Border Radio (1987)

ALLISON ANDERS, DEAN LENT, KURT VOSS

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB

USA, 1987.   Coyote Productions.   Screenplay by Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss.  Cinematography by Dean Lent.  Produced by Music by .

Allison Anders made her film debut with his project that she co-directed with her former UCLA classmates Dean Lent and Kurt Voss.  Its bare thread of a narrative involves of The Flesh Eaters, who has stolen cash from a club that owed him and his friends payment after a gig.

He high-tails it to Mexico with some very angry club-owners following him, while his ex-wife (the director’s sister) gets her friend to go after him, using her own flirtation with him as incentive.

Catching up with the escaped man is a muddled task and a lot of the details get obscured in a series of random monologues and haphazardly constructed action sequences that possess a low-budget charm thanks to the glinty black and white cinematography and sincere (if not always particularly skilled) performances.

The film offers a glimpse at the west coast music scene of the day and the soundtrack is great, but if you weren’t there and don’t have a personal connection to its culture, it’s pretty boring.  For anyone who came to love Anders’ wonderful later projects, particularly her talent for putting the music industry on film (like Grace Of My Heart), it’s worth at least checking out.

The Criterion Collection:  #362

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