directed by John De Hart
Call it what you want. Get Even. Road to Revenge. It’s all the inexplicable product of one Mister John De Hart, director slash lead actor slash producer slash soundtrack artist(?) who crafted the trash classic that features cops, ex cops, devil worshippers and people who come back from the dead. De Hart filmed most of the film in 1992, and actually shelled out a few dollars to hire B film and television pros William Smith (Strelnikov from Red Dawn and my favorite, Captain Devlin from Hell Comes to Frogtown) and Wings Hauser, then returned to the film a decade later to add to it. Those of you looking up in the air and trying to figure out why the name Wings Hauser sounds familiar, let me give you a hint. His son is the Cole Hauser, who rocked as Benny in Dazed and Confused and rolled as Billy in Good Will Hunting, not to mention Pitch Black. Anyway, De Hart’s tale of love and revenge hardly qualifies as competent; De Hart’s acting even less so, but salty dogs like Hauser and Smith carry the film in ways that make it almost more ludicrous than such excellently terrible films like The Room or Birdemic. Part of the beauty of The Room is its universal incredulity, the uniformity of its awfulness, but the surreally strange combo in Get Even keeps your eyes fixed on the bizarre happenings on the screen. Hell, from a technical standpoint, some of the film could almost be construed as acceptable. What’s unacceptable, however, is De Hart’s wardrobe. In how many social situations are leather pants not a good idea? Give Get Even a look for the answer to that question. One of my favorite costume elements comes in the beginning of the film when De Hart, Hauser and Smith are preparing a raid on a drug den, and each of them are wearing leather jackets with the letters LAPD clearly spray painted on the back. Of course, I can’t simply avoid commenting on the scene in which De Hart gets on stage at the local bar to sing his signature song, Shimmy Slide. If you can make it through that sequence without looking away, then congrats, because from then on no social situation will ever seem too awkward to endure. Personally, I am partial to the dentist drill duet called I’ll Be There, also painfully warbled by De Hart.
The Burton will be replaying this film soon, so those of you itching to join a film cult will have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. If James Nguyen can grow a following for Birdemic with a bloody van and a dash of optimism, then we Detroiters can grow a following for a far superior trash treasure. Let’s get our cult film on, people! Get out there and Get Even, you son of a biiii…!