HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Moonchild
Verite, La
Guilty, The
Stranger in the House
Redcon-1
G.G. Passion
Chien Andalou, Un
Boar
Bulldog Drummond
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Dog Long Distance PatrickBuy this film here.
Year: 1998
Director: Kevin Hooks
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Meat Loaf, Randy Travis, Gabriel Casseus, Brian Kelly, Graham Beckel, Brenda Strong, Rusty de Wees, Cyril O'Reilly, Erin Broderick, Charles S. Dutton, Stephen Tobolowsky, Lorraine Toussaint, Hester Hargett, Stuart Greer, Whitt Brantley
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jack Crews (Patrick Swayze) used to be a long distance truck driver, but now works as a mechanic thanks to a vehicular manslaughter conviction that saw him imprisoned for a spell. However, his boss has invited him to make a lot of extra cash by agreeing to return to his trucking career, and drive a cab pulling a special cargo from Atlanta, so though he is reluctant to get back behind the wheel, he feels he has no choice when the bills are piling up and he has a wife, Melanie (Brenda Strong) and young daughter to look after. What he does not know is that the company who has hired him has recently had a spot of bother with the law when one of their trucks was chased by the law for carrying a stash of illegal arms...

And that pursuit did not end well, as we see under the opening credits when said vehicle explodes in a ball of flame. Why does it explode? Because this is an action movie, one of the last of the nineteen-nineties to heavily feature live action stunts before works like this became the reason most of these started to rely on computer-created imagery for their spectacle. There were two main reasons for that, in fact, one was that it was cheaper to animate your action sequence, and the other was that it was far safer: Black Dog had too many behind the scenes issues with its dangerous setpieces that highlighted the benefits of relying on realistic-looking fakery rather than putting lives on the line.

Of course, the trouble with that was the CGI was often easy to spot, either because the stunts were ridiculous and would never have happened that way in real life, or because the animation wasn't quite up to scratch; many was the moviegoer who would complain that what they were watching appeared artificial and that took them out of the story. With this, everything looked resolutely realistic thanks to director Kevin Hooks adhering to his principles about how to stage these crashes and chases, yet at the same time remained absolutely ridiculous as the action flicks of the eighties and nineties had made their stock in trade. Vehicles didn't just crash, they tumbled in a riot of screaming metal, then more often than not exploded for good measure.

All that said, it always helped if there was a personality at the heart of this violent tomfoolery, and this was one of Patrick Swayze's final starring roles in such a production that showed off his penchant for keeping things kinetic. In spite of his character's troubled past where his recklessness in trying to stay awake on the road when he really should not have (he was trying to make it back home for his daughter's birthday), we can tell from what unfolds that Crews is a basically decent man forced into extraordinary circumstances he is doing his best to extricate himself from. One way to tell that stemmed from the star's essential decency in his image, but there were other, interesting elements to him, such as the way he never used a gun in any of his combat sequences.

Crews, no matter that he was driving an artillery from A to B, never considered going into the back and helping himself when the truck suffers multiple attempted hijackings on the road, crimes that don't have any possible explanation when there were far easier methods for Bible-quoting bad guy Meat Loaf to have stolen the weaponry, such as not allowing them out on the road in one of his own trucks in the first place. But then there would be no movie, so naturally he concocts all sorts of highly foolhardy ways of getting Crews and his fellow employees (including country singer Randy Travis in a goodnatured, self-spoofing performance) to grind to a halt and give up the guns. If you relished those old movies and the myriad times they destroyed cars, trucks and what have you, and actually did the destroying as part of the movie and not added a computer cartoon in post-production, there was a warm feeling for you to appreciate here. All that and mystical references to black dogs as a supernatural threat to drivers with too little sleep, a little texture added to what was once basic, but now seemed like another era of rich action filmmaking. Music by George S. Clinton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 794 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: