Weekly Alibi

DIRECTED BY: Monte Hellman

REVIEWED: 07-17-96

Talk about an impossible-to-resist movie--this flick was produced by Roger Corman, written by Charles Willeford, directed by Monte Hellman and stars the incredible Warren Oates! Oates plays a professional cockfighter, traveling the southern states with his battling roosters. While boozing with Harry Dean Stanton one night before a big fight, Oates gets to bragging too much and Stanton insists he put his money where his mouth is. The boys set their roosters to it right there in the hotel room, and Oates' chicken gets its ass whooped, costing him a shot at the "Cockfighter of the Year" medal. Oates vows never to speak again until he wins the medal. After losing his only rooster (along with his car, trailer and girlfriend), Oates hits the comeback trail. Along the way, he visits an old girlfriend who wants him to quit cockfighting and have babies, tussles with Ed Begley Jr. on a slippery linoleum floor and straps a lot of hooks to a lot of roosters' feet. This movie is full-on politically incorrect--the cockfight sequences are, as far as I can tell, authentic--and Oates even shows his love for his girlfriend by yanking a rooster's head off and jamming it into her palm. But if you wanna see a down-and-dirty character study of a guy you'd never wanna meet, created by some authentic masters, this is the one to watch. (Embassy Home Video, 1974)

--Scott Phillips

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