Filmmaker Joel Shumacher has achieved infamy as the director of such cinematic offal as “8MM,” “The Number 23,” and especially for being the guy who put nipples on the Batsuit in “Batman Forever.” But back in the ’80s, Schumacher was an up-and-comer who had yet to indulge his worst instincts. For some, like Alamo Drafthouse programmers Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly, his greatest achievement remains “D.C. Cab,” starring Mr. T at the height of his cultural ubiquity, and cocaine psychosis-era Gary Busey, right around the time he became known to the high-priced call girls of Hollywood as “Scary Abusey.”
Also in the cast are Max Gail ( best known as Detective Stan ‘Wojo’ Wojciehowicz on “Barney Miller,” top-billed for some reason), recidivist Baldwin brother Adam, comedian Paul Rodriguez, and a host of African-American actors, including Irene Cara (“Fame”) as herself, comedian/drug casualty Charlie Barnett, Whitman Mayo (beloved by millions as Grady on “Sanford & Son”), Marsha Warfield (“Night Court”), and DeWayne Jessie, who had just changed his name to that of his most famous character, Otis Day from “Animal House.”
This Sunday night, December 16th at 7:10 p.m., Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar presents “D.C. Cab” as part of the “Zzang!!!” series, in living 35mm.
From the Alamo blog: “Some people are under the impression that Barack Obama is America’s first black president. This isn’t the case. In the ’80s, Mr. T was our guiding light, a masculine but sympathetic force of moral leadership who eclipsed mere politics with his universal teachings on values, truth, and not being a foo’. Of all his screen work, chaotic action/comedy ‘D.C. Cab’ best showcases this man’s superhuman powers as he cruises through our nation’s capital at 30 cents per mile, along with the terrifyingly spastic Busey, pop star Cara, pugnacious identical twin bodybuilders The Barbarian Brothers, a synthesizer-wielding Bill Maher (!), plus tons of car crashes, blowtorches, Halloween creatures, male strip clubs, the Angel of Death, and laffs laffs LAFFS.
“It’s a hyperactive typhoon of blue collar funnyboners as these hard-workin’ schmoes end up going fist-to-fist with every opposing force they can find, narrowly escaping doom with a combination of muscles, hilarity and boneheaded genius. Another wrongly disregarded goldmine of ’80s wildness is resurrected in 35mm for one night only. Failure to attend = complete failure as a human being.”
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J.M. Dobies, Austin Classic Movies Examiner Facebook Page