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The most famous actor to come out of Fort Worth was probably Bill Paxton. Hardly anyone from Paxton’s hometown, however, had seen his first movie, Taking Tiger Mountain. The bizarre, black-and-white curiosity known mostly for its obscurity and unavailability to the public finally appeared on the big screen locally in a re-edited format.

Plenty of head scratching followed.

Tom Huckabee at last night’s screening of Taking Tiger Mountain Revisited. (Photo by Jeff Prince)

What does the film say to audiences? I have no idea.

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Is it entertaining? Well, watching your dropped ice cream cone melt on hot pavement can be entertaining with the right mindset. Or you might lament wasting money on a ruined ice cream and walk away disappointed.

This movie is like that.

Taking Tiger Mountain Revisited is unrated but would most likely receive an X-rating due to full frontal nudity by Paxton and (simulated?) fellatio with a nude actress.

Author Joe Lansdale, Huckabee, and entrepreneur John Haden walk the red carpet (Photo by Jeff Prince).

Violence and just plain weirdness dominate as well. It’s not surprising that the movie took 35 years to finally play in the Hollywood star’s relatively conservative hometown.

“Even though Bill and I and some of the other filmmakers were from Fort Worth, none of us thought that Fort Worth was ready for it as far as community standards go,” Fort Worth filmmaker Tom Huckabee told the audience prior to last night’s screening. “It’s an extreme movie.”

Paxton died unexpectedly after a surgery in 2017. Watching this new release depicting Paxton at such an early age and in such a strange role is fascinating for fans of the actor.

Huckabee, one of Paxton’s closest friends, spent the past two years working with others to complete and release the film. Last night’s screening at the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase at the Hilton Garden Inn Medical Center drew a large crowd, although a handful left before the 75-minute movie ended.

The festival runs through Saturday.

If anyone is interested in seeing the film, go to the festival this weekend and find Huckabee. He will sell you a copy of the DVD or probably take you to his hotel room nearby and give you a private screening if you ask nicely.

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