Dangerous Men's Iranian born director John S. Rad (Jahangir Salehi Yeganehrad) left only this odd cinematic totem of his existence on earth when he died in 2007, soon after the film's belated (and extremely limited) theatrical release in 2005.
While he'd stated in at least one interview that he had spent his life pursuing creative endeavors, it's hard to track down anything other than Dangerous Men, and that one only because of the heroes at Drafthouse Films. Unlike Drafthouse Films' releases of similarly bonkers oddities like Miami Connection, The Visitor, and Roar, which had some ensemble elements to their creation, Dangerous Men only exists because of John S. Rad's unflappable determination to will it into existence.
Every single major on screen production credit has Rad's name proudly attached. Director? John S. Rad. Producer? John S. Rad. Writer? John S. Rad. Music? John S. Rad. Set Decorator? You know who.
As a result of the film's 20-year production schedule, it feels insanely disjointed. The first 10 minutes consists of at least three or four scenes that have nothing to do with the main plot line and share no characters with the bulk of the film. Characters disappear and reappear at random, but it is this lack of plot fluidity that provides some of the film's undeniable charm.
Trying to describe what Dangerous Men is about is a losing game; however, I'll give it a shot.
Mina is engaged to Daniel. One fateful day as they are frolicking along a beach, they are assaulted by a pair of unsavory bikers looking to start some trouble. The struggle leaves Daniel and one of the bikers dead. Mina survives and now has the taste of blood on her lips as she decides that it's her job to rid the greater Los Angeles area of these dangerous men. While she's busy leaving a trail of bodies all over Southern California, Daniel's cop brother David is on her trail, trying to bring this killer to justice. The trail leads to another beach, another assault, and another damsel in distress who then leads David to the notorious Black Pepper, a biker gang hotshot who has "killed more men than the 'Nam war," and then shit gets real.
For most casual viewers, Dangerous Men would be a torturous affair. Luckily, it is highly unlikely that they'll ever see the film. For those viewers who crave the abstract and the unexplainable, though, Dangerous Men is like manna from heaven. Pieced together over 20 years, the film feels like a Dadaist poem, or one of William S. Burrough's cut-up books. Each piece almost works on its own, but none of them connect in any satisfying way. The only overarching element of the film is the endearing incompetence of the piece, and its blissful unawareness thereof.
In a rare interview given by Rad back in 2006 upon the film's East Coast theatrical premiere, he mentions having seen Dangerous Men with a crowd in Los Angeles, and seemed both ecstatic and befuddled by the audience's enthusiasm:
I sneaked into the theater to see how is reaction of audience, it was one of the best time I had. They laughed, screamed, clapped and got up and sat down, almost with any scene. I was wondering, some scenes in my opinion were not funny to laugh at or be so excited.
It is this guileless joy that separates films like Dangerous Men, Miami Connection, Birdemic, The Room, and others that some might categorize as "so bad it's good" from the knowing winks that bombard film hipsters these days. Dangerous Men wasn't created to be laughed at, it was created to exhilarate, and in a way, it has succeeded.
Technically incompetent, linguistically questionable, formless, and style free, Dangerous Men feels like film made by Andy Sidaris in a morphine haze. From the stilted dialogue written by a man whose first language was obviously not English, to the performances of actors who never stepped in front of a camera again, to the incomprehensible plot, the synth soundtrack that sounds like a Casio demo track, the body-blow foley effects that sound like they were ripped straight out of a Gauntlet arcade game, and the complete disregard for logic in any form, Dangerous Men is Hollywood action through the looking glass.
Dangerous Men is a confusing, amateurish disaster of a film. Yet, its stone-faced earnestness combined with a complete disregard for internal logic or story makes the film legitimately unforgettable.