Highway 61 (1992)
Genre: Adventure Comedy (Canada)
Starring: Don McKellar (Last Night; Waydowntown) Valerie Buhagiar (Roadkill; The Last Hit)
Directed By: Bruce McDonald (Hardcore Logo; "Twitch City")
Overview: After a small town barber finds a frozen corpse, he agrees to drive a rock and roll roadie down to New Orleans, believing the corpse is her brother. She's just using the stiff to smuggle drugs. Worst of all, Satan seems to be after them to get what's rightfully his.
Acting: Alright, alright, for as much as I just love this movie, I'll admit there's a couple weak players, sorry Valerie, sorry 'guy who played the bisexual rock-star with the huge house' Art Bergmann. Don McKellar is the big star here and the supporting cast are ofter surprising, like Jello Biafra as a customs agent, or Mr. Skin. Without Satan the way he is, this wouldn't be anywhere near as good. Rating: 8
Cinematography: This sixth or seventh time around, I noticed how great the editing was. The bingo scene is all about masterful timing, making it the best scene in the film. This film is shot in a fairly standard yet dynamic fashion, but the images chosen speak of a different, truer America than the books show. Sometimes a film excels in simplicity, and this one does just that.
Script: "Lady, you can't cheat at bingo. If you could, I would, but you can't. I won because I was lucky... Lucky to wind up in a town full of losers!" - Mr Skin, as he proceeds to throw out recently-won macrame planter.
Some movies are full of quotable quotes. This is without a doubt one of them. Others worthy of note include, "No. You're an ugly little girl, just ask anyone." and (imagine a thick French Canadian accent) "He froze to death because he was no longer insulated from the harsh reality of life... Enh?" In fact, there's another TERRIFIC quote hidden somewhere in this post. If you can give me the full quote and tell me where you found it, just post a comment to this address and you'll get a surprise (a real one, not something crappy, promise)! I guess that makes this review my first interactive contest! Ooo!
Plot: Granted the end putters out just a little too quickly, but the trip is based on a good solid premise: Road trip down Highway 61 with someone who knows the road's Rock History in and out. Add Satan chasing the corpse you're lugging to New Orleans and you have yourself a multi-faceted story here! What else do you want?!
Mood: I don't know what's funnier, the fact that the song "Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus" is playing during a humping scene or that it's a real song. Maybe I won't try answering that one today, rather focussing on the moment where Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual" is playing while the characters hunt for their dinners, chasing live chickens around the house with pistols. These are the things that make up this movie, a wacky funny little thrill ride with a touch of morality and a devil who manages to lock his keys in his car.
Satan's always been a big fan of fire... it's true.
Aftertaste: The memories of the kinds of films you've seen countless times... Seems that I have a thing for revisiting Canadian Film. I've seen Strange Brew about seven times too, and Last Night would probably be my favorite Canadian film, also starring Don McKeller, by the way. That one's a great date film. It's about the last six hours on Earth, and how different people react to their final moments. I guess I've seen that one seven or eight times too...
All it's gonna cost you is your soul...