Hands On A Hard Body
Any state that can twist its anti-littering campaign into the chest-beating threat, "Don't mess with Texas!" is clearly in a world of its own. In the no-budget video documentary Hands On A Hard Body, however, director and editor S.R. Bindler shows that even the strangest denizens of the Lone Star State, when placed in the right situation, can shed their eccentricities and reveal an unbreakable bond of community. Each year, a Longview car dealership gives away a new $15,000 truck. The contest rules are as simple as the contest itself is grueling: Participants must stand with at least one hand laying on the truck, and the last person to take his or her hand offusually the last person left standingrides off with the pick-up. What at first seems merely an exercise in patience and endurance becomes a real test of mental strength. With literally days of sleep deprivation, delirium begins to set in, and even the strongest contestants risk losing as a result of some careless slip-up. As the players begin to drop out, the drama increases. Who will make it to the end? Who will overcome the extreme heat, the tedium, the mosquitoes, and the mental burnout to win the contest? With some participants adhering to a strict regimen of careful eating and stretching, others just smiling and smoking cigarettes, and one person seemingly possessed by the spirit of God, the outcome is a mystery right up until the end. The camaraderie among these strangers tossed together by fate is inspiring, as the competition gives way to good sportsmanship and, ultimately, good will.