HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Deadhead Miles On The Road Again
Year: 1972
Director: Vernon Zimmerman
Stars: Alan Arkin, Paul Benedict, Donna Anderson, Bruce Bennett, William Duell, Charles Durning, Hector Elizondo, Allen Garfield, Barnard Hughes, Richard Kiel, Ida Lupino, John Milius, George Raft, Avery Schreiber, Diane Shalet, John Steadman, Loretta Swit
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Cooper (Alan Arkin) is mixed up with a freight hijacking operation, and as he stands by observing a stolen truck being repainted and given forged documentation and plates, he is unimpressed though feels he does what he does to get by. The pull of the open road is a strong one, and at least he will be out there somewhere as his wanderlust cannot be denied, so as he drives the truck with its trailer full of car parts and makes small talk with the crook who is his co-driver his mind is racing about how he can get out of this situation. And at a stop the next day, he finds his opportunity...

If Deadhead Miles is recalled at all, it is not because of its director, Vernon Zimmerman, or even its star, but because it was an early screen credit for that giant of cult moviemakers, if such a thing isn't a contradiction in terms, Terrence Malick. This effort was made the year before he enjoyed his breakthrough success with Badlands, and shares a similarly peripatetic nature, although as a story it was far more randomly assembled. Indeed, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the filmmakers had simply watched Easy Rider a few too many times and were so inspired that they improvised a movie on the spot.

Well, not so much on the spot as on quite a few spots as this was a road movie through and through, and one of those existential productions that the early seventies liked so much, if not the kind that typically had the punters swarming to their local cinemas to enjoy. Especially so in the case of Deadhead Miles, as it was hardly released at all, and when it was about ten people saw it, leaving it to be thought of as pretty much a lost film until it showed up on a handful of television broadcasts. All this in spite of the Malick name being attached to it, which goes to show you precisely how uncommercial the studio which commissioned it felt the work was.

In truth there is something oddly offputting about the film, and that may be down to its leading man. Arkin is either delivering a superb performance of cheerfully unhinged skill, or he has abandoned all the talent he proved himself to have before and since and for the amount of time it took to shoot this went artistically off the rails. Take the voice he uses, not like you would remember him being unless you remembered him talking like a redneck hick in a cartoon; add that to the behaviour of his character and you have someone who it is particularly difficult to get a handle on. Cooper's existence is a peculiarly aimless one, and even if you agree to go on this journey with him, as a hitchhiker he picks up (Paul Benedict) does, you won't necessarily leave him fulfilled.

After a while it seems as if you're watching a series of sketches that happen to feature the same protagonist, that's assuming that Deadhead Miles was meant to be a comedy as there are no guarantees that it was other than its tone of absurdism. It's more a collection of memorable scenes than a proper, linear narrative, which will have Cooper, now escaped with the truck to roam the highways as he pleases, meeting with various eccentrics or passersby - nobody as eccentric as he is, mind you. For instance, at one point he goes to a prostitute who he can't help but notice is chained up to prevent her running off, which dissaudes him from going any further, or he will be pulled over by the cops and spin some outrageous lies to get him off the hook. Then perhaps he will indulge in a little precision Coke bottle throwing as he drives, or go to a bar where he meets Loretta Swit with a glass eye, it's that kind of film. If you can adjust to its willful idiosyncrasy, then by all means dive in. Music by Dave Dudley and Tom T. Hall (no Grateful Dead, though).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3345 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: