12 Honkeys — Sidewayz

April 2, 2000

What happens when you combine a chain-gang of today?s top riders with one crazy chicken, a loud police chief, true-to-life locals and a slew of sick wakeboarding all scripted together in one epic saga? What else but 12 Honkeys, the long-awaited new feature from the talented team at Sidewayz.

Released just in time to keep you amped through the cold days of winter, 12 Honkeys takes you for a ride you won?t soon forget. Probably one of the first truly scripted wakeboarding films, this movie goes out on a limb and takes 12 pro rider ?honkeys? (actually 17) and dresses them up as a prison chain gang working on a road project. With ensuing chaos and help from a feathered friend, they all escape and the film goes on to show how each gets away and wreaks havoc both on and off the water, mixed in with the antics of one ?freakin? chicken.?
This film was impressive on several fronts, but mainly in the production and editing stages. It?s apparent from the onset that they spent a lot of time on the off-water acting sections as you experience every scene from a dozen or more angles and there is actual dialog that flows throughout. From Darin?s rambo rampage to Shaun?s lounge act to the rock star Gerry Nunn, 12 Honkeys lets the riders show another side of themselves with often hilarious results. Although blatantly tongue-in-cheek, I would say most of this film would probably be rated PG-13, and you may think twice before letting your mini-groms watch their favorite riders fire weapons, chase cars and get chicks.
On the water, this movie shines fairly well in capturing most of today?s best riders going off. You?ll see Parks? insane triple up re-entry spins, Darin?s massive air, Regg?s late-rotation style and Byerly?s extensive sliding mayhem. (Definitely don?t try this at home.) I was a bit disappointed with some riding sections like Cobe?s and Rob Struharik?s, which seem to get cut off right as they are getting started, apparently to jump back to get in all the acting parts. Also, as this film was shot a good while ago, you do see many of the riders hit the water without vests on, which is kind of a letdown today.
Overall I would recommend checking out 12 Honkeys. It really takes a different approach at capturing a little wakeboarding history and making a little of its own.
Here?s a report from ad-master Jason Bingham on what it was like to check out 12 Honkeys at the premiere at the X Games:
?I?ve always wondered what it would be like to see some of my favorite riders outside the confines of my 27-inch TV and up on a real movie screen. The X Games is where I had the unique privilege of sitting in a crowded art deco full-on movie theater with the likes of Shaun Murray, Darin Shapiro, Parks, Byerly and a majority of the industry, with popcorn in hand, to see the premiere of Sidewayz?s latest hit, 12 Honkeys. You?ll have to get the movie for yourself to witness Tony Finn?s very lifelike portrayal of an overweight police chief (a la Boss Hogg) and to see Byerly sliding a limo. What an experience.? – Jason Bingham


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