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The Rubber Gun (1977)

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A communal drug family begins to dissolve from within while a University student watches and records it all.


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Title: The Rubber Gun (1977)

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Credited cast:
Pierre Robert ...
Peter Brawley ...
Pam Holmes ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pietro Bertolissi ...
Bill Booth ...
The Professor
Terrance P. Coady ...
Cop (as Terry Coady)
Steve Crawford ...
Alain Dumont-Frenette ...
Lily Glidden ...
The Family (as Lilly Glidden)
Pam Marchant ...
The Family
Joe Mattia ...
The Bad Cop
Martin McDonald ...
Armand Monroe ...
The Nightclub M.C.


Steve is the witty and energetic leader/guru of a quasi-family of artists-turned-drug addicts living together in a commune in Montreal. Bozo is a shy and naive McGill University sociology student who infiltrates the group, his motive being that he's writing his thesis on drug culture and is fascinated by Steve and his family. Bozo is very professional about his approach, but Steve regards him with bemused contempt. What Bozo observes is a group threatened from within and without. Steve is having doubts about his position as leader and Pierre and Peter have turned from cocaine to heroin. On top of that, a large cache of drugs is sitting in a locker at the Montreal Windsor Station, and the family are looking to retrieve it to make them rich and happy again. The problem is that the Police have surrounded the building and are closely watching it all times. Under this pressure Steve decides to back away, to the dismay of the rest of the group and Peter and Pierre decide amongst themselves ... Written by pr1mal_1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

30 November 1978 (Netherlands)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


CAD 90,000 (estimated)

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Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 5 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

An Intriguing Experimental Misfire
7 March 2014 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

In a book store, smooth-talking hard drug dealer/user Steve (painter Stephen Lack) meets Allan (Allan Moyle) - a young sociology student at McGill. They become fast friends and Allan is invited to Steve's studio apartment on Montreal main to meet his commune/drug network.

Allan decides he wants to do a paper with the controversial position that drug use has positive effects using Steve's 'family' as a case study. Life with Steve & the gang isn't quite as rosy as it might appear to Allan at first but it isn't quite as sleazy as it might appear to others either.

Pierre (Pierre Robert), a bisexual, heroin addict/male prostitute with a wife and small daughter looks to displace Steve as the leader of the group when, compelled by his addiction he concocts a plan to steal drugs from a storage locker at the train station. Steve, having nearly followed through on the same plan, is certain it is a trap. Being indiscreetly watched and recorded by corrupt narcotics cops the tension rises.

Since so very few films were being made in Canada at the time it was nevertheless lauded for the aspects which could be praised. The premise is strong and the framing device of the sociology paper is a good one. But the amateur performers and lack of production resources yielded an unsatisfactory finished product. Heavily improvised what is shown works considerably less often than it does.

The controversy to be found in this film goes beyond the fact that a toddler is being raised amongst a group of hard core stoners. Steve and another gay dude are also to be seen gleefully checking out young boys playing hockey in a parkette leaving little doubt as to why they are looking or more specifically what they are looking at. They take one of the most innocent things in Canadian life and turn it into something tawdry.

Persuading prudish elements in Canada of the merits of this film remains difficult. When a country views reflections of itself via its parochial cinema what it sees is sometimes unflattering or at very least not reflective of mainstream interpretation.

As this title was created with Arts Council and Film Board assistance it is worth noting that Canadian taxpayers partially footed the bill for it. Moyle's directing career and that of score composer Lewis Furey flourished as a result and their taxes more than replenished what it cost.

The critical acclaim of the Rubber Gun led to Moyle's directing career and he went on to direct such Hollywood films as Times Square (1980), Pump Up the Volume (1990) and Canadian films The New Waterford Girl (1999) and Weirdsville (2007).

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