Mule Skinner Blues | Chicago Reader

Mule Skinner Blues

Similar in content to American Movie but less snide in tone, this 2001 documentary by Stephen Earnhardt recounts the goofy yet inspirational efforts of Beanie Andrew, an elderly man who lives in a Florida trailer park, to make a no-budget horror short. Among his fellow dreamers are a cinephile janitor who's been hatching the script for years, two garage-band guitarists, a septuagenarian yodeler, and a costume designer who keeps the corpse of her pit bull in a freezer. Earnhardt cuts back and forth between these quirky collaborators and, despite the ample opportunities to mock their blue-collar ambitions, treats them with respect and affection. Only the epilogue, a happy ending tacked on to counter the cascading disappointments, seems contrived. 93 min.

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