The real conflict, however, comes in the form of a Southern Fried übermensch named Ulysses (the eternally awe-inspiring Timothy Carey), local business owner and oil slick brute who has the screaming hots for Marie. The feeling is less than mutual with Marie prefering “dirt” over Ulysses, but he’s a man with an epic case of bullheadedness. […]
When BAYOU was first released by United Artists, as a B-picture on double-bills with self-produced features like TAMMY AND THE BACHELOR, it did not do that well – despite a young and attractive cast, handsome monochrome photography by Alabama-born brothers Vincent and Ted Saizis, some nicely authentic Southern Louisiana locales and a heart-stopping dance sequence by Timothy Carey, who makes Elvis Presley at his most manic seem like a Carmelite nun. It died a quite box office death. […]
And then approaching the stage like a hep cat Zeus meets Godzilla, is Ulysses, his arms up in the air looking like a resplendent rock and roll vision in a generic zydeco world.
He then quickly grabs Marie by her long hair and starts swinging her around, while Martin stands by a tree smoking. In an amazing move of deftness, Ulysses manages to unbutton his shirt while swinging around the unhappy-looking Marie, even switching arms. She manages to finally get free, leaving him to fully unleash the epic “Cajun dance” that entails a lot of manic hip thrusts, self-caressing and knee-knocking wildness.
The cuts of this sequence differ in both versions, for better and worse. In BAYOU, after Marie gets free, she runs over to check on Emil, then Martin (1:07:17). Carey’s dance is also (sadly) shorter. In POOR WHITE TRASH, the whole scene with Emil is cut out, making it look like Marie immediately checks on Martin after getting free from the Southern Psychotic Reaction Elvis. Also in PWT, they have looped some of the Cajun dance sequence, making it seem longer than it really was. This is not a bad thing, since I could watch an eight-hour cut of Carey frugging away. […]
Having a milquetoast hero doesn’t help, but there is enough artistry and good performances, courtesy of [Lita] Milan and [Douglas] Fowley, and an absolutely volcanic turn by Timothy Carey.
Now let’s all go crack hickory nuts and shimmy!
– Heather Drain, “How’s Bayou? A Look at the Original Poor White Trash”; Video Watchdog No. 166 (Jan/Feb 2012)