Running Cool – Reviewed by Skids Poppe
Oh man, oh man. This is really bad news. Paramount has gone and done the unthinkable with a biker movie: They’ve made it good. No, strike that. I’m wrong. First off, Paramount didn’t make it. Ferd and Beverly Sebastian did. And it’s not good…It is great!
Yes, of course I’m talking about Running Cool. I admit it, I wasn’t sure this thing existed. I’d heard about. I mean, would you expect a movie about bikers to get made without me hearing about it? Don’t think so. I found out this was in the works back when they were filming, but I could never get through to the family Sebastian to follow up my leads. Then tragedy struck. Disney, that last bastion of the wonderful world of the wild, came out with a decent enough film called Running Cool. Oh, I thought to myself, this must’ve been what I heard about and the name got mixed up. Nope. I even dragged Guantanamo to see this film about Jamaican Bobsledders. He liked the action well enough, but we both knew this wasn’t the film I’d heard about. Needless to say, I was bummed.
Then, a few weeks ago, Mr. Bey and I were downing a few and ran into an old buddy of Guantanamo’s, this British guy named Fyche Tale. He rode a Triumph, but hey, we’re flexible, right? So anyway, this guy starts telling us about the best biker film he’s seen in a long time and since he’s a fan of mine (G sent him the rag monthly, until he subscribed) he wanted to know why I hadn’t reviewed it yet. I didn’t know. Obviously, the only thing I could do was get a copy of the flick and check it out, especially since this Fyche guy offered to throw a viewing party.
Well this film blew my mind. It is, without a doubt, the best biker film to come along since Dennis and Peter went for their fateful ride. Running Cool is the first film I’ve seen where the bikers are real people and care about real biker things. This shouldn’t surprise me. Actually, it didn’t; not after I saw the documentary which sort of goes along with the feature called Myth of the Modern Cowboy. This separate tape not only features interviews with the Running Cool cast and crew, but takes a real look at why we bikers are like the old west heroes and why there should be more films like this one.
Now that you know I liked it, let me tell you a bit about the film itself. Andrew Divoff (you loved him as the evil biker in 48 HRS) is Bone, a brother with a past and a conscience. He and Bear ride into town to help their friend Ironbutt save his house and the endangered wetlands behind it from evil land developers. In town, which is run by the bad guy and his son (appropriately called Hogg), Bone hooks up with Michelle (Dedee Pfeiffer. Yes; her younger sister) and sets up a run to pay off Ironbutt’s back taxes. You can probably guess there are a lot of fights and more than once the townies get the wrong impression, but when they finally come around, the townsfolk do it with style. The matronly woman craning her neck up to bite a mustard covered hot dog while astride her first bike is worth the rental price itself.
The two things which pull the entire film together, though, are Ferd and Bev. Team Sebastian wrote, produced and directed and to top it, they themselves are bikers. They even cast real bikers as extras. This film is so authentic that by the end, you want to send in a donation to help Ironbutt’s cause. Then again, that’s the message of the film: We’re family.
Skids wants to ask the Sebastians if he can be in the sequel. He promises to be real good.