Break Yo’ TV: Martini Ranch – “Reach”

As has been well documented over the past year, Academy Award-winning directors and former couple James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow aren’t big fans of one another. However, during their courtship and eventual marriage, things were obviously different. The couple collaborated on the 1991 cult classic, Point Break and a little known music video that wasn’t either’s finest hour

Believe it or not, in the ’80s, Bill Paxton (yes, that Bill Paxton) formed a new wave outfit with his brother and called it Martini Ranch. Somehow, the two managed to hoodwink Sire Records to two albums in 1986 and 1988, and fool musicians like Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, and Mark Isham to contribute their talents to this collection of laughable tracks.

But, it was Martini Ranch’s music video for “Reach” that became the band’s lasting legacy. Directed by Cameron, the video had a Wild West theme, which starred Bigelow as the hero. This video is the definition of unintentional comedy and has all the hallmarks to make it an underground cult classic due to its mix of awfulness and awkwardness. In addition to Bigelow, Cameron’s star power managed to lure actors like Paul Reiser and Judge Reinhold to foolishly participate in the project.

The video starts when Paxton rides into a dusty old west town, taking in the sights that are stereotypical for this time, like coffin making. It’s all serious and somber until he spies one beefcake lady melting iron as he rolls up to the local bar. Mercifully, things begin to pick up; the beats kick in, Bigelow and her posse arrive on the scene, and the rest is music video history.


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