraph may be an intro to the intro but I don’t care right now. Firstly, this is not the 1999 film Ride with the Devil by Ang Lee. No, far from it. Second, if I sound a little cranky throughout this review, it’s because I am. I don’t typically give anything a scathing review, but I cannot help myself this time around. This movie made me cranky in a way I haven’t felt since trying to watch a Bill Zebub “production.” (FUCK YOU, DICKSHARK!) So bear with me friends, and let’s go on a ride (with the devil). *fart noises*

I’m all for bending or breaking the rules from time to time when it comes to art. When you do it, however, you better make something that lingers, inspires, empowers, disgusts, or conjures up any emotion other than boredom. Scott Shaw makes films in a style he calls “zen filmmaking”, which means he makes films without writing them first. What this means is that his head is so far up his ass that he thinks he shits gold. He attempts to treat the film like a poem, allowing actors to ramble off whatever comes to mind for minutes at a time, and cutting to random people dancing and shit to break up the monotony. Before I even talk about RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, let me clarify that it is not art. It is instead what you get when you mix blue and brown. It is the product of someone who so badly wants to see himself in movies, and not even Scott Shaw’s ponytail or Chuck Norris calibre martial arts skills can convince me otherwise. Now lets talk about the used Q-tip of a movie that is RIDE WITH THE DEVIL.

Scott Shaw plays Daredevil Dan Dicknose, or something like that. He wakes up in Hell probably, and the devil sits behind a desk and says “get me 13 souls and you can go back to living on Earth” or some stupid shit like that. He collects them in the form of fares like he’s a cab service. You know what? Just read the synopsis off the fucking VHS box and I’ll extrapolate.

Winner of best feature film at the Idiots Who Like Terrible Shit Film Festival.

Let me break this shit down.

In 1962, Daredevil Dan Donovan (SCOTT SHAW) crashes his Taxi and is mistakenly sent to the dark abyss.

-VHS box writer

Not only is it a complete moot point that he is a daredevil (he does no stunts, not even a poorly choreographed fight) but it is never addressed that he crashes his taxi and was sent to the dark abyss. He just wakes up there (a prison cell with green lighting?) and talks to a man behind a desk.

Thirty-five years later he is given a chance by the Cryptic Princess (JULIE STRAIN) – bring her thirteen souls by dawn and he will be free.

-Person who didn’t actually watch the movie

Scott Shaw and Julie Strain don’t even meet until the end of the movie when Julie Strain is completely obliterated on more than just marijuana. Probably some mystery 90’s cocktail of pills, snortables, smokables, and inhalants called Fraggle Cock.

Donovan gets into his old Plymouth, drives through the fiery gates, and sets out on the streets of Hollywood, picking up cab fares and sending the damned and the demented where they belong.

-Writer who was paid in pizza by Scott Shaw

Fiery gates? I must have missed those. There are no gates. No fire for that matter. And are we in Hollywood? again, no way to tell. Probably Hollywood, Florida. Also we don’t see anyone sent anywhere. There is no purging of the wicked, no vanquishing of evil, no battling baddies, NOTHING.

This is 50% of the movie.

If it isn’t former penthouse pet Julie Strain attempting to improv for the camera while up to her eyeballs in nose candy, or Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman doing the same, then it’s Scott Shaw sitting silently in the car while his passengers provide very dull taxi cab confessions. That’s it. That’s the whole movie. And yes, I said Kevin Fucking Eastman.

Heroes in a half-assed…motion picture!

Aside from all this, you should know that instead of rolling credits like normal, Eastman and Strain take turns reading the credits dramatically in one of the most cringe-inducing displays of creativity I’ve ever endured, so that’s the only part I would recommend. Who doesn’t like a good endurance test?

RIDE WITH THE DEVIL was terrible in every way. Zero out of ten. I can’t wait to watch my next Scott Shaw disaster.

-Elliot Ian Ross

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