Making His Own Damn Movies



Beat The Bastard Down (2006) Review 5
Director:Jimmy Traynor,
Starring:Steve Kovalic and Teddi Florence
Length:52 minutes



Jimmy Traynor is a filmmaker close to my heart. He’s sent me films over the last couple years that I’ve liked despite the fact that the production value is limited and the acting quality spotty.

He emailed me about his latest effort, something called “Beat the Bastard Down,” and I immediately responded (my Blackberry is always abuzz with requests). Frankly, I have a soft spot for his work. “Bastard” is a film that Traynor made in one weekend. The cast is mainly his regular group headed by the saucy Steve Kovalic. And it’s remarkably entertaining, so long as you know Traynor’s work and have developed a taste for it. Let me say that I’ve seen his better film “Game Plan” and his short “Bear Movement” and knew what I was getting into ahead of time.

Before I give you the story for “Bastard,” let me emphasize that I admire Traynor’s passion. I wish that Lloyd Kaufman would recruit him. Traynor knows how to make a movie, even if he hasn’t the equipment or strong cast. And as “Bastard” displays, his passion is infectious.

“Bastard” is about a womanizer who sells real estate as a means of landing one conquest sexually after the next. His lead, Kovalic, is a sleazy agent who explains, as the film begins, to a new comer the art of getting women. Kovalic looks like a slightly thinner Louie Anderson and even has a bit of the winy voice to boot. Without insulting Kovalic, who is also very good in Traynor’s “Game Plan,” he convinced me that even though he’s a nerdy appearing dude, he just might have a mojo enabling him to bed lonely housewives. And since he’s a salesman, his look and attitude seem just right.

But, as the story progresses, Kovalic’s character runs into a boss who, while smitten with him, might beat him at his own game. After having sexy time with his boss, played with vixen zest by Teddi Florence, he becomes her prisoner. He basically gets a taste of his own medicine. And in a thriller twist, Kovalic’s character might have to kill his boss’ green eyed husband. But what he thinks is dead and buried, might just come back to haunt him. A bastard gets beat.

And Traynor gets the most out of his actors who, at times, bear all to deliver the most convincing performance. I never bought some of the sexual conquests and a few scenes, like fight sequences, just weren’t real enough. This is an experimental type film in that Traynor, who told me that he had access to the camera for something like a weekend, did the best he could. Just the fact that the film hung together narratively is a testament to Traynor’s filmmaking skill. The story works, albeit with a strong home made quality that will be appreciated by aspiring directors who use available materials, talent, and equipment. Troma Entertainment President Kaufman wrote a book (I’ve read it) called “Make Your Own Damn Movie!” and Jimmy Traynor is following the spirit of that popular tome. I only hope that someone will pump just a little money into his ideas. Of course, I hope it’s a little money because my fear would be that too much dough would kill his creative genius. The time Jimmy Duke Traynor is nigh.