Awfully Good: FDR: American Badass

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

The U.S. celebrated President’s Day this past Monday and now we celebrate the most badass of all American leaders.

FDR: American Badass (2012)

Director: Garrett Brawith
Stars: Barry Bostwick, Bruce McGill, Lin Shaye

After contracting polio from an untimely lycan bite, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gets elected President on one simple platform: kick more werewolf ass all the time!

I know what you’re thinking. You’re tired of all these over-the-top revisionist historical movies about U.S. Presidents. But I implore you to not let that cloud your judgment, because FDR: AMERICAN BADASS makes ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER look like HYDE PARK ON HUDSON. It’s destined to be a quotable cult favorite, so you might as well watch it now.

It was a complete mystery as to why Betty was the #1 fruit salesman in the entire South.

If you saw the red-band trailer last year and thought FDR:AB couldn’t possibly live up to that, it does—and more. It’s perverse, raunchy, politically incorrect and downright hilarious. It feels like early Zucker Bros. mixed with a modern Grindhouse flick, specifically Rob Zombie‘s “Werewolf Women of the S.S.” There’s also a bit of Will FerrellAdam McKay randomness thrown in, including some Ron Burgundy-esque exclamations (“Sh*t goblins!” “Wonder c*nt!”) and the best explanation for a town’s name since the Whale’s Vagina. The obviously low budget matches the low-grade humor, but that’s only part of its charm.

Not long after, President Roosevelt also had polio on his genitals.

AMERICAN BADASS reimagines the 32nd President as a foul mouthed, horndog with a prophetic knowledge of modern hip-hop culture—shooting off as much jive slang as he does silver bullets. When we first meet him, he’s walking through the forest hunting with some of his political homeboys when they’re attacked by a rogue werewolf. After being warned that lycan bites transmit polio, FDR exclaims in slow motion “F*ck polio!” and then proceeds to fistfight a werewolf. Eventually the politician is successful in defeating his hairy nemesis, but not before getting bitten on the leg and passing out. When he awakens in the hospital and learns he’ll never walk again, FDR’s response: “Does my c*ck still work?” The movie continues to be exactly this awesome until the end credits.

“What kind of dog can use the phone? A Dial-Matian!”

Not long after, FDR gets elected to the Oval Office and we meet a number of important historical figures and witness a variety of real-life events, from the repeal of prohibition to the President’s Lend-Lease policy. Also, Nazi werewolves. The Axis of Lycan Evil consists of wolf versions of Hitler (who we see playing beer pong with a bare-chested woman), Hirohito (getting ready for his job at Benihana) and Mussolini (with the worst Italian accent ever). Their evil conspiracy—polluting all of America’s imported beer, wine and sake with tainted werewolf blood—is thankfully no match for the President and his trusty Delano 2000, a souped-up wheelchair equipped with a machine gun and rocket launcher.

Michael Bay‘s WHEELCHAIR: THE MOVIE was about what you expected.

But AMERICAN BADASS isn’t just all explosions and dick jokes. No, there’s plenty of rich drama like FDR coming to terms with his disability, engaging in extramarital affairs, and struggling with his decision to enter World War II. And what momentous event finally convinces the Prez to join the fight? (Hint: It’s not Pearl Harbor.) Roosevelt takes a dip in to George Washington’s personal weed stash and is soon met by the spirit of Abraham Lincoln who joins FDR to double team Mary Jane. Lincoln gives Frank some sage advice before taking him for a magic, wheelchair-bound flight through the night sky and convinces him to do the right thing. Along the way Lincoln spots an interracial couple having sex and says, “Emancipate that ass!” Take that, Spielberg.

Lincoln really put the pipe in his stovepipe hat, if you know what I mean.

The fact that this movie works as well as it does is a credit to Barry Bostwick, who is pretty fearless as the memorable title character and clearly down for whatever ridiculous things the filmmakers want him to do. The same can be said for the great group of character actors along for the ride. There’s Lin Shaye as the First Lady (“It looks like Eleanor Roosevelt is going to have to strong-arm a ho!”), Bruce McGill as FDR’s right hand man (who gets to recite the best final line of any movie, ever), Ray Wise as General Douglas “Dougie Mac” MacArthur, and Hercules himself, Kevin Sorbo, as the pot smoking ghost of our Nation’s 16th President. Everybody’s having a ton of fun here and it shows.

God bless America!

The ending is a bit anti-climactic and it occasionally verges on being too stupid (i.e. the secretary with a cripple-condiment fetish), but FDR: AMERICAN BADASS is still the best Presidential biopic of 2012.

God bless…uh, Canada!

WARNING: Don’t drink any water while watching this clip. Your keyboard may get wet.

FDR takes his new machine gun-equipped wheelchair out for a test run against some mobster werewolves.

In addition to Hitler’s topless beer pong partner, FDR does some body shots off a naked girl.

You have nothing to fear, but not watching this movie! Buy it here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • FDR refers to himself as “The Delano”
  • FDR mentions his genitals
  • FDR’s shriveled polio legs are shown
  • Another President is mentioned or seen
  • A telephone operator gets executed
  • Someone belittles Albert Einstein

Double shot if:

  • Someone poops in a vase

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.


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