Wednesday, March 03, 2010

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW---RUN HOME, SLOW starring Mercedes McCambridge

True the only reason this drive-in zilcher's known to modern man is because of Frank Zappa's soundtrack but don't worry, RUN HOME, SLOW's a creepy enough piece of "cinematic excursion" even without FZ's name on the poster. If you're hankerin' for one of those "new" anti-hero westerns that were beginning to pop up in the mid-sixties this one should satisfy you just as much now in the DVD age as it did insomniacs during the seventies let alone the drive-in inhabitants who weren't even watching the screen when this was put into circulation back in '65.

Mercedes McCambridge plays this tough dyke whose leading a band of miscreant badskis across the desert with a load of stolen booty on the search for the good life. The gang consists of her shot-up brother whom McCambridge wants to keep around only so's he'll keep the fambly stock going, as well as bro's dimwit slut wife who giggles like a reject from special education and kinda looks like Terri Garr. Tagging along's this equally mentally deficient hunchback who sounds like Oodles from the old DICK TRACY cartoons, and with a crew like this making up the bulk portion of this movie you know this ain't some old Roy Rogers pic but a true left-fielder that wants to be a psychological thriller on one hand, and a grind-out exploito on the other!

It's a slow goin' movie, this kind you used to find on Sunday afternoon tee-vee starting in the sixties and well into the eighties, and in fact I can testify to having watched RUN HOME, SLOW this past Sunday PM if only so's I could relive those old snowed in weekend feelings when it was either this or CHAMPIONSHIP FELCHING on the other station. And yeah, I got the same kinda time machine buzz watching RUN HOME, SLOW that I would've had it popped up on the screen some lazy Sunday PM years ago, even to the point where in my maudlin mood I'd give my eyes a break by marveling at how white the snow outside is when the z-grade dialogue got a little too boring for me.

Nothing visually astounding about this 'un...the print used for this DVD reissue looks like it's been through at least a dozen syndication rounds and the plethora of night scenes really made it hard on mine eyes. Too bad there weren't any commercials for art institutes or used car dealerships slipped in for reality's sake. Even a station ID at the bottom of the screen every fifteen minutes would've added a strange allure. But given how the majority of the movie takes place either on the desert or in this abandoned homestead doesn't really account for much visual variety. At least THE SADIST with its limited locale had some mighty high-intensity action going for it!

Despite the limited visuals, low-rent dialogue and overall dank production values I must admit that the macabre setup did have a certain appeal. Especially in the scene where the dumb blond and the hunchback make some whoopee in the shed next to the rotting corpse of their dead donkey (did Luis Bunuel ever cook up anything like this?), but I guess if I could appreciate a whole load of bizarre imagery in a variety of underground fare I can do the same for a slow-moving C-grader like this 'un!

Speaking of bizarre, as I said right at the get-go the real reason this movie is known at all is because of Zappa but if ya ask me, this sound track is just more of that plain everyday old orchestral work the guy put out for years with alla them fancy flourishes here and loads of Varese-inspired "Ionization" plunks used to fill the sound out and create "moods" there. Even some themes familiar to Mothers of Invention fans can be discerned, but after listening to this all I gotta say is that the kidz in high school who told me that Zappa's orchestral work sounded like standard schlocky movie soundtracks much to my indignation were right after all. Of course that doesn't mean I'm gonna go all David Crosby like they were, but at least they had some crucial insight that I certainly lacked!!!

1 comment:

silentdoug said...

I first saw Run Home Slow on late-night local TV in about 1973, and it scarred me for life. My favorite moment is when shot-up brother takes a swing at Mercedes but ends up punching the wall instead. It's a perfect though unintentional Three Stooges moment.