The Drunk Review

The Drunk is a political thriller/drama that debuted on May 1, 2014. This film is based on the former Indiana senator, Democrat Eugene Debs.

When the show opens, we are introduced to the quirky Joe Debs (William Tanoos), who is drunk and bragging about running for a political office. 

Governor Littleton (Jesse Ventura) speaks to the public, about the United States government corruption. 

Back in Terre Haute, Indiana, Joe Debs is pulled over by a police officer. He attempts to make small talk with the officer, but is unsuccessful in trying manipulate the cop. He is immediately arrested after refusing to take a breathalyzer test. 

Prosecuting attorney, Bruce Frye (Tom Sizemore) and Chuck (Danny Goldring) are making rude sexual jokes about women. They also speak of Bruce’s corrupt campaign techniques.

When Joe arrives home, his eccentric mom, Maggie (Cindy Gold) is there and tells him that their last name, Debs, is going to stick with them throughout their lives. The Debs’s museum is visited by Lacey (Deanna Myers) and Jordan (Elaine Ivy Harris), who are members of the American Socialist Party, despite looking like they are twelve. Joe kindly gives them a tour of the museum, during which he explains to them about socialism. 

The Debs are faced with loosing their museum because the school has decreased their subsidies. Joe chooses to wear his granddad’s Eugene Debs’s golf uniform to court. He and his attorney, Larry Donegan, (Paul Fleschner) are in court trying to fight his DUI conviction. They are immediately taken to a recess by the judge. Frye wants the judge to prosecute Joe to the fullest extent but Joe objects.

Joe continues to spiral out of control with his drinking, although he is facing time in jail. 

Joe and Larry meet in Frye’s office to try and convince him to change his mind about prosecuting him. Joe’s bad behavior and disrespect only adds fuel to the fire. It is obvious that Frye detests Joe and he kicks him out of his office.

Joe has made a big decision, one that will change his life forever, hopefully. He is going to run for the Indiana governor democrat nomination, against Bruce Frye. He uses his grandfather’s traditional form of campaigning as his own. 

He convinces Becky McKinney (Maura Kidwell) to go out with him but she is campagin coordinator for another canidate. She calls Joe a liberal elite. 

Frye becomes very agitated when he sees one of Debs’s teleivison ads, which is poking fun at him. He even goes so far as to physically attack one of his campaign workers. 

Joe refuses to change his old ways, drinking and getting drunk, just to save face. Larry tries to get him to become more neutral but he becomes angry and throws an alcoholic beverage in his face. Frye has just released a new television ad that shows the socialist party as being communist. 

Joe is beat up by a bunch of punks, in the alleyway. His grandfather is his mentor, although he has long since been dead, because he was thrown in prison for his believes, but still fought his way through all the political idiocy.

Matthew Frye (Adam Mondschein) and Joe were partying when they decided to drive home. Matthew was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him dead. This is the real reason why Bruce holds a personal hatred for Joe.

 While Joe is trying to pull Becky into his campaign, Bruce is trying to convince Larry to join his campaign. Becky joins Joe against the advice of Larry. Larry joins Frye because he offers him something that is too juicy to turn down, an expensive treatment for his daughter’s illness, but he will have to reveal something about Joe that will ruin him and his campaign. 

Jordan passes out after drinking with Joe and EMS is called to transport her to the hospital. At the ER, he meets with someone he knew from the past. The lady’s son, Bobby Cunningham (Michael Pogue), is suffering from asthma but cannot afford to pay for his inhalers because they have no medial insurance. He decides that his is going to try help poor people.

Will Joe become the governor of Indiana or will he continue his spiral downward? 


If you like a little political fun, you should definitely give this movie a go. The screenplay is perfect for this show. Joe is a guy that is not wiling to pretend that he is someone else, just because he is running for a political office. If our countrymen were this loyal and honest to the people during their campaign, there would be no surprises once they are in office, but this usually is not the case. Hence, the recent criminal activities of several politicians have been revealed to the public through main stream media. If you like this film you should check out Eugene Debs’s history as a historical political figure.


If you ever decide to run for a political office, be sure to watch this movie, when you are feeling hopeless. Although Joe is a drunk, he is also a person that cares about the people of Indiana. William Tanoos and Tom Sizemore did an excellent job in their roles. This film deserves an 8 out of 10. 

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