STANLEY-United States-1972

Chris Robinson as Tim Ochopee

Alex Rocco as Thomkins

Directed by William Grefe

Written by William Grefe and Gary Crutcher

Story by William Grefe

Stanley is about as bad a movie as you are ever likely to see in this lifetime. The acting is on the level of toddlers playing make believe in a sandbox, the direction is non-existent, there is absolutely no suspense and the whole thing is just downright ridiculous to the point of being painful to watch. So would someone please tell me just why I ended up liking this piece of shit when it was all said and done?

Thinking about it, I think the reason is because Stanley reminds me of my childhood. It’s hard to believe, but I remember vividly the commercials that used to play that would advertise the movie. Stanley is a reminder of a happier time in my life. A time where I was happy being a kid with no worries about the future and no regrets about the past. I was 10 years old in 1972 and I didn’t know the first thing about life being about ‘bitches’ or money (Ice Cube reference; never did one, threw it in there). Life to me was about bicycles and being with my friends and playing until it got dark and my mom would yell at me to bring my butt in the house.

Okay, so I got off the subject a bit. What’s Stanley about? Well, Stanley is about a disgruntled war veteran and Seminole Indian who uses snakes to get even with the people who have wronged him. That’s the plot. The film stars Chris Robinson as Tim, the pissed off Indian and vet; and Alex Rocco as Thomkins, his sworn enemy. It’s funny, but this was only Rocco’s second film after playing Moe Greene in The Godfather. So that means that I found myself doing a lot of ad-libbing when he was on camera with the snakes. “This snake wants to bite me? No, I bite this snake. This snake doesn’t bite me.” What can I say? I’m weird. Deal with it, my wife does.

Anyway, Stanley is a nostalgic piece of shit that I loved in spite of myself.


Snake wrangler Frank Weed can be seen in the film as the man milking the rattlesnake.

On the first day of filming, the filmmakers discovered that the cabin intended for use as an exterior had been knocked down. Everybody pitched in to help rebuild the cabin in a hurry.

Screenwriter Gary Crutcher basically had one weekend to finish the script, as it was needed by the following Tuesday.