If you live under a rock like I do, then perhaps this is the first time you’ve heard of the “Epic Beard Man” meme and its origins. The Youtube video of an altercation between a 67 year-old white man and a 40-something black man on a bus, which culminates in the older man punching the younger man several times in the face, has scored nearly 5,700,000 hits and become an internet meme.
So naturally there was a movie cash-in.
Parody director Craig Moss (Saving Ryan’s Privates, Breaking Wind) made a feature length movie based on the incident, starring Danny Trejo, Charles S. Dutton and Ron Perlman. The original video was only three minutes long and didn’t have much in the way of plot, so the film is about a Vietnam war veteran who has to solve his best friend’s murder by … beating up a lot of people, I guess. And hijacking a bus. Because there was a bus in the video.
The slightly awkward racial issues raised by the “Epic Beard Man” video have been cleaned up a little for the film, so that instead of beating up a black guy, Epic Beard Man protects a black guy from two white racists.
The second trailer for the film has been released via Apple.
The film sells itself as an “action-comedy”, but it’s difficult to see the humour in it. If you found the original video funny, then perhaps you’ll be tickled to see quotes and excerpts re-enacted by Danny Trejo and co. Personally, I don’t get too much of a chuckle from seeing someone lying on the floor bleeding just because he happens to mispronounce the word “ambulance”.
Still, it’s Danny Trejo beating people up whilst wearing a fanny pack. Worse things have appeared on a cinema screen.