There was a time back in the 80s when the Fat Boys were HUGE. I don’t mean that as a pun, I just mean that the dudes put out some quality rap albums. Kool Rock Ski and Prince Markie Dee did that great back-and-forth rap while Buffy…well…I mean the man was called The Human Beat-Box for a reason. Their music was just a little more… fun I always thought. I played the cassette tape to Crushin’ to death, basically because I loved the Fat Boys version of Wipeout.
These days when you think of 80’s rap you probably think of Kool Mo Dee, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys…that list may go on and on but I really feel like the Fat Boys aren’t given the respect that they earned. Just because they could be a bit silly didn’t mean they were a novelty. They were the real deal.
When Krush Groove came out the Fat Boys were definitely the best part of the movie. Out of all the great music from that flick all I truly remember is their All You Can Eat. After Krush Groove Run-DMC went on to do the little seen Tougher Than Leather and the Fat Boys went on to Disorderlies. This was one that I actually got to see in theaters because as a kid I still loved hip hop and totally loved the Fat Boys. Leather was rated R, Disorderlies was PG-13 – so I got to see the Fat Boys.
The thing you realize as you rewatch films like Krush Groove and Disorderlies is that the Fat Boys are NOT good actors. But they have amazing charisma and immense charm. It is a lot of fun to watch them. The films don’t showcase their acting but does capture their natural talent.
The film is directed by Michael Schultz who also directed Krush Groove (and Car Wash. And Cooley High. And The Last Dragon. We’ll…..ignore the Bee Gees Sgt. Pepper movie). The Fat Boys just star as themselves: Kool, Markie, and Buff who work as orderlies in an old folks home in New York City. They aren’t very good orderlies and basically just mess around all day.
In Florida an obsessive compulsive gambler named Winslow (Anthony Geary) has just lost more money and is now in to a loan shark for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The loan shark is quite impatient and is ready to start breaking legs. The thing is Winslow is a nephew of millionaire Albert Dennison (Ralph Bellamy). Albert is OLD. I mean old old. Problem is the old man won’t kick the bucket. Winslow thinks that the orderlies that work him are too good and have them fired. Reading an article in USA Today on the worst nursing home in America, Winslow travels to New York.
Who works there? Of course it is the Fat Boys. After getting caught eating something like 37 cakes the Fat Boys end up fired…and subsequently rehired to travel to Florida. The hope is that the three are so inept that they’ll kill the old man.
Thing is…Winslow’s plan probably could have worked. The guys are a bunch of idiots. It’s basically dumb luck that they don’t end up killing him though they come pretty damn close multiple times.
So the film is basically a fish out of water story as the guys move into the huge mansion with the nearly all white staff and try to take care of Albert – who doesn’t exactly like the look of the trio.
What I liked as a kid about this film (and still do as an adult) is that it is basically a toned down Three Stooges movie. From the silly script to the way the guys smack each other it just reeks of a Stooges short. This is in no way a bad thing. I think it comes off great. The film is a comedy and therefore also separates itself from all of the other hip hop flicks from the 80’s. The guys don’t get too violent with each, not like the Stooges did. The Stooges used to beat the shit out of each other. But if you put Disorderlies next to the 2012 Farrelly Brothers Three Stooges film I say the Disorderlies has it beat in both story and tone.
There’s the trailer…and it actually references The Three Stooges quite a bit. So it was all intentional. But they pull it off swimmingly. Even though the guys are a bunch of screwups they actually get the old man up and about. Winslow’s plan utterly fails so he then has to resort to trying to kill Albert and make it look like the Fat Boys did it. This goes on and on, getting worse and worse, until the climax of the film.
Look…this film is not winning any awards. And as the Fat Boys are ALWAYS on-screen you will consistently notice that they are not actors. They are acting against Anthony Geary who is probably one of the most famous soap stars of all time. You can say Bellamy is no slouch in the acting department but the old man did not give a great performance in this. The role was one of his last and, let’s face it, he got upstaged by the Fat Boys. He did seem like he was having a good time.
Know what I love about this film? It’s PG-13 and there’s naked women in it. Buck naked. Ahhhhh….the 80’s. It was just a different time.
The Fat Boys don’t sit there and bust out raps the entire film but there is a sequence where they decide to make a music video and launch into the song “Baby You’re a Rich Man.” It’s fun I’ll give it that much. The whole movie is pretty fun. Throw in some cameos by The Beach Boys and Ray Parker, Jr and it is fun for the entire family. Except for the naked chicks I guess.
I can’t wait to rewatch all these 80’s hip hop movies and give my thoughts…but I had to watch Disorderlies first. Because it is still awesome. And Fat Boys? I know Buff is gone but….You can always get back together. Do a few shows. I’d be out in the crowd.
And…just because…here’s Markie’s solo Bounce joint you never heard…but you should have heard…because it samples Kool and the Gang and it is amazing…