Directed by Eric Till. Canada. 2002.
Red Green's Duct Tape Forever
The Girl's Say...
Review by Jen
You lot down in the U.S. have had your fun with famous vehicles. You've had your Batmobile, your K.I.T., and your ECTO-1. Now it's our turn. Yes, it's time for you to make room in between Wolverines' motorcycle and the Pink Panther's limousine for the penultimate in Canadian vehicles.
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It may not be pretty, it may not go fast, it may not have been safety inspected in over 15 years, but it does feature over 50% duct tape.... POSSUM-1!!!
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Duct Tape Forever is the premiere leap on to the screen for our favourite Canadian handyman, Red Green. Red, nephew Harold, and the Possum Lodge gang have their home away from home (conveniently located 145 beer stores north of Toronto) threatened when an angry businessman sues the lodge members for damages caused to his limousine while stuck in Possum Lake's famous sinkhole. Things don't go well for our heroes in court, and they find themselves having to put together $10,000 in order to keep their beloved lodge. At a meeting to plan a strategy to save their meeting place (rife with ideas like marketing an educational potato gun, and selling roadkill on E-Bay) nephew Harold comes up with the perfect idea; the members should enter a duct tape festival. All they'll have to do is build a structure that's over 50% duct tape, and take home third place; a cheque large enough to pay off the court imposed fines, and keep their sanctuary.
Steve Smith (TV's Smith and Smith Comedy Mill, Sherlock: Undercover Dog) stars as Red Green, Canada's advocate for duct tape ("The handyman's secret weapon"). Smith is truly a Canadian institution, for his genial performances cause the majority of the country to stop movement every time The Red Green Show comes on TV. Stop any Canadian on the street at random, ask their opinion on this show, and you'll get one of two definite reactions:
"I don't find him funny".
It's true enough that Smith's brand of humour may not appealto all audiences, but one thing is certain; everyone knows who Red Green is.
Patrick McKenna (Trudeau, TV's Traders) plays the loveable bungler Harold. Here (in my estimation) is the next Canadian talent bound to be HUGE south of the border as soon as the right casting director sees him. He's got tremendous dramatic talent, (amply proven in each performance on Traders) but it's his Harold that demonstrates MacKenna's ability to make you laugh hysterically, with spot on timing and incredible delivery. He's our answer to David Hyde Pierce (TV's Frasier).
Usually, with most films out there, a theme can be found throughout the audience members. For Crossroads, you found the seats occupied by a majority of young teenage girls who came to watch the girl they adore, and long to emulate. With Jerry Maguire you found a theatre full of men who would rather be at a dinner with the in-laws, and enraptured women staring fish-like at Tom Cruise. (Though I was sitting alone, I must admit I did fall into the fish-like staring classification.) But it was much different here. The motley crew assembled to see Duct Tape Forever was an incredibly diverse group. It ranged from the fairly normal, (myself and Mark, my theatre going companion) to the somewhat exuberant, (a portly gentleman who kept repeating the amusing lines at top volume whilst slapping his knee with a contraband soda container) to the absolutely bizarre. (Two young men who came dressed head to toe in duct and caution tape. Caution tape shirts, duct tape hats....) Watching everyone who came into the theatre I found myself wondering who would be next to enter.... Maybe someone dressed as Edgar? (Possum Lodge's resident explosive expert) Maybe Mike? (The local thief) Or perhaps even Ranger Gord...(The lonely forest ranger aka The great one sided love of my life, Pete Keleghan.) It's true that the boys from Possum Lodge are a strange and bizarre bunch. To be fair though, we Nova Scotians are a strange and bizarre bunch. But we, like they, will always welcome all into our theatre showing Duct Tape Forever (currently playing 4 times a day), stand together before the credits roll, and bow our heads for Red Green's Man's prayer:
all together now
"I'm a man. But I can change. If I have to. I guess."
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The Boy's Say...
Review by Mark Fougere
Possum Lodge is in jeopardy!! The loyal lodge members need to raise $10,000 in 10 days, or they risk losing it. After mulling over such ingenious fund-raising ideas as an educational potato gun for kids, auctioning road kill, and (my personal favourite) marketing urinal cakes as breath mints for dogs, they come up with a plan. There is a duct tape sculpture competition in Minneapolis, and, realizing that they don't have the brain power to create a first place entry, they set their sights on the bronze. A third place win will land them the money they need to keep their cabin out of the hands of an American business developer. So, the boys from Possum Lodge set out for Minneapolis with their hopes riding on a 30 foot duct tape goose with functioning wings. With scenes involving the crude removal of lodge member Harold from the colon of said duct tape goose, and an incident involving a sopping wet hotel room floor, a vibrating bed, and two extremely uptight men, those that aren't laughing from start to finish are from another country.
When the average person thinks of Red Green, you think of goofy Canadian comedy, and actor Steve Smith (in his most recognizable role as the head of Possum Lodge) doesn't disappoint, drawing all his fans in to the theatre to watch as he leads his troops/drinking buddies into a patriotic battle:
The beer drinking, poutine eating men of Possum Lodge
Corporate America (aka business developer Robert Stiles)
When you see Smith lead his friends into this skirmish and come out on top, you can go home, and confidently grab a little more of the 1/1000000 of the blanket that you are currently permitted to have (provided that you don't wake the wife of course).
With Red, comes his nephew Harold (played to bumbling perfection by Patrick McKenna). Duct Tape Forever was about so much more than just a sculpture competition, or saving Possum Lodge, for it gave fans of the show a chance to see dweeby Harold acquiring some testicular fortitude on his way to becoming a guys man. When watching the show, you really can't help but feel sorry for the guy blessed with all the mojo of a sleepy Jean Chretien, (our prime minister), which is demonstrated in the presence of any female whatsoever. Instead of say, asking an attractive girl her name, his nervousness overwhelms him, causing him to emit noises that sound like a cross between a very poorly played accordion and a pig in the final throes of death. As he has always done on The Red Green Show and continues to do in Duct Tape Forever McKenna makes his Harold look natural. Hopefully, Americans watching this film will take note, that yes, even up here in the land of big snow, we have actors that are so multi talented they leap from the field of drama (Miniseries Trudeau) to slapstick comedy without missing a step.
Supporting these two cult favourites is an amazing cast of supporting Canadian comic legends; like Dave Proudfoot, and the Royal Canadian Air Farce. But fear not loyal Red Green fans, for found also within the boundaries of this film is Edgar, (Graham Green Dances With Wolves) the explosive, potato gun, welding expert lodge member who firmly believes that there are no problems which can't be fixed with a few sticks of dynamite. Ranger Gord (Pete Keleghan Ginger Snaps) is also here, the man who spent 16 lonely years in a fire watch tower in the middle of nowhere, and has now been given a more earthly post thanks to a slight mishap involving 500000000 burned trees and a pocket warmer.
After eleven seasons of this sitcom, a leap to film needed to be calculated and tactful, if it was to get across the all important message of: "I am Man, here me speak at an above average volume".
Smith has succeeded admirably.
So, it is your patriotic duty as Canadians to go to your theatre, and bask
in the glory of this comedic genius; ponder the border crossing signs outlining
to Americans attempting to cross that their beer is not welcome in our
country, and sincerely hope to yourself, in the quiet of a darkened theatre
that "If the women don't find you handsome, they might at least find you
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