Some of Our Stallions: if Bottle Rocket had an evil twin

I just watched a movie that reminded me of Bottle Rocket not for its tone – the tone was the polar opposite of Bottle Rocket’s gentle playfulness – but for its structure: a comedy about a couple of maladjusted loveable characters working through their social awkwardness and mental issues by arranging a heist. It’s also got that auteur quality that was apparent in Bottle Rocket, where you were keenly aware of a distinctive voice behind the storytelling. The movie was called Some of Our Stallions and it is, in many ways, Bottle Rocket’s evil twin.

It’s mostly the creation of two guys, and superficially, it reminds me of a British series called 15 Storeys High, in which an abrasive asshole played by a comic named Sean Lock is roommates with a kind and patient Asian sidekick played by Benedict Wong. The comedy is derived from putting these two disparate characters into darkly absurd situations.

Some of Our Stallions works the same way, with a thick-browed brooding hulk named Carson Mell as the asshole (above, right) and a fireplug-with-a-heart-of-gold named Al Di as the sidekick (left). Instead of simple absurdity, the premise is that both men are mentally ill and have no business being out in the real world (it’s shamelessly indelicate about mental illness, if that sort of thing bothers you). Whereas 15 Storeys High had the benefit of being episodic TV and drifting aimlessly from misadventure to misadventure, Some of Our Stallions is a straight-up 90-minute meltdown that goes from bad to worse to even worse. Again, the polar opposite of Bottle Rocket.

I have no idea how I found it. It had been on my “to watch” list for a while, but I’m not sure why. Did one of y’all recommend it? I had thought maybe Kellywand had recommended it, because it’s a very “Kellywand” movie, but he’d never even heard of it. It can’t have been for any of the actors, because I didn’t know them before seeing this. So to give you a better idea of what you’re in for, to give you some context about the kind of movie it is, there are a few “cameos” that obviously wanted to support what Carson Mell and Al Di were doing: Mike Judge, David Zellner, and Tim Heidecker all have memorable roles. That’s the kind of movie this is.

Anyway, it’s on Amazon Prime, as well as these other places:

I suspect some of you will hate is. Those who don’t will probably love it as much as I did.

And here’s Carson Mell himself writing up the story of how Some of Our Stallions got made:

And I can’t believe I didn’t catch this earlier, but I actually know and really like Mell’s first movie, Another Evil! It’s a bit rough-hewn at times, but it’s a hilarious black comedy/ghost story with Mark Proksch, from before everyone knew him from What We Do in the Shadows. So that’s probably why I ended up with Some of Our Stallions on my “to watch” list!

We were looking for something to do in the hospital tonight (everything’s okay) and I remembered this thread. Completely charmed by the indelicacy but also thought the four kinds of relationships with mental illness each got a fair portrayal. Thanks, Tom.