Thin Line Fest documentaries are all over the board in subjects and style. Through the years, docs have moved, terrified, delighted, horrified and taught me. But no doc has surprised me like LIMO RIDE.
LIMO RIDE is a feature film by Gideon Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater that tags along with some good ole’ boys for a New Years celebration too wild to be made up. I look back in time to a younger me and realize that even then the party these guys drug out would have done me in long before their adventure was really underway. The present me watched the film glad that new years is bedtime before the ball drops in Times Square and sleeping in the next morning with no hangover to drag into the new year. Why? Because it’s safe in my living room, tucked away from crazies like these guys, even if they did rent a limo.
These boys are country boys from southern Alabama. When they cut loose, they really go all out. The party starts on New Years Eve, every man to himself and doing his own thing. On New Years Day, still going with no sleep, the group meets up at one buddy’s house to share a limo to the beach for the annual Polar Bear Dip. Some 5,000 people dressed in bizarre costumes show up for the event each year to run into the freezing Gulf water just because. In the limo group, one guy is wearing polar bear pajama bottoms, socks, fluffy house shoes, and a fluffy white robe. He’s wearing that outfit the entire film, throughout the whole adventure that takes these fellows places where that ensemble just doesn’t belong.
What surprised me most about this doc is the fact that LIMO RIDE is not some HBO flick but a real account of actual events. These guys were nuts! The predicaments in which they find themselves are funny, insane and even dangerous. There are fights and hikes, cops and robbers, and a bonfire in the middle of a dirt road. The film is fast-paced and if you’re like me, will leave you shaking your head and laughing, glad it was their folly and not yours, and relieved you’re on the viewer side of this incredible, nightmarish New Years.