By Richard Winters
My Rating: 2 out of 10
4-Word Review: They dream about Hawaii.
Bobby (Paul Le Mat) enjoys racing cars and shooting pool, but resists being tied down with a steady job. Rose (Dianne Hull) is a young single woman trying to raise a small child on her own while still living with her mother (Martine Bartlett). By chance the two meet one day and instantly hit-it-off. They decide they want to run away together to the exotic locale of Hawaii, but lack the funds. Bobby tries to hold up a liquor store by using a fake gun, but the shop’s owner comes out of a back room and threatens to kill him, so Rose hits the man over his head with a bottle and the gun accidently discharges and kills the young clerk. Now the two must go on the run and evade the police who are after them.
Unfortunately the basic premise here is highly flawed making it hard if not impossible to get into it. For one thing there was no one else in the liquor store to ID the young couple, so the police would not necessarily be looking for them. Secondly the clerk was shot by the store owner, not by Bobby or Rose and the gun is clearly in the man’s hands when he falls to the ground. A simply residue test would prove that he was the one who fired the weapon and it wasn’t just planted on him afterwards. Since there was no one else in the store Bobby and Rose could simply say that the owner and clerk got into an argument and the owner threatened to kill the young man, so in an effort to save him Rose hit the owner with a bottle, but the gun went off anyways. There would be no else to refute this barring that the owner did indeed die and even if he had survived it would simply be his word against there’s and ultimately he would still be the one caught holding the gun, so in essence these kids seem to be running for no real reason.
There is another scene later on where the two crash the car they are driving and conveniently find another one sitting in a dark alleyway. The movie doesn’t even bother to show Bobby hotwiring it, which is how they usually steal cars in the movies, but later on we see him turning the ignition to the car in an effort to start the vehicle. This then signals that the keys were left in the ignition when they found it and the windows rolled down, but how many cars does one find out on the street, or anywhere for that matter, that are like that?
I did appreciate that the film shows in slow motion their heads hitting and cracking the windshield during the accident as this is what will occur especially when the occupants are not wearing their seatbelts. Yet later on they go into a washroom and wipe the blood away with a wet cloth and it’s all gone, but bleeding from the head most likely means that the skull was cracked and would require stitches, which means continual bleeding even if the dried blood gets erased.
The location is wrong as well. The setting is Los Angeles, but several characters speak with southern tinged accents and just about all of them convey small town sentiments. Very little footage is shown of the two actually out on the open road and the music that gets played is a scattershot mix of ‘70s tunes that runs the gamut of musical genres and never gives the film any unifying sound or mood.
The supporting cast helps a bit. I enjoyed seeing Robert Carradine looking like he was still in high school. Tim McIntire adds some verve as an outspoken Texan who has no qualms mixing-it-up with anyone that he comes into contact with and Bartlett is engaging as the flaky mother, but the story meanders too much and goes nowhere. There were many road movies that came out during the 70’s and many of them were well done, but this isn’t one of them.
My Rating: 2 out of 10
Released: April 29, 1975
Runtime: 1Hour 28Minutes
Director: Floyd Mutrux
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Posted in 70's Movies, Fast Cars/Car Chase, Road Movies, Romance
Tagged Dianne Hull, Entertainment, Martine Bartlett, Movies, Paul LeMat, Review, Robert Carradine, TIm McIntire
By Richard Winters
My Rating: 3 out of 10
4-Word Review: An aimless, carefree lifestyle.
Based on the novel by Robert T. Westbrook who also wrote the screenplay the film centers on Stanley (Don Johnson in his film debut) an underground filmmaker living in an apartment that is almost continually bombarded with the noise of a construction site next door. He has big dreams and ambitions, but at times seems awkward and unsure of himself. He meets Cathy (Dianne Hull) who he initially is just interested in for sex, but then he starts to fall-in-love with her and when she breaks up with him he finds it hard to handle.
The movie starts out well. I enjoyed the free-style direction and narrative. Cutting back and forth showing things as they are versus how Stanley would like them to be is fun, but the film deviates away from this when it would have been more interesting had it stayed this course all the way through. There is a certain element of one of Andy Warhol’s anti-movie movies here where the film tries to challenge the viewer’s conventional understanding of protagonists, plot, character development and all around narrative structure and it is no surprise that Warhol really liked this movie. It does have a strong cinema vertite approach that gives you a feeling like you are right there with the characters and to a certain extent helps bring the 60’s back to life.
Unfortunately the direction is too lackadaisical and unfocused and the story is uninteresting. Looking more at Stanley’s underground films could have given it a little more bite, but we only get a glimpse of one of his movies and then that thread is pretty much forgotten. The second half of the film centers on Stanley’s relationship and ultimate break-up with Cathy, which is too contrived and does not compliment the film’s otherwise offbeat approach. Funky and irreverent moments of humor are lost with a storyline that doesn’t seem to know where it wants to go or what to say. Tighter editing could’ve helped avoid some long stretches where nothing seems to happen.
The film though still has some interesting and unique scenes. I got a kick out of Stanley’s cluttered apartment and how he has to smell his food in his refrigerator to see what is still edible and for entertainment he stamps on cockroaches crawling across his floor. The part where he masturbates in a bathtub while reading a letter written by his mother is hilarious. His attempts at making a porno by getting his actress (Holly Near) good and drunk only to get her hornier than he is amusing. The naked body painting sex orgy that he has with two young nubile roommates has a nice sensual quality.
Don Johnson is excellent and the one thing that keeps this wandering film together and he can be seen totally nude from both the front and back. Hull allows for some diversion as a sheltered young lady who is initially shocked by the open sexuality around her, but eventually learns to embrace it. Native American actress Victoria Racimo is hot with her clothes on and off and reminded me a lot of 70’s adult film star Hypathia Lee. Brandon Maggart makes the most of his small bit as a gay man trying to come onto Stanley while inside a café. Michael Greer offers some edginess as Stanley’s slightly menacing friend Danny. His violent death that occurs near the end of the film and in front of his shocked mother does leave an impression, but we don’t know enough about the character for it to make much sense and just another thing put into the film without seemingly much thought.
My Rating: 3 out of 10
Released: May 26, 1970
Runtime: 1Hour 50Minutes
Director: Leonard Horn
Available: None at this time.
Posted in 70's Movies, College Life, Movies Based on Novels, Movies that take place in the Big Apple, Movies with Nudity, Obscure Movies, Quirky, Sex
Tagged Dianne Hull, Don Johnson, Entertainment, Michael Greer, Movies, Review, Victoria Racimo