Big Money Hustlas is NOT a bad movie. On this edition of ‘In Defense of Bad Movies That Aren’t so Bad‘, I break down why everyone, Juggalos or not, should give the 2001 indie comedy another look because it’s actually pretty damn funny and features Harland Williams in one of his best performances ever.
It’s New York City, and the crime lord Big Baby Sweets has got NYC around his finger. The NYPD is helpless so the Chief sends out for Sugar Bear, a 70s, Dolemite worshiping, rhyming supercop from San Fransisco to stop Big Baby, his Magic Ninjas, Hack Benjamin (Jumpsteady, and his 2 sidekicks, Big Stank and Lil’ Poot, with the help of Officer Harry Cox.
Who thinks it sucks?
- IMDB – 5.9/10
- The mainstream who will never get it
Why it DOESN’T suck:
Disclaimer: I’m a Juggalo. So maybe that’s why I’m arguing as to why Big Money Hustlas most certainly doesn’t suck. I think it’s a riot to be honest and in spite of its low budget, I think the jokes and performances are pretty damn funny. If you’ve ever listened to an Insane Clown Posse album skit and laughed, then there’s something to seeing an hour and a half long extended ICP comedy skit play out as a feature length film. The movie is directed by John Cafiero (frontman for Osaka Popstar) and written by Joseph Bruce (aka Violent J himself). The performances are quite strong and even though the back of the damn VHS copy I own of Big Money Hustlas has a big warning that says “If You aren’t a Juggalo, then put this down and get something else”, I remember watching it with friends who weren’t Juggalos and they got a kick out of it. Hell, Harland Williams plays a police officer aptly named Harry Cox and he kills it – every time he’s onscreen. Plus we get tons of memorable supporting performances from The Jerky Boys, Twiztid, Mick Foley and The Godfather of Rap himself Dolemite – Rudy Ray Moore.
If you grew up watching 70’s exploitation films, that’s the genre you’ll get here. Shaggy 2 Dope plays a cop who comes to town to take on the crime lord Big Baby Sweets (played excellently by Violent J). Seeing Shaggy with that wig, facepaint and detective trenchcoat may be distracting as hell (yes they wear the paint even though it has nothing to do with their characters) but that’s all part of the charm. I like to think of Big Money Hustlas as a music video that just doesn’t stop. Ever. How can you not love Twiztid as Big Stank and Lil Poot… Hell, the movie’s best moment (when they sing their little Magic Magic Ninjas Whut! tune) eventually spawned the name of their current record label! Violent J is an incredible writer and with his background in wrestling, his acting isn’t too damn shabby either. Big Baby Sweets is easily the film’s most entertaining character and hearing him ask his goons for his muthafackin monay never gets old.
The production isn’t the greatest (they had a budget of only a quarter million dollars to work with) but all of performances were memorable, the comedy was on point (especially for the Juggalos) and the soundtrack is glorious. Harland Williams was a pretty big name too, with Half Baked fresh in our minds, I’m still surprised that he decided to join the cast on this one. Williams is a criminally underrated comedic performer and he really did put in some of the best work of his career in this movie. It’s just a shame that only Juggalos were witness to it. But I guess that’s also part of what makes Big Money Hustlas so special – it was a movie made for the Juggalos, fuelled by Juggalos. It is a massive struggle getting non-fans to even give the movie a shot, but I do stand by it and I absolutely consider it a cult classic. They had ZERO budget but an incredible drive to deliver a a full length movie built on the world’s most infamous underground’s sense of humor. That’s a bold move and one I’m happy that ICP took because I’ve spent many evenings laughing my ass off at movie that I’m still shocked exists and existed in 2001…The internet was bullshit back then – so imagine finding this movie without being able to download the shit? I had to go on a quest and pay a staggering amount of money for a VHS copy two hours from my hometown. These days – anyone can make a decent movie on their damn phone. The fact that ICP went for it and produced a film that features them wrestling with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, blows me away to this day. Even if you don’t like ICP, you still have to give them credit for their dedication to the fanbase for putting in the time and effort to create such a damn fine film.