Delta Farce

I fear Larry the Cable Guy might be going all intellectual on us. His new film, “Delta Farce,” only has one fart joke in it. Doesn’t he know his fanbase would rather hear what comes out of his butt than what comes out of his mouth?

“Delta Farce” is an almost inconceivably bad movie, i.e., it is so bad that it is hard to conceive how someone could have conceived it. Directed by “Blue Collar Comedy” collaborator C.B. Harding and written by Bear Aderhold and Tom Sullivan (the first credit for each), the movie is even worse than you’d expect a movie to be when it’s been directed by someone named “C.B.” and written by someone named “Bear.”

It is feature-length, and it follows a plot, yet its main characters — three idiot Army reservists who defend a Mexican village thinking it’s Iraq — are not characters at all, but joke-telling machines with no consistent personality traits. They can be either clever or stupid, according to the demands of the joke; they might be lazy one minute and hard-working the next; bigoted for one joke and open-minded for another. They’re savvy enough to make references to Siegfried and Roy, Michael Jackson, and other cultural icons, yet they think the warring factions in Iraq are called Turds and Shitites. They can intelligently tell a war-torn village that they want to “help restore your infrastructure,” yet they can also bury someone alive because they never bothered to check his pulse.

They are like characters in a skit night at the community center. One of them says, “We’re in Iraq! The most dangerous place in the world — except maybe Detroit.” Another time: “I had more problems than a Cub Scout at the Neverland Ranch.” Who talks like that? Comics telling jokes in front of brick walls at third-tier comedy clubs, that’s who. Not real characters in a movie.

Do you see what I mean? You’ll notice I keep saying “they” even though there are three main characters involved. That’s because they all act the same, with no major discernible differences between them. You could reassign every man’s line of dialogue to one of the other men and it wouldn’t matter.

For the record, Larry the Cable Guy plays a guy named Larry, while fellow “Blue Collar Comedy” performer Bill Engvall plays a guy named Bill. Rounding out the trio is DJ Qualls (best known for being freakishly skinny) as Everett. All three are Georgia rednecks who get called up to Iraq and, through a series of events too stupid to explain, wind up in Mexico. They believe they are in Iraq. They continue to believe this for a very long time, despite the locals a) speaking what is obviously Spanish, b) having Spanish-sounding names like Lopez, c) feeding them tacos, and d) wearing sombreros.

The villagers actually do need the guys’ help, as they’ve been tormented by banditos led by Carlos Santana (Danny Trejo), no relation to the rock guitarist. In a very “Three Amigos” turn of events, Larry, Bill, and Everett fight off the bad guys and become the villagers’ heroes.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Kilgore (Keith David), whose pulse it was that didn’t get checked before burial, somehow survives being buried in desert sand for several hours, wakes up, digs himself out, and goes looking for his three lost soldiers. Following their trail from the wilderness into the village, he accidentally drinks a bottle full of Everett’s urine and eats an MRE with Larry’s tobacco juice in it. (Larry is never shown chewing tobacco before or after that; apparently he only chewed it once, when the joke required him to spit it into the MRE bag.)

A few of the things that the movie believes are automatically funny, no matter what:

– A man dressed as a woman. Two totally separate men in totally separate situations do this over the course of the film.

– A tough guy singing karaoke. Again, this gag is so funny the film uses it twice.

– A man believing he is in danger of being anally raped by another man. This is apparently even funnier than cross-dressing or karaoke-singing, because the movie goes there three times.

And yet only one fart. What were you thinking, Mr. The Cable Guy? Don’t let your fans down! Turn around and give them what they want!

F (1 hr., 27 min.; PG-13, moderate profanity, plenty of vulgar humor.)