I believe this one graced the pages of Film Threat’s print version many years ago. And if I am correct about this, then here it is again, still filthy and out of its mind, “Dancing Outlaw” is a white trash classic!
“Dancing Outlaw” is a documentary focusing on one Jesco White, (prefers to be called Jesse “cuz it’s easy to spell and easy to understand”) an Appalacian mountain man who has no qualms about telling tales of his earlier days as a gasoline huffing, convenience store robbing juvenile delinquent and his absolute devotion to Elvis. And it’s during these colorful stories from a fume damaged brain that we’re treated to examples of Jesco’s mountain dancing skills as he tap dances atop doghouses and in the middle of the road.
Yeah, you heard right – TAP DANCING…to friggin’ bluegrass banjo music no less…and he’s quite good at it too. After getting an eyeful of Jesco’s mountain man boogie, he then goes into how his father was some sort of world champion tap dancer and how his death inspired Jesco to take after him. And then comes the story of his father’s death. It comes out a bit confusing as it’s prattled off by Jesco, his mother, his wife and his brother who is shown missing an eye due to the “tragedy”, but basically there was a shootout at the White homestead, one that Jesco’s father didn’t survive. You can’t help but giggle a little bit during this flustery tale of buckshot and cuss words, but it’s when Jesco actually starts crying during his closing of the tale that the film takes on a somber edge and you may even find yourself feeling ashamed that you were finding humor in other’s tragic misfortunes. BUT not to be a complete party killer, the filmmakers then quickly cut to some good old demolition derby mud-whomping at the White trailer home and mud patch. Yeehaw! Let the comedy continue!
And the comedy does indeed continue. Over the past ten years, at least, white trash trailer park life has proven to be quite a breeding ground for enormously entertaining films, providing these films with a wealth of colorful characters who have far more stranger tales to tell than us city folk and have a charm about them that oozes from their “I don’t give a f**k about anything” attitude. For independent filmmakers struggling to find a subject that would deem worthy of their blood, sweat and tears, may I suggest grabbing a camera and heading to your nearest backwoods trailer park community to talk to a few people. You never know, you may just find a cult screen legend. Also, may I suggest taking with you some pepper spray…just in case.