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A 2000 comedy-action film and parody of 70s cop movies and exploitation flicks, Big Money Hustlas was written by, produced by, and starred the Insane Clown Posse. To fans of the group, the movie is a hilarious cult classic. To detractors, the movie is, well...you can probably guess what detractors think.
Set in New York, the movie stars Violent J (real name Joe Bruce) as Big Baby Sweets, a ruthless crime lord who has bought out the entire police force and rules the city with an iron fist, and his ICP partner Shaggs 2 Dope (real name Joey Utsler) as Sugar Bear, a streetwise loose cannon cop from San Francisco who speaks in rhyme and arrives in town intent on bringing Sweets to justice. The duo wear their trademark clown makeup throughout the entirety of the film, a fact which is never commented on by anyone.
To call the film campy would be like calling the surface of the sun a teeny bit warm. Written by Bruce in only a month, fueled by a less than shoestring budget, and plagued by conflict with the crew, who both hated the film and objected to their pay scale, the flick powers through its various shortcomings fueled mostly by the ballsy irreverence of its humor and the gloriously hammy performances of its cast.
In addition to Bruce and Utsler, the movie boasts a bizarre (but cool) menagerie of pop culture figures, including John Brennan of Jerky Boys fame, Rudy Ray Moore reprising his performance as "The Human Tornado" Dolemite, Fred Berry aka Rerun, porn star Kayla Kleevage, professional wrestler Mick Foley, and comedian Harland Williams. Fellow Psychopathic Records recording artists Myzery, Jumpsteady, and Twiztid also appear, as do famed punk rock group The Misfits.
The movie is a cult classic amongst ICP fans, who love it for its ridiculous humor and shameless camp value. Few of the rap group's many detractors bother to watch the film, and those few who do are less likely to appreciate it. A western themed follow-up titled Big Money Rustlas was released in 2010.
This movie uses the following tropes:
- Achilles in His Tent / Heroic BSOD: Sugar Bear loses faith in himself after the Magic Ninjas kill Missy and resigns from police work. In fact, he's so depressed he can't even rhyme anymore!
- Affectionate Parody: Of 70s cop films and exploitation flicks.
- As Himself: Many of the actors are playing thinly veiled versions of themselves or their well known public personas, but there are also some notable aversions.
- Awesome McCoolname: Sugar Bear! Big Baby Sweets! Hack Benjamin! Dolemite!
- Break the Fourth Wall: Frequent.
- Butt Monkey: Officer Cox.
- Captain Ersatz: Pro wrestler Mick Foley appears as a
thinlynot at all veiled parody of his wrestling persona Cactus Jack.
- Catch Phrase: "Don't mess with my mothafuckin' moooooooooney!"
- Chekhov's Gun: Which in this case can be found in an old lady's purse.
- Chewing the Scenery: Perhaps the reason the movie ran over budget was due to the constant need to replace what must have been dozens of completely devoured sets.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Every five minutes or so.
- Comedic Sociopathy.
- Counterfeit Cash: One of Sweets' underlings tries to pass this off on him.
- Cowboy Cop: Sugar Bear.
- Creative Closing Credits: Play over a comedy gunfight.
- Da Chief: Played by Jerky Boys star John Brennan.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!.
- The Don: Big Baby Sweets.
- The Dragon: Hack Benjamin.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Averted.
- Everythings Better With Ninjas: Not just ninjas, son, magic ninjas!
- The Faceless: Hack Benjamin never takes off his gasmask. As with almost all public appearances, Violent J and Shaggs 2 Dope have their features obscured behind their signature facepaint.
- Fan Service: Lampshaded. "See how I hooked you up there? I didn't have to do that. Our movie is the shit!"
- Fan Disservice: Pretty much every scene with Sindee Williams.
- The Fun in Funeral: See Creative Closing Credits.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Dr. Dinglenuts.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Sugar Bear's trademark cigarillos.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Every. Single. Scene.
- Ho Yay: Intentionally played for laughs with Big Baby Sweets and his sidekicks, Lil Stank and Big Poot.
- How We Got Here: The whole film is actually a flashback of Sugar Bear's, who is attending the funeral of Officer Cox.
- I Am Not Spock: Moore and Foley were cast specifically to reprise their well-known fictional personas.
- Incoming Ham: "The name...is Sugar Bear!"
- Large Ham: Basically...everyone.
- Lovable Coward: Officer Harry Cox, the only clean cop on the force besides Sugar Bear... or is he?
- Money, Dear Boy: Mick Foley mentioned in one of his books that he appeared in the movie partially as a favor to ICP, but mostly so he could get a SAG card and access to their excellent health insurance.
- New York City: Or Detroit. It's all the same here really.
- No Budget: At all. Halfway through the filming Violent J actually had to pay a hundred grand out of his own pocket to keep the production going.
- Punny Name: Harry Cox, Doctor Dinglenuts, Little Poot, Big Stank. Hey, we didn't say they were good puns.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The movie's troublesome shoot and budget problems bled over into the film itself. Fred Berry's role was reduced to a cameo because the production couldn't afford to pay him for multiple days of shooting.
- Refuge in Audacity: This movie lives and dies by this trope. It goes so far over the line so fast that the line might be only a distant dot in its rearview mirror.
- The Reveal: Big Baby Sweets' makeup is rubbed off, revealing that all along he was actually Officer Cox! If you feel the need to point out that that doesn't at all make sense, you are Completely Missing the Point.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Sugar Bear. Every single spoken line except his narration and a brief period when he's so depressed he speaks prose.
- Shout-Out: Constant. Berry is directly referred to as "Rerun" and does his trademark dance. Mick Foley performs various mocking versions of his wrestling catch phrases.
- Sorry I Left the BGM On: Big Baby Sweets eventually gets so fed up with Sugar Bear's trademark musical sting that he kills the offending sound mixer (played by Mike E. Clark, the producer of much of ICP's discography and composer of this film's soundtrack).
- Starts with Their Funeral: See How We Got Here.
- Sting: Any mention of Sugar Bear's name is followed by his trademark musical fanfare.
- Stuffed Into the Fridge: Missy. Actual fridge not used, probably because none with the requisite volume exists.
- The Parody
- The Seventies.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Big Stank and Lil Poot.
- Title Drop: "Sweets was nothing but a big money hustla!"
- Training From Hell: What do you expect when your coach is mothafuckin' Dolemite?
- The Voiceless: Hack Benjamin.
- World of Ham: Believe it or not, Violent J might be the least over the top performer in this film!
- Wretched Hive: The city is so corrupt that prior to Sugar Bear's arrival there's only one cop on the entire force who isn't on the take.
- While said police officer is... otherwise occupied, it manages to somehow get worse, culminating in Hack Benjamin leveling a building with a rocket launcher.
- You Have Failed Me: Most of Big Baby Sweets' underlings meet this fate.