HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  End of the Road Hell Is Other People
Year: 1970
Director: Aram Avakian
Stars: Stacy Keach, Harris Yulin, Dorothy Tristan, James Earl Jones, Grayson Hall, Ray Brock, John Pleshette, Gail Gilmore, Maeve McGuire, Norman Simpson, Graham Jarvis, June Hutchinson, Joel Oppenheimer, James Coco, Oliver Clark, Terry Southern, M. Emmet Walsh
Genre: Comedy, Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jacob Horner (Stacy Keach) graduates from university with an English degree but instead of celebrating with his peers he walks straight off the campus, sheds his robes, and winds up at a railway station. He asks the man behind the counter how far the money in his pocket would take him, and is told, unaware that his spacey demeanour has the ticket operator fingering the trigger of the gun he keeps below the desk. Then Jacob stands on the platform, but doesn't get on any of the trains which arrive, staring ahead of him, unresponsive and blank-faced: he's having a catatonic episode, and only one man can help him.

Well, maybe not so much help as guide to a different way of life, in this, one of the weirdest cult movies ever made. It was rarely seen in its original release, having been smacked with an X certificate in the United States and never even submitted for exhibition in the United Kingdom, such was the controversial nature of its subject matter and imagery, and in fact the most exposure it received over the years was from a clip of it being shown on one of David Bowie's television screens during The Man Who Fell to Earth, leading more than one viewer to wonder what that strange Stacy Keach movie was. The answer was one perhaps even more peculiar than the Nicolas Roeg effort.

Here was a film which could not have been made at any other time, 1970 was ideal for it when the counterculture and many protestors were calling into question the American way of life, giving rise to more celebrated works than this - The Graduate, Easy Rider - but for a production which took a long, hard look at what was passing for polite society back then and finding it a nightmarish ordeal, director Aram Avakian's conclusions were hard to beat. Even watching it now, the state of alienation Jacob is enduring may strike a chord if you've ever watched the news, or even had too many conversations with people far from your wavelength, and wondered if you really are part of the human race, or if you are, whether you can get that membership rescinded.

Keach put in a superb performance in among the mayhem as his character's inner turmoil manifests itself in a search for meaning - he doesn't do this through opening his mind with drugs, however, as he is already on the fringes of sanity and perception thanks to his mental illness. No, what he gets is a jolt from Doctor D, a maverick psychiatrist in an incredible reading of the role by James Earl Jones; the Doc is possibly off his rocker too, sort of a R.D. Laing stand-in only if anything even more out there in his methods. For him, encouraging his patients to have sex with each other - and chickens - is a great idea for soothing their troubled souls, and his asylum out in the country is where Jacob is deposited, undergoing therapy in Doctor D's special office where recordings of explosions play and photographs of mutant babies and dead bodies are projected on the walls.

Quite how this is supposed to make Jacob feel better is unclear (he and the psychiatrist even have a wrestling match at one point), but given this was co-written from John Barth's blackly comic novel by satirist Terry Southern you can imagine they were aiming for laughs up to a point, though you are just as likely to be baffled, even disturbed, by what you see. Jacob is released, though stays in contact with the Doc, and wins a job at a school teaching students English where he meets Harris Yulin's scoutmaster and his spouse Rennie (director's wife Dorothy Tristan) who he begins an affair with, possibly because he feels sorry for her treatment at the hands of her husband. The tone settles down relative to what has gone before during this latter stage, though it's merely lulling you into a false sense of security as it leads up to the world's worst abortion, but that sense that modern life has gone insane and the sanest response is to go mad with it conjures up an atmosphere of danger, despair and, if you can find it, bleak amusement. It's not an unqualified success, but there's little like it.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2446 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 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: