Hands on a Hard Body (1998)
Twenty-four people congregate at a Longview car dealership with the same goal: winning a new, option-packed Nissan Hardbody pickup. To do so, they must keep their hands constantly on the vehicle, minus brief scheduled breaks, until all their competitors drop out from pain or fatigue. A bunch of people standing around for nearly four days may not sound like the most compelling subject matter for a documentary, but S.R. Bindler's masterful film easily kept a packed Texas Union audience riveted (and laughing hysterically) for a full 96 minutes. By letting the contestants tell their own stories before and during the event, Bindler transcended its inherent visual monotony with a steady focus on personalities. … More
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Critic Reviews for Hands on a Hard Body
On the one hand, the Hands on a Hard Body contest seems a horrible exploitation of needy people as a publicity stunt to promote a car dealership; on the other, the film reveals an endearing piece of Americana.
These may not be people whom moviegoers think they want to spend time with, but this is accomplished documentary making, finding universal lessons in determination, struggle, planning, persistence and the relationship of mind and body.
Bindler's attitude is absolutely right. He doesn't satirize: he observes, and leaves the satirical view as an option for us.
It's engaging as a non-drama of people doing nothing, but suffering a lot.
Tales of Texas don't get any weirder than true-tales of Texas, and Hands on a Hard Body joins the ranks of well-done, weird documentaries.
Bindler's ode to human dedication and endurance in the strangest of circumstances is a rough, unpolished gem of documentary filmmaking.
Far and away the most hysterical and engaging documentary since Spinal Tap, only this was for real.
The result is a quirky human interest story about the need for Texans to drive a pickup.
Audience Reviews for Hands on a Hard Body
Oh, man. Where do I begin with this one? Just watch the trailer for a peek at S.R. Bindler's real life look at a group of Texans trying to win a truck by standing up for days with their hands on it. One 5-minute break is permitted every hour, and one 15-minute break every 6 hours for nearly 78 hours. A very entertaining and interesting social study on American materialism.
Most people who will admit they watch Fox Reality TV for the instant thrill of watching people suffer may find this is even more addictive, because the people slowly deteriorate while descending into delirium and madness. As you're comfortably sitting in your domicile watching these poor exhausted souls struggling to sleep on their feet without falling over for a truck, you might find yourself asking, "How long would I last?"
Having watched this and Hard Gun within a couple weeks people may think, "Man, that Chris sure has gotten into hardcore gay pornography". Well, they're wrong. How do you like them apples?
This is a great doc about a contest in Texas where the contestants need to remain standing with their hands on a Nissan truck until everyone else gives up or goes crazy. The filmmakers introduce you to this group of contestants individually and then follows them through the contest. What struck me most is the goodwill they had towards their competition while trying to outlast them. In today's world of reality TV it is almost expected that when you compete against someone you badmouth them, try and psych them out or just regard them as the enemy. This doc is certainly refreshing after all the crap competitions we see played before us on TV daily, and the people are a lot more relatable. Also, the way the filmmakers use the contest as a metaphor for life in general is great.
An excellent documentary. Now I got to get back to my gay porn.
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