A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the meager existence he scrapes out from very odd jobs, such as thesping in an arty ... See full summary »
Jeb Maynard is a patrolman guarding the U.S.-Mexican border, whose partner and buddy Scooter has just been murdered. Maynard knows that a smuggler of illegal aliens is responsible for ... See full summary »
An undercover cop infiltrates an illegal labor racket on a remote, Texas/Mexican border farm. After falling for the farm owner's mistress, the two discover the tables have been turned and they are the hunted.
Michael J. Moore,
A documentary on the chaotic production of 'Werner Herzog''s epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
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 (1990)), Border Radio (1987) and Border Cop (1980) (aka aka The Blood Barrier aka The Border aka The Border, USA). See more »
Originally scripted as a grim film noir homage, a series of financial dry spells stretched out the film's production schedule to three years, whereupon the screen story underwent as many dramatic changes as any of the hard-living bands from the music scene the film adopts as its backdrop.
Star Chris D. insists in the DVD's supplemental features that the original script's noir aspects are what attracted him to the project, but it was only once he became involved that the thing took shape as a "rock movie," with the added participation of D.'s friends (and sometime bandmates) like John Doe and Dave Alvin. Alvin went on to create an eclectic and memorable score for the film (now out of print, sadly), with players culled from friends and colleagues from X, Los Lobos, The Blasters and other local heroes.
Not every film could survive three filmmakers AND active contributions by everyone in the cast, but then it's a rare project that manages to pack this much simpatico talent onto one movie poster.
Additional DVD extras include deleted scenes, a potent "trailer" (including several moments not in the finished film) set to a driving musical score, and a pair of loose, enjoyable commentary tracks. Another welcome addition is Chris D. and The Flesh Eaters' vintage ain't-no-WAY-this-is-running-on-MTV music video for their classic "The Wedding Dice" (comically mangled by Chris Shearer in the film itself).
Had it followed its intended "straight noir" course, BORDER RADIO may well have survived as an interesting curio; but as it turned out, the film stands as a fitting elegy to an era, both in its depiction of a musical phenomenon's sunset and for its unique collaborative approach to film-making. That both still feel like breaths of fresh air twenty years on only stands as a testament to their legitimacy.
Like so many of the "lost" bands of the music scene it salutes with unabashed affection, BORDER RADIO is ripe for rediscovery.
11 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?