After a woman is found butchered in her New York apartment, suspicion falls on her estranged husband, an ad executive who has suddenly left town on a cross-country road trip. He takes along... See full summary »
After a woman is found butchered in her New York apartment, suspicion falls on her estranged husband, an ad executive who has suddenly left town on a cross-country road trip. He takes along a beautiful girl he met in a bar and a drifter he picked up along the way. A cop sets out after the husband, but he's more interested in shaking him down than bringing him back. Written by
Crazed ad exec Richard Beymer heads west with stripper Nina Axelrod and drifter Brent Carver in tow. A hooker has been butchered back on the East Coast and all signs point to Beymer so you know he probably didn't do it--which doesn't stop corrupt cop Michael Ironside from going to shake him down. Beymer goes through the entire picture with a look of perpetual pain on his face--as will any viewers who enjoyed Herbert Kastle's 1975 novel. The book was not only pornographic but full of severed limbs and spilled guts to the point where you had to wash the blood off your hands after reading it. In spite of some R-rated sexcapades and violence the film is a kiddie cartoon by comparison. Toning it down for an R was a necessary evil considering the power of the MPAA but scripters Logan N. Danforth and William Gray made too many arbitrary changes and took too many detours from Kastle's original plot.
When I make my fortune I'll buy the rights to remake CROSS COUNTRY, follow the book to the letter and shoot for an NC-17. I'll hang on to my copy of the 1983 travesty in the meantime, if only because Ms. Axelrod is so darn easy on the eyeballs.
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