• Craig Cardillo

A Layman's Guide to Getting Blasted On Grain Alcohol and Watching 'Big Money Hustlas'

Disclaimer: I kind of endorse nothing about Juggalos or the Insane Clown Posse. I'm just a guy, leave me alone.

Many know the Insane Clown Posse through an infamous facade of black and white clown makeup. There’s a mystique around them, something about how brash they are, how gross, how ridiculous. It all attracts a crowd of internet observers, which has, in our current climate, crossed the boundary from ironic enjoyment to sincere appreciation. Something that I find odd… but not unfounded. Juggalo, a term used for both the band members and their fans, is meant to inspire this rabid sense of community found nowhere else their undying fans do not exist without reason. The Clown Posse, however insane they may be, hold a certain appeal. The group deviates from the norm, sparks controversy (lawsuits I won’t speak of here), and most of all, with their cocks out and their freak flags flying, they make outcasts feel seen.

It’s no surprise ICP has made films, their universe is vast and inevitably would venture to conquer the realms of cinema. But, this piece is not about them. Though Big Money Hustlas exists because of them, their films are not about the Insane Clown Posse (if anyone would like to watch a film about them, there are plenty of documentaries floating around.) Their body of cinematic work is about a culture, or rather, a perversion of culture. A culture that requires a certain level of debauchery, getting blasted on some kind of mind-altering substance – which brings me to my topic here.

Once, in my younger days, I set out on a quest; a quest to watch all the movies made by the Insane Clown Posse, made specifically to cater to Juggalos. I made it through one movie before I’d decided it was a pointless endeavor. Back then I was naive, a fool even, for I had not seen something so obvious. To understand these films, I should simply immerse myself in this perversion of culture. If I were to enter myself into the mindset of a Juggalo, I might be able to bring myself to watch not just one, but possibly as many as two of these films.

Thus, I began a search for substance within my mother’s kitchen cabinet; my aim? To get absolutely torn to shreds by a bottle of Kirkland signature brand vodka. About halfway through my first Vodka Ginger Ale, I began to watch the film. I’m not going to lie here, I was bored. The film is not very in tune with what the public might desire from a noir movie, nor a comedy or any other genre the Posse had attempted to imitate. By all means, my precocious mind should have rejected this circus of tomfoolery and walked away unamused.

However, while I began to move closer to the point of drunkenness the film appeared at the end of a magical kaleidoscope. Colors blasted into my living room with the vibrancy of one to two clowns, nay, a posse of them. Though there was no one with me in my room I started to feel this community form around me, a feeling of love and acceptance; a crazy-ass love and acceptance, but love and acceptance nonetheless. A Juggalo friend is a friend indeed.

So I promised a guide, and said I’d give advice on how to achieve a deeper understanding of this film via grain alcohol; so I will.

My biggest recommendation while watching this film is to keep all expectations at bay. If one wants to watch good, well-produced, well-written movies all the time, it’s not wise to attempt Big Money Hustlas. There is nothing to be had with that endeavor but disappointment. This film must be approached with anticipation and fervor, in summary, a so-called critical eye must be withheld with duct tape and wire rope.

I say this knowing that my intelligent reader, might still ask even with said critical eye tucked away like a prisoner of war: Why should I watch this at all?

My brother under the light of the lord, when watching this film, sailing away on the seas with Captain Morgan, the brain begins to read between the lines. Much like drinking the blood of Christ within the holy church to connect with God; alcohol establishes a connection between the patron and the source. The black and white face paint and saturated settings contain patterns and meanings unknown before, not only to the viewer but to all of humanity. There are sights to behold in this film that the naked eye cannot see and, to truly understand this cinematic value, one must be seeing double and unable to stand.

With this in mind, it is important to forget large portions of the film. To forget long stretches of the movie Big Money Hustlas is to have truly understood its purpose. If a Juggalo comes away with a perfect memory of the contents of the film, they’ve come away with nothing at all. Thus, that is how this film needs to be experienced. Sure this happens by nature even a sober watcher would obviously not remember every last frame of such a packed film. However, with the addition of liquor, the viewer gains the hidden ability to both enjoy the movie and forget literally almost all of it.

So why would I tell anyone this? Want to know what; I don’t even know, maybe I’m lonely, maybe I want someone else to indulge in this insane endeavor, so they can email me and be like “Hey what was that wrestling scene even about?” Maybe I want that. I want the feeling of community that Juggalos inherently achieve through the enjoyment of clown rap. I need someone else to see what my eyes saw and to come back to me like a foal comes back to the pond its ancestors have drank from. While watching this film; I dipped my toe into the Faygo river, and like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka, I was carried all the way down. But no one has to be like me, who am I to the public? And hey, I'm not going to anguish if no one does this, whether people want to clown around is truly a personal journey, I’m just offering.