Newest Reviews
Tokyo Dragon Chef
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
  Trouble In Mind neo-noir in Rain City
Year: 1985
Director: Alan Rudolph
Stars: Kris Kristofferson, Keith Carradine, Lori Singer, Geneviève Bujold, Joe Morton, Divine, George Kirby, John Considine, Dirk Blocker
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Science Fiction, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Alan Rudolph’s surreally stylised crime thriller opens with ex-cop, Hawk (Kris Kristofferson) released from prison after serving eight years for killing a mob boss. Returning to the fictional town of Rain City, Hawk takes a room behind the café run by his old flame, Wanda (Geneviève Bujold), but is soon drawn to Georgia (Lori Singer), newly arrived in town with a newborn baby and no-good boyfriend, Coop (Keith Carradine). Desperate for money, Georgia takes a waitressing job at Wanda’s place, while Coop is drawn into a life of petty crime by a shady friend (Joe Morton). When the inept thugs cross powerful crime lord Hilly Blue (Divine), Georgia appeals to Hawk for help.

In one of the more memorable cult movies from the 1980s, Rudolph melds his film noir plot with a retro-forties/sci-fi/punk rock look that was popular amidst music videos of the time, but not without precedent. William Asher’s Johnny Cool (1963) and John Frankenheimer’s 99 & 44/100% Dead (1974) took a similarly, super-stylised comic book approach, twisting relatively straightforward thriller fare into bizarre parallel worlds. Here, Rudolph conjures a strange, alternate reality where G.I.s hang around Wanda’s café as if WW2 were still on; hardboiled dames and greasy gangsters spout typically noirish, epigrammatic dialogue; protestors and armed troops prowl the streets; and New Wave poseurs bark Japanese and model hideous Eighties hairdos. It remains hard to discern whether all this is merely strangeness for strangeness’ sake, or an attempt perhaps to parallel two eras of blue collar strife.

What prevents this lapsing into self-conscious camp is the engrossing story which Rudolph crafts like a slice of American mythology. Classic themes like love, crime, loyalty and redemption resonate within any milieu, and Rudolph draws beguiling characterizations from Geneviève Bujold as the jaded girlfriend with a heart of gold, Lori Singer as an alluring innocent, and Joe Morton as a well-read sociopath. Fans of “what the heck?” casting will undoubtedly relish seeing John Waters’ favourite, Divine as a camp crime lord, a lisping nihilist who seemingly takes a dim view of everyone and everything. Kristofferson enjoys one his better roles as a flawed hero, alternately lecherous and chivalrous in a role one could easily imagine Kirk Douglas playing in a more conventional thriller, forty years prior to this.

Shot in Seattle, this takes the Alphaville (1965) approach of teasing futuristic details out of everyday surroundings. The moment a desolate Georgia abandons her baby, only to have second thoughts too late briefly tugs at the heartstrings, but ranks among several poetic moments shunted aside for admittedly winning gags: Hilly’s tendency to drown men in their own cars; the violinist who follows him around wherever he goes; the showdown where Coop blithely walks through a gangland shootout without getting hit; and his slow metamorphosis from country bumpkin into a cross between David Bowie and the Frankenstein Monster. Mark Isham’s saxophone and electronica led score provides fine accompaniment for the dreamy, ambient visuals, engaging enough to stop us wandering what the heck this is all about.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 3206 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash


Last Updated: