5.3/10
457
7 user 14 critic

Border Radio (1987)

R | | Drama | November 1987 (USA)
Three musicians take money that is owed to them from a job and flee to Mexico.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the boring desert of New Mexico, a single mother raises her two teenage daughters, Shade and Trudi, whose deepest desire is to leave the dead calm town. Shade is the type to escape in ... See full summary »

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Brooke Adams, Ione Skye, Fairuza Balk
Strutter (2012)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An aspiring L.A. rocker loses both his band and his girl, but gains the friendship of his own local rock hero.

Directors: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss
Stars: Sara Ashley, Iris Berry, Jade Gordon
Sugar Town (1999)
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Unimpassioned look at the lives of struggling L.A. scene rock stars follows main character, Gwen, on her quest for the top. Working as an assistant to a film production designer, she tries ... See full summary »

Directors: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss
Stars: Jade Gordon, John Taylor, Michael Des Barres
Smithereens (1982)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A narcissistic runaway engages in a number of parasitic relationships amongst members of New York's waning punk scene.

Director: Susan Seidelman
Stars: Susan Berman, Brad Rijn, Richard Hell
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to."

Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young music journalist's dark memories are awakened when he goes to interview a female rock singer, and both are forced to confront troubling secrets from their pasts.

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Kim Dickens, Gabriel Mann, Aria Alpert Adjani
Mi vida loca (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Mousie and Sad Girl are childhood best friends in a contemporary Los Angeles poor Hispanic neighborhood. But when Sad Girl becomes pregnant by Mousie's boyfriend, a drug dealer named ... See full summary »

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Angel Aviles, Seidy Lopez, Jacob Vargas
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An aspiring singer, Denise Waverly/Edna Buxton, sacrifices her own singing career to write hit songs that launch the careers of other singers. The film follows her life from her first break... See full summary »

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Illeana Douglas, John Turturro, Sissy Boyd
Wanda (1970)
Certificate: GP Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Loden
Stars: Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins, Dorothy Shupenes
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After her mother's death, teenager Corinne Burns forms a punk band with her sister and cousin, despite their lack of musical experience and talent.

Director: Lou Adler
Stars: Peter Donat, Diane Lane, Marin Kanter
Primary (1960)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cinema verite feature that follows presidential hopefuls John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey during the 1960 Wisconsin primary

Director: Robert Drew
Stars: Robert Drew, Hubert H. Humphrey, Joseph Julian
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker, lives in New York. Filmed images of the City are accompanied by the texts of Chantal Akerman's loving but manipulative mother back home in Brussels. ... See full summary »

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Chantal Akerman
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Chris D. ...
Jeff Bailey
Chris Shearer ...
Chris
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dave Alvin ...
Dave
Devon Anders ...
Devon
Luanna Anders ...
Lu
...
Scenester
Julie Christensen ...
Door girl
...
Dean
Eddie Flowers ...
Thug
Green on Red ...
Band in Club
Texacala Jones ...
Babysitter
Chuck Shepard ...
Expatriate
Sebastian Sopeland ...
Thug
...
Thug
Edit

Storyline

Three musicians take money that is owed to them from a job and flee to Mexico.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jeff Bailey. His wife wants him back. His band wants him on stage. Some thugs want his head. ...He wants another beer.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Graniczne radio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture represents one of a handful of films released during the 1980s that had the word Border forming part of the title and examining immigration across the Mexico-USA border, many dealing with issues relating to corruption, profiteering, border protection and illegal immigration. The movies included The Border (1982), Borderline (1980), Border Heat (aka Deadly Stranger (1988)), Border Radio (1987) and Border Cop (1980) (aka aka The Blood Barrier aka The Border aka The Border, USA). See more »

Crazy Credits

Many Curses on: Those who tried to thwart us. See more »

Connections

References Flesh for Frankenstein (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother's Worry
Written by Chris D.
Performed by Divine Horsemen
From the album "Middle Of The Night" (1987)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Stumbles its way into significance, much like the movement it is a part of
17 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Had Border Radio not been released on the prestigious Criterion Collection label, I doubt many people, even the most hardened cinephiles, would be aware of its existence. It's less a cogent film and more a peculiar oddity from an era that was brewing in American film, which was the do it yourself (DIY) movement that basically involved a slew of young directors seeing films and becoming inspired enough to make their own works with the technology readily available to them. Being that home video has begun and VHS camcorders were becoming more common and affordable, unknowns turned acclaimed directors like Richard Linklater, Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, and Jim Jarmusch took their inspiration from certain films, and even films made by one another, and used it as the gas to fuel their latest projects.

One of the few female directors from that time period, Allison Anders, who seems to get lost in the shuffle to her more successful male counterparts, helped kick off the DIY movement more or less with Border Radio, a perplexing eighty-minute film that functions less like a film and more like a rambling musing on rock and roll, punk-culture, and the aimless and desolate landscape of a border community. This particular film concerns a trio of of Southern Californian musicians, who hold up a nightclub they performed at for $1,000 for a presumably unpaid show before hightailing to Mexico just as soon as they arrived. They are also in search of Jeff (Chris D.), a rocker who goes missing around the same time, resulting in a search for him by, not only the criminals, but Jeff's ex-wife.

This plot is a lot easier to understand on paper than practice; Border Radio is about as disjointed as a film can be, essentially playing hopscotch with the idea of a conventional and linear narrative. Distracting us from the occasionally plodding and unclear characters and story is the abundance of natural beauty that directors Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss convey quite nicely through black and white, Super 16mm filmstock. The result is a film that feels like a shoddy home movie, only adding to the kind of yesteryear punk style that would make an older, wiser Richard Kern crack a faint grin, especially after the masterpieces he created after working with Sonic Youth.

Border Radio is a tricky film to understand in that it's unconventionality and lack of a cohesive narrative bleed through it like an unattended to flesh wound. It's never really that funny, never completely interesting, and always seems to leave you at arm's length with all its characters and their situations. Having said all of that, its coldness is a key element in punk filmmaking, at least the kind I've seen. It's a film with an attitude and unwillingness to compromise its style for anything in the way of substance - sort of like the DIY films of the 1990's, which sort of just stumbled their way into being considered smart, observant comedies thanks to those who went out of their way to rent them at the videostore countless times. With Border Radio, there's no mean-spirited comedy, no melodrama, and no real menace or spice to its recipe; it's too busy living a cold and unashamed life to divulge into anything of that magnitude.

Directed by: Allison Anders, Dena Lent, and Kurt Voss.


0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
essay on BORDER RADIO rodney842
Discuss Border Radio (1987) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?