Every family knows of an event where a family member saw or did something that was completely horrendous, and the mention of that event will either bring lots of laughter or lots of tears.
Rancho Deluxe is that event for my family.
What is Rancho Deluxe? It's a movie. But it's not just any movie. It's the movie that is known in my family as being the standard of bad movies.
When my grandfather could still make it out to the movies with us, if we happened to see a real stinker, he'd always say, "Well, at least that was better than Rancho Deluxe."
Went to a bad play or a terrible concert? Inevitably we were asked, "Was it better than Rancho Deluxe?"
Had a bad day at school or work? "Was it worse than sitting through Rancho Deluxe?"
This movie is so bad that we thought it was called "Ranchero Deluxe" for about 20 years, because we never bothered to look it up.
And after several decades of hearing about how terrible this movie is, I came across it on NetFlix while browsing the On Demand movie titles. Since I needed material for the blog, I had no choice but to attempt to watch it.
The movie is only an hour and a half long, but not a single person in my family made it past the 30 minute mark. My mom watched 0 minutes of it - her excuse was that seeing it once was enough for her. (She and my dad walked out of the theater when they saw it for the first time.) My dad fell asleep about 15 minutes in. And Betty probably saw 5 minutes of it before checking Facebook on her phone then curling up on the couch.
As for me, I watched 30 minutes of it, then zoned out for another 15. I guess that makes me the champ of our Rancho Deluxe night.
So what makes this movie so bad? Here are a few terrible things that I saw in the first 30 minutes of the movie:
1. The movie starts out with two drifters going to a ranch, shooting a cow, then using a chain saw to cut the cow up. They give the meat to their landlord as a good faith payment on their rent. (Or something like that. It was hard to concentrate, it being such a crappy movie and all.)
2. There's a sex scene where Jeff Bridges (of Big Lebowski, Crazy Heart and Tron fame) puts on a red dog mask while making love out in the woods, then (while still naked and wearing his mask) gets chased by the girl through the woods after she freaks out once she sees it. This was the only highlight of the movie since there's boobage.
3. There's a scene where a female landowner shoots a gun in the air, yells at two guys in suits, then puts on a record and starts to slow dance with both guys.
4. Jeff Bridges wears a polka dotted hat that looks like my wife's travel kit.
5. Sam Waterston is in it, and they keep calling him an Indian or something. Again, it was hard to concentrate.
If you have a NetFlix subscription, some extra time this weekend, and maybe a few extra beers in the fridge, I suggest that you create your own Rancho Deluxe drinking game. Invite a bunch of friends to your house, stream the movie on NetFlix, and every time one of your friends falls asleep, take a sip. Then draw a wang on your friend's face with a marker and write "Rancho Deluxe" in it.
Just remind whatever person wakes up with 10 dirty images inked on their face: at least getting drunk, passing out and getting marker-tattooed with dongs is better than actually sitting through Rancho Deluxe.