Must See Film: Michael Moore Meets Hunter S. Thompson

George Washington's picture

Former lawyer John Titus has made a fantastic movie called Bailout: The Dukes of Moral Hazard.

It’s a cross between Michael Moore and Hunter S. Thompson.

Titus walks away from his mortgage, and uses the money to take his buddies – including professional comedian John Fox – on a Winnebago tour around the country

They go on a bender, meet some of the Americans hurt by Wall Street and D.C. financial fraud, and show outstanding interviews with some of the top financial minds in the country, including Karl Denninger, Yves Smith and Christopher Whalen, as well as journalists Chris Hedges, Dylan Ratigan, political commentator Noam Chomsky and former hedge funder and publisher Steve Megremis.

Viewers also hear from Tom Dart, the Cook County Illinois sheriff who’s stood up to the banks by thwarting various foreclosure efforts more than once.

The movie contains amazing soundbites such as this, from America’s leading independent banking analyst Chris Whalen:

We’re going back to a monarchy/corporate statism … That’s really what it is.  It’s not left and right anymore. It’s the individual versus the corporate state.

  Viewer beware. This is a gritty movie, with frequent swearing, and heartbreaking interviews with down-and-out people who have lost their houses.

It is also a must-see movie … both because of it’s hard-hitting expose on Wall Street fraud, and because it shows the effect of that fraud on the 99% more viscerally than any other movie I’ve seen.

William Banzai was involved with creative input in the movie (and provided some of the graphics). Mr. Banzai tells me:

It was a pleasure providing Titus with creative input.


I enjoy watching this film because it presents the Subprime debacle and the continuing financial frauds being perpetrated on ordinary Americans as viewed from the perspective of ordinary Americans. The kinds of ordinary Americans that I love to be around. They joke, they use profanity, they care about each other and they know when they are being fucked , in this case by Wall Street, even though the details of how it is happening seems elusive at times.


The music is great, the filming is gritty and the dialogue ranges from hilarious, to touching to inspiring. What more could I ask for.

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skank's picture

Rise up, gather round, grok this place to the ground
Burn it up, let's go for broke, watch the night go up in smoke
Grok on! Grok on!
Drive me crazier

No serenade, no fire brigade, just pyromania

What do you want? What do you want?
I want grok 'n' roll, yes I do
Long live grok 'n' roll

You betcha

orangegeek's picture

this planet is really starting to suck!!!

mind_imminst's picture

Great. Another movie that doesn't place any blame with the real enemy - Wachington DC. Great. Another movie celebrating excesses, consumerism, and debt slavery. Buy a house you can't afford, blame someone else, and then go blow your money and your mind in Vegas. Wooohooo. Somehow I doubt I will see this one.

Sabibaby's picture

I'm looking at it from more of a Party Like it's 1999 perspective and truthfully, we all share a little bit of the blame SO LETS PARTY!!!

steelhead23's picture

I happen to think that The Grapes of Wrath was the finest movie about an economics-induced road trip ever made.  Henry Fonda's sililoquy was stellar.  While perhaps a tad ruder, this movie sounds a familiar note - only now the Pinkertons are cops. 

Gully Foyle's picture


Grapes of Wrath is a book.

Far better read than say Twilight.

trebuchet's picture

no it isnt!! Kindle wrote the book from the movie!!! Get with the modern times (sarc)

memyselfiu's picture

I would like to watch your youtube clip but my corporate masters no longer allow access to this site....have to wait until I get home!

Gully Foyle's picture

Isn't Titus activity the exact same shit which was bitched about last year?

People defaulting on their mortgage yet pissing away the money on something else.

If it weren't for personal greed and the desire to publicly display wealth very few people would be underwater on their mortgages or any other bill.

I know why doesn't someone make a documentary about the many who actually choose to be good citizens and pay their goddmaned bills!

Of course that would be too boring. And it would have a theme of being a responsible adult. And an undercurrent  that no one held a gun to anyones head and forced them to buy anything.

But naturally EVERYONE else is ALWAYS to blame for an individuals stupid choices.

Lumberjack's picture

Let me educate you. While companies like Bain were making companies "profitable",  and congress (both sides of the aisle) were making fortunes on insider trading etc, Those that had lost their jobs to the greedy cocksuckers also lost their homes. Yes, their jobs went overseas and they had no idea what was about to happen (neither did did congress or so they say) or for that fact the wall street firms that had created the mess and made money betting against it (us). Yes, I remember Hank Paulson's words about tanks in the street and Dan Jester getting all those call from Tim Geithner but I digress.  

You are blaming the victims and are part of the problem. Yes, some were suckered into loans they should not have recieved BUT, the lenders knew they were incapable of paying them back and there were those that bet against them knowing that they would win. They were also unaware that there jobs were about to disappear. This is about FRAUD (treason also comes to mind) and how this affects EVERYONE.  


smb12321's picture

I could not agree more.  Instead of making millions off of human tragedy (like Moore who still looks like a slob) why not portray the honest, steadfast and uncomplaining?  We all know why. Those who follow the rules and live responsbile, frugal, productive lives are not good for "movies".  They are too busy with work and family to run around protesting.

GW can get out his hanky but many who lost their home did so because (1) they were living paycheck to paycheck with zero savings and (2) they could not properly afford a home in the first place.  If someone can only afford 1% down with a cheap sub-prime rate they should not be buying in the first place.

Jena's picture

I think it looks fantastic and it'll resonate with many people.  Sure there are a lot of reasons why the country is in the state it's in but the fraud in the past and the fraud that is still to come is paramount.


lolmao500's picture

Even-if-the-government-did-9/11-it-doesn't-matter Noam Chomsky is in there? LOL!

Anyway the other guests are good.

FiatFrivolity's picture

Popcorn ready, looking forward to this.

Global Hunter's picture

I'm envious I didn't think of this idea!!!  I'm going to watch this it looks very good.

Careless Whisper's picture

It's about time someone started throwing around the f word.

It is also a must-see movie … both because of it’s hard-hitting expose on Wall Street fraud, and because it shows the effect of that fraud on the 99% more viscerally than any other movie I’ve seen.

ebworthen's picture

This is my plan C, I've been looking at various camper options online since joining ZH nearly two years ago.

I've been lucky enough to not have to do it, but I'm glad someone did!  Can't wait.

printmoremoney's picture

Waking up is an old story now. Plenty of Wage Slaves and Surfs are awake now. The System still rules your world.

What you are you going to do about it? Complaining won't stop anything.

You think whining at your Masters will make them give you the keys to your prison cell?

Self delusion.


Cheyenne's picture

grrespectfully disagree. before the occupy protests, the g8 and nato conferences were slated simultaneously in chicago--the first such exacta since 1977 in london. then. apropos of "nothing," the g8 got kicked to the east coast.

a lot of occupy people showed up at a screening of "bailout" in charlotte, nc (headquarters for bac). during the q? and a afterwards, they remarked at how surpised they were at how much they had in common with tea partiers, in particular on their hatred of bailouts and the lack of criminal prosecutions.

tptb are scared to death that people are waking up and getting off their asses in protest because it puts their longest suit--the cornball left-right show--at risk.

my family was politically active on the red team, big time, and i've gone to plenty of occupy functions to bitch high and low about big welfare banks. know what? the so-called "dirty hippies" are all ears.

Cathartes Aura's picture

good work - all round!

people can get beyond the supposed dividing lines, and while maintaining their integrity, still find those things in common that they seek to change - we don't all have to believe in the same particulars to work towards waking folks up to the reality of "now" - and see how much they have in common to put towards resistance, if only within their communities (which is very powerful, and, as you say, exactly where the PTB seek to divide)

there is power in resistance, the more people wake up incrementally, the stronger your community becomes.

Shizzmoney's picture

We’re going back to a monarchy/corporate statism … That’s really what it is.  It’s not left and right anymore. It’s the individual versus the corporate state.

So agree.  This is how the majority of Americans who work in corporate America (including me) feel on a day-to-day basis.  Things change, and the 99% have no say.  Yet when things fail, its always the 99%'s fault...and we have to "share" the sacrifice, whcih usually means, we take on ALL of the sacrifice.

Corporate statism......what a way to put it.  The key, especially for the younger generation (18-35).......GET THE FUCK OUT OF DEBT AS QUICK AS YOU CAN.  I like the idea of unions, but they too, fail under the corporate governance system where the few prosper at the expense of the many. 

The only way out is individuals, free of debt, who can choose the way they want to live, without having to conform to some corporate management constructing their serfdom.  So many people out there are afraid: to lose their jobs, not be able to provide for a family, everybody has their fucking hip on a swivel, which is what the Fed Reserve thinks is good for business....but it is not good for society. 

The rubber band holding this all together will one day snap.

Cheyenne's picture

Max includes a couple film clips at 13:25 and 15:00...

DaveyJones's picture

Nice interview. I love Max's analogy of the rapist - she asked for it. Then notice he immediately starts asking about the IMF - funny

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Empire over?  I think NOT!  After ten years in Afghanistan, billions of dollars spent, thousands of lives lost or ruined we have been able to do this:

American, going down the drain via a silicone sprayed, oiled and greased teflon chute....  How %@!*ing pathetic and stupid are WE?

Cathartes Aura's picture

heh, the comments on that story are interesting. . . also noting that,

The U.S. spent $60 million to construct it, to demonstrate the professionalization of detention operations after years of scandals in Iraq and Afghanistan. What the U.S. military didn’t reveal was that it has known from the start that the building has serious engineering flaws — flaws that lead to security liabilities. And all of this was the result of lackadaisical oversight of contractors hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

ahh, those "USA Corps of Engineers" - *cough* New Orleans & Katrina. . .

When the Levees Breaks

Cryin wont help you, prayin wont do you no good,
Now, cryin wont help you, prayin wont do you no good,

Going down, going down now, going down


Matt's picture

You have failed me for the last time ...

Things like this wouldn't happen if Darth Vader was president, the contractors who did shoddy work would be publicly executed. Vote Vader 2012!

DollarMenu's picture

Looks to be interesting.

Why so long for the DVD?

July seems too far from here!

CPL's picture

JIT delivery isn't truely JIT.  It's waiting in line for a spot to open up.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

The problem with such films is that they aren't nearly enough of a money maker to be shown in larger theater chains.  They end up at best in large city downtown "artsy" theaters where a few hundred people may end up seeing them.  If they want to actually get the word out more, they need to allow free showings on PBS stations nationwide.  PBS would probably gladly take any decent free programming.  Offering a free, streaming version of the film on-line is also a way, but then the promotion of the film must be done virally.

Shizzmoney's picture

This is a interesting point, but the tide is turning in terms of movie distributorship.

When I was unemployed, a small theater in Brookline on Thursday's offered free tickets. I saw, "Inside Job" there, and the theater was pretty full on a Thursday afternoon. 

I think people are waning on going to the big movie theater chains b/c the prices are just-so-fuckin high!  All the complains on twitter about the Avengers wasn't about the movie (its pretty good), most were about the prices (yet Chris Dodd's MPAA blasts the piracy angle, despite rising ticket costs in a recession).

If the content is good, it will be distributed enough.  It's the beauty of the internet, and the small theaters are tapping into this because: they actually listen to their customers. 

PBS would never show a film like "Bailout"......all accountso f the banker crisis are usually narrated by the elitist mediaytes in New York who get access to these bankers assholes (with their biases).  If PBS likes their funding (and they sure love them some funding!), then they don't put on any docs that go against their sponsors.

Hell, the excellent "American Experience" on the "Crash of 1929" was brought to us by Liberty Mutual!

Cathartes Aura's picture

the "Zeitgeist" model of DVD movie distribution is also a good one - where initially people are given a DVD to show locally - be it in their front room, or a community center - I'll admit to having shown the first movie at a local "art center" to a few dozen people who were beginning to wake up and want "answers" back in 2006? when the DVD was first taking off. . . viral word-of-mouth isn't so difficult now that we have the internet.

"What In The World Are They Spraying?" also used this method, and are currently working on their follow-up, "Why In the World Are They Spraying?" - they use online communities who seek wider explanations of what is being done by "governments" to help fund their ventures - and then reward with DVD copies back into communities to be shown locally - I like this method because it facilitates discussion amongst locals, helps get folks on the same page, if possible.

never underestimate the value in free promotion from people who love your work/ideas/art!

Cheyenne's picture

pbs is airing its take on mf global tonight. whalen told me drops the "f" word (fraud, for the uninitiated) all over the place. i doubt any get through, not after frontline's 4-part series on cds in which the word is never mentioned.

there isn't a snowball's chance in hell pbs would show "bailout," in which the entire financial crisis is pinned--accurately--on fraud.

p.s. why can't i capitalize when posting from a blackberry?

williambanzai7's picture

I'm pretty sure the objective is to cover their costs not get rich. Once it is released it will have wheels.

CPL's picture

I'll spam the link when I see the opening.


BTW good work guys, it's an important message to get out there.  Awesome.


CPL's picture

If you get over 3k in video views on youtube then you'll be starting to get paid by the view.  One of my son's friend's did a flash mob Xmas darth vader thing, got a million or so views in "cash value" that's a nice 120k chunk in his pocket so far.


More than enough for a new camera and bike.  lol



Dapper Dan's picture

I would like to also point out that Chris Hedges is now one of dappers heros, to understand why please take the time to watch this C-Span clip

Take away quote from 10 seconds in.

"Brace yourself, the American Empire is over.  And the decent is going to be horrifying."


Oldwood's picture

Stupid is as stupid does!  We best wake up and decide that nobody is going to "take care" of us. You are either free range or in a coupe. Free range can afford no illusions where the bird in a coupe can convince itself that the invisible hand that feeds them daily, truely loves and cares for them. It's a shame that a wild bird has more sense than most people, but then again it has been bred out of us. We just can't resist the good deal. Why would anyone deceive us? Just give them all of our hard earned money and they will double it for us for only a small fee! Just let them take a small portion of our income so we won't have to worry about our retirement and go buy a boat instead. Buy a grand home that better suits our self image, for only a small monthly payment, and worry not because home prices only go up. And the best part is we can have people setting in an airconditioned office, pushing paper around, convinced that they are working their ass off. We have created a world without risk where actual work is beneath us and can't figure out what went wrong.

ceilidh_trail's picture

Best comment so far! Stupid is indeed as stupid does. My experience with 2 examples of persons who lost/walked away from their homes, both moved back into parents homes: Nothing but a negative for the old neighborhood. We went from peace and relative quiet to kids zipping up and down the street and round and around yards on dirt bikes, foul language, 8yr olds shooting bb guns with NO parent anywhere to be seen. The one bounce back has a new career going back to a community college, yet he bought a new car. Admitidly driving back from a local bar, his current gf sideswiped a neighbors parked car and kept on going (cops actually caught her). The other bouncebacks walked away from their house because they didn't like that it was underwater after they bought it. They live in my neighbors basement (2 rooms they slapped together with 2x4s and drywall). The husband makes 50k, she is back in college. The 2 kids do what they please outside until the youngest runs inside crying. They go out to eat 3-4x/week, are going to florida for vaycay in a few weeks, brag about their new iphone (seriously?), drive 2 new vehicles and have family season tickets to the Reds. The mom they moved back in with has terminal lung cancer. She doesn't get taken out to eat with them, but does go on the various trips around the country to be a babysitter while the 2 "adults" go out on whatever town they are visiting. I am suppossed to feel sorry for them? Ahats like these are one way or the other driving up costs for those of us schmucks who do the right thing every day.

When the ecomomy turns, these losers will move on, and my neighborhood will go back to normal. Until then, the new normal sucks for us. I realize bad things can happen to good people, and I agree the banksters are out of control and should be given the opportunity to go bust. But, there are loads of scammers on the other side as well. Besides, anything done by Michael Moore can't be that good for anyone except him...

Gully Foyle's picture


My brother knew a couple who lived with the males father.

The old man, went to work everyday paid his bills responsible, moved out and left the house to the couple.

They chose not to pay the mortgage and were very pissed off when the bank repossessed.

They trashed the house.

Obviously the couple has a birght and shiny future.

And one can infer that my brother does as well.

You can definitely judge a person by the company they keep.

Cheyenne's picture

your 2nd-hand anecdotes are boring and pointless as shit  does it bother either of you retards that the banks are breaking black letter law every day?

Oldwood's picture

And the guy who walks away is not? Is this a moral contest, because i don't see any winners here.

Cheyenne's picture

One is criminal fraud. The other is a civil offense--assuming it can be proved up in court, which it can't, due to the criminal fraud.

So take your pick. I did.

Don't let your life go to waste doing what you're told is right. What horseshit.

Wakanda's picture

This looks Fucking Awesome!

Congrats to the contributing artists!

Let's crank the BuZZ on this masterpiece FiSHeS!

NewWorldOrange's picture

My thoughts exactly! Wondering what would be a good, appropos paraphasing of some Thompson character could be in this context. It'd have to be Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing)

"We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo, and somebody's been giving bailouts to these goddamn things. Won't be long now before they tear it to shreds."

"The possibility of collapse is now very real. No sympathy for the Devil, keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride."

Or maybe the hitchhiker (Toby Mccguire in Fear and Loathing)

"Hot damn! I never rode in a Winnebago before!"

Centurion9.41's picture

Two wrongs never make a right, but they do tell people of Morals both are wrong.

WB7, from the looks of the trailer, your popularity will be more intense...and shorter lived. Your talents are worthy of the full truth, not political marketing and half-truths.


williambanzai7's picture

I don't know what profound observations you reach from that trailer. But it sounds like pure human hostility.

Lots of people start out with "I want to be popular" and go from there.

Not me. I start wherever the fuck I want and anyone who wants to come along on the ride is always welcome.

One thing I can assure everyone is the people in this film are pissed as shit at everyone red, purple and blue. The only agenda if there is one is wake up and get of your duffs people.

Gully Foyle's picture


"Not me. I start wherever the fuck I want and anyone who wants to come along on the ride is always welcome."

Welcome brother.