Val & Earl: Dirt-bag Handymen

“Nobody handles garbage better than we do.”

Meet Valentine McKee (Kevin Bacon) and his partner in grime Earl Bassett (Fred Ward):

Just two dirt-bags in a pickup truck. Trying to pick up work, then put it off for later.

The boys are all packed up and ready leave the dead-end town of Perfection for the glamor and prosperity in neighboring Bixby, but they don’t make it far…

In this scene, Valentine is politely listing all the traits he finds desirable in a partner of the opposite sex.

He gets distracted somewhere between “world class breasts” and “ass that won’t quit”, and nearly crashes when they spot old man Edgar…

… stuck up on a high-tension line with a gun in his hand.

Something spooked him and kept him up there, but what? Baffled, they take his body to the town doctor.

At the Doc’s, Val gets spooked too. Something don’t add up.

Aiming to hit the road again, they get come up on Old Fred’s property, where they discover his mutilated sheep herd. Now they think a murder is on the loose and head back to town yet again, warning two construction workers on the way.

In town they find the phones are dead, so they hop back in the truck and head for the police in Bixby. Unfortunately, the only road out of town is now blocked where they met the workers earlier. Turns out there was an avalanche and someone or something killed them too. Panicked, they floor it back to town…

"You're gonna burn out the clutch!"

…but something is holding them back.

Earl doing work, tries to bust them free with a little bit of leverage and a gallon of grit.

Back at Chang’s Market, they notice the severed, worm-like remains of what their truck got caught up on.

Ecstatic about their alien find, the two retire to Walter Chang’s (Victor Wong) Market to celebrate and cook up get-rich-quick scheme with the specimen.

Melvin (Robert Jayne) is not impressed by the name “graboids”, as he sits eating from a jar of gummy worms. Delicious prop metaphor guys!

Earl loves it. Look at him.

Val just hanging around while the store gets attacked by another “graboid”.

Why hello there Michael Gross, seen here in the role of veteran Burt Gummer. That gun is awfully close to your chest, what could you be shooting at?

The green screen! Better break out that Elephant Gun.

Easy now Burt, the compositors were using state of the art gear back in 1990.

The boys, now on the roof of Chang’s, celebrate Burt’s kill.

Unfortunately, Nestor (Jayne’s Dad) wasn’t so lucky once the worms figured out how to sink houses and consumed his trailer home.

Melvin upset.

Melvin pissed.

Earl and Val hatch a plan: ghost ride a tractor to mislead the graboids. Bacon channels a little Wahlberg here.

…but who goes to the tractor first?


Stunt Bacon drops in.

Real Bacon makes a run for it.

Oh yeah! Time to save Rhonda (Finn Carter), stranded on the town’s water-tower, then haul everyone out of town on a old trailer.

Oh YEAH! Rescue plan successful… or was it? I thought long and hard about making a GIF out of this sequence, but thought you’d prefer the raw demon grills Bacon is serving up.

In the trenches after their tractor sinks into a trap set by their worm friends, Bacon scrambles to load this baby Uzi, compliments of Burt.

Get it!

Stranded between town and the mountains, the crew holds up on a cluster of boulders.

Burt cautiously hands Melvin a gun.

Earl lassos up a pipe bomb in this ad for the upcoming line of Wrangler Jeans for Target.

YEAAAH! They got one. Then it’s wormy guts rained down on them from above. Quickly learning their tact, the other graboid gets smart and requires a new strategy to be taken down. A strategy with 100% more Bacon. Darting across the landscape to the nearby cliff with pipe bomb in hand, Val makes a run for it hoping to lure the resilient sucker along.

Get Ready…

… grill!

And with that, the last of the graboids flies through the cliff wall and explodes in a cartoon-ish fashion on rocks in the valley below.

All in a day’s work for Val & Earl… but in the end, who gets the girl?

Not sure, but I do know who gets the last grill.

One thought on “Val & Earl: Dirt-bag Handymen”

  1. Finally, some Bacon! Delicious! That first animated gif with our boys in the truck stopped me dead in my tracks. I had to leave, and come back to the site later, when I wasn’t at work. Then I was able to cut loose as I read the rest of the post. In short, I loved it. It’s like five-star grill after five-star grill. These cats were working overtime. Now, Bacon was a shoe-in, but Fred Ward proved to be a class act in this one. The veritable “eggs” to Kevin’s “bacon”. Well done.

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