Stream On: It’s a giant goose! Red Green’s ‘Duct Tape Forever’
Friends stick together in a wild goose chase.
Deadwood … Breaking Bad … Sex and the City—and The Red Green Show are TV shows that include cinematic movies. Duct Tape Forever, which was released during the run of the The Red Green Show, was a niche movie for its fans—it bombed at the box office, in keeping with the ethos of the TV show and a plot point from the movie: underachievement. But—and it’s a big but—if you enjoy the TV show, you’ll enjoy Duct Tape Forever.
“Duct tape is the handyman’s secret weapon.” (Red Green)
The Red Green Show attracted about one million viewers a week—it was taped in Toronto before a live audience who often wore plaid shirts and carried duct tape. These fans were the target audience for Duct Tape Forever—and it certainly hit that mark. Whether there was any collateral damage can be decided on a case-by-case basis. I certainly like it, even though had I attended a taping of The Red Green Show I wouldn’t have dressed for it.
(I didn’t dress when I saw Monty Python live at Manhattan’s City Center in 1975, though there were many “gumbys” in the audience.)
There is a town in North Ontario, dream comfort memory to spare. And in my mind I still need a place to go—to see the magnificent giant Canada-goose duct-tape statue.
The members of the Possum Lodge have come together to create this masterpiece, except for Red Green’s nephew Harold (Patrick McKenna), who’s reading a magazine inside the Lodge. Hearing duct tape being repeatedly ripped from dozens of rolls outside, he finally shouts, “Light a match,” perfectly setting the tone for Duct Tape Forever, an homage to Canadian tomfoolery.
The gang’s all here: Red Green (Steve Smith, who wrote the screenplay); Harold; cheapskate Dalton Humphrey (Bob Bainborough); ex-felon Mike Hamar (Wayne Robson); Winston Rothschild III (Jeff Lumby) of Rothschild's Sewage and Septic Sucking Services; DIY explosives expert Ed Montrose (Graham Greene, Longmire); and all the rest, who load the giant goose onto a trailer behind the Possum Van until they are stopped by Possum Lake’s sheriff, who reminds them that the Lodge is on the hook for $10,000—evil property developer Robert Stiles’ limousine got stuck in a sinkhole at the Lodge, then disappeared into Possum Lake. Stiles took the matter to court, and the town council and the presiding judge, who have been looking for decades for a way to shut down the Lodge, fine the lodge $10,000 and give them thirty days to pay.
Told in a flashback, it’s why the Possum Lodge members made the sculpture. (You might see an over-arching theme: the Lodge’s motto is “Quando omni flunkus moritati,” pseudo-Latin for “When all else fails, play dead”). They intend to get the goose to Minnesota and enter it in a duct-tape sculpture contest put on by 3M (in an inevitable product-placement deal).
They’re confident that the duct-tape goose will take third place—that prize just happens to be $10,000.
What follows is a great slapstick road-trip/race-against-the-clock movie. We learn that Possum Lake is a hundred and thirty-four beer stores north of Toronto; it was an old fishing camp that was constructed (“‘thrown up’ is maybe the better phrase”) long before the invention of “things like building codes.”
That Stiles was up at Possum Lake from the city in the first place is probably attributable, says Red in a voice-over, to him being lost or crazy, or possibly both. “Because being lost and crazy was how this whole area was founded in the first place.”
The corrupt sheriff, who is in Stiles’ pay, is also trying to prevent the goose from reaching Minnesota, which leads to auto theft, kidnaping, a bus chase, and a stunning airborne climax at the duct-tape sculpture contest (which is a sight in itself).
Duct Tape Forever’s broad comedy and unabashed stupidity might be why critics have panned it, bless their hearts! The question is why casual viewers don’t like it (although they do so more than the critics) as much as I do (which might possibly reflect unfavorably on my own taste—but that’s neither here nor there).
Justwatch.com reports that it’s not streaming as of May 2023, but Roku shows it streaming on three Fawesome.tv channels, ad-supported. Duct Tape Forever is ninety minutes of a fantastic wild goose chase, so go wild, eh?
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