The Horror Honeys: For never was a story of more woe...

For never was a story of more woe...

True Crime History in Horror Films with Revenge Honey Linnie!

Last week, we kicked off our new "True Crime & Film" series with that "whackiest" of dames, Miss Lizzie Borden. This week, we'll be hopping through time and popular culture with the Romeo and Juliet of the Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow!

Did you read the story of Jesse James?
About how he lived and how he died?
You liked it huh? You want some more
Well then listen to the story of Bonnie and Clyde...
~ Bonnie Parker

The Real Bonnie and Clyde: Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were the first true "criminal celebrities" in the history of the United States. Bonnie, an aspiring actress, and Clyde, a small-time criminal, met in 1930 shortly after the onset of the Great Depression, and they were smitten with one another immediately. It wasn't long before Bonnie became an active member of the "Barrow Gang," a rotating group of Clyde's friends and family who would join the pair in their criminal enterprise, as well as their rotating door in and out of jail.

Bonnie Parker in one of her most famous pictures...
Bonnie and Clyde became mainstays in the national papers, partially as folk heroes who robbed the big, bad banks, and partially because of the novelty of having a woman engaged in criminal activity. However, it wasn't long before public perception of the pair shifted, especially as their crimes became more violent, and it became clear that Bonnie was as much a killer as Clyde. Former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer was brought out of retirement to hunt Bonnie and Clyde, and after four years, and at least thirteen murders, the duo were gunned down in an ambush on a sunny road in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.

Bonnie and Clyde in Film & Television
*Note: I was not able to locate either The Bonnie Parker Story (1958) or Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story (1992) to watch in order to provide an opinion on them. But if I ever do, I will add them to the list! And a shout-out to Bonnie and Clyde the musical, which is a hell of an experience, if you ever have the chance.

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

There are many reasons that, despite being highly romanticized, Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde will always be the hurdle any other film about the pair has to jump. First, Bonnie and Clyde 67 was groundbreaking in its depiction of on-screen violence, and paved the way for more realistic films like it that would come after. Second, the performances of both Faye Dunaway and Warren Beaty were go-for-broke, and would set the standard for the how the duo would be portrayed for eternity. Finally, outside of being a movie about Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie and Clyde the film is an undisputed masterpiece in its own right. All of that being said... as a cultural artifact and biopic of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, Bonnie and Clyde 67 isn't going to help you pass any history tests. The script gets many of the details wrong (for brevity's sake or just basic lack of research, I couldn't say) and it often conflates Bonnie and Clyde's story with that of other famous criminals from the time. So while there is no question that Bonnie and Clyde is a masterpiece of modern filmmaking, it's not the best representation of the Bonnie and Clyde story.

True Crime Rating (for accuracy): 3 doomed loves out of 5
True Crime Rating (for entertainment value): 5 doomed loves out of 5
And the clothes... By god, the clothes.

Bonnie and Clyde vs. Dracula (2008)

~ Damn girl, I didn't mean nothin'.
~ You see a girl around here, you smack her ass and send her home to mama!

Absolutely nothing about this movie from writer/director Timothy Friend should work. The concept, that while on the run Bonnie and Clyde run afoul of a house full of vampires, makes no fucking sense. Dracula is revived by some sort of mad scientist who wears a burlap sack over his head with one eye hole in it. I can't stress enough how abso-fucking-lutely ridiculous this movie is. And yet, I really REALLY enjoyed it. Starring horror-mainstay Tiffany Shepis as a perfectly cast Bonnie Parker, the script is surprisingly sassy where it comes to Bonnie and Clyde's (played by Trent Haaga... the writer of Cheap Thrills) dialogue. Once again, I must reiterate... this movie is nonsense. But it is stupidly fun nonsense, and Shepis makes a better Bonnie than we'll see at other points on this list.

True Crime Rating (for accuracy): 1 doomed love out of 5... seriously. Vampires.
True Crime Rating (for entertainment value): 4 doomed loves out of 5

Bonnie and Clyde (2013)

This mini-series that was a join venture for Lifetime, A&E, and the History Channel, was surprisingly... dull. Clocking in at almost three hours, Bonnie & Clyde still somehow manages to never say anything new or interesting, never adding anything to our text book knowledge of the pair. It doesn't help that 1) Emile Hirsch is a positively charisma-less Clyde Barrow, with a face you just want to punch, and 2) Hirsch and Holliday Grainger as Bonnie have absolutely zero chemistry. I never once bought that these were two people willing to kill, willing to die for one another. Half the time, they don't even seem to like each other very much. The only credit I'm willing to extend to this version is that Grainger is the closest appearance-wise that we've ever seen to Bonnie Parker on film. So, there's that.

True Crime Rating: 1 doomed love out of 5

Bonnie and Clyde: Justified (2013)

Because when you watch a movie about Bonnie and Clyde, OBVIOUSLY you're tuning in to learn more about why lawman Frank Hamer dressed like Colonel Sanders. Bonnie & Clyde Justified is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life, not just about Bonnie and Clyde, but in ever. Let's list this one:

1) I am fairly confident that the people who wrote the script thought that tossing in some cursory well-worn facts made up for doing any research, so most of the movie is moronically made up.
2) The acting is atrocious, across the board, but especially from Ashley Hayes as Bonnie (who you may remember from Magic Mike as Raver Girl), and Eric Roberts, who owes Sci-Fi Honey Katie and me $20.
3) The sound mixing is SO bad, that when there is music, you can barely hear the dialogue. Which, come to think of it, wasn't such a bad thing. Because,
4) The script seems like it was written by a 12-year-old boy, given the quality of the dialogue and the prevalence of toilet humor.

Just... don't.

True Crime Rating: 0 doomed loves out of 5

And, because who the fuck said history can't be a shit load of fun, enjoy Epic Rap Battles of History: Romeo and Juliet vs. Bonnie and Clyde, featuring one of my favorite people in the world, Grace Helbig!

Which is YOUR favorite Bonnie & Clyde? Who would you like to see featured next in the series?
Let us know on Twitter: @linnieloowho & @horrorhoneys