IMDb > Border Radio (1987)

Border Radio (1987) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
November 1987 (USA) See more »
Jeff Bailey. His wife wants him back. His band wants him on stage. Some thugs want his head. ...He wants another beer.
Three musicians take money that is owed to them from a job and flee to Mexico. | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
This independent get the criterion treatment? See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)
Chris D. ... Jeff Bailey
Chris Shearer ... Chris
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dave Alvin ... Dave
Devon Anders ... Devon
Luanna Anders ... Lu
Iris Berry ... Scenester
Julie Christensen ... Door girl

John Doe ... Dean
Eddie Flowers ... Thug
Green on Red ... Band in Club
Texacala Jones ... Babysitter
Chuck Shepard ... Expatriate
Sebastian Sopeland ... Thug

Craig Stark ... Thug

Directed by
Allison Anders 
Dean Lent 
Kurt Voss 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Allison Anders 
Dean Lent 
Kurt Voss 

Produced by
Marcus DeLeon .... producer
Robert Rosen .... associate producer
Original Music by
Dave Alvin 
Cinematography by
Dean Lent 
Sound Department
Duane Dell'Amico .... sound mixer
Nietzchka Keene .... sound
Editorial Department
Sin Hock Gaw .... negative cutter
Christopher Landers .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This movie was originally financed by Vic Tayback, who played Mel the cook on the TV show "Alice" (1976).See more »
Movie Connections:
References Flesh for Frankenstein (1973)See more »
Border RadioSee more »


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18 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
This independent get the criterion treatment?, 27 September 2007
Author: omarramonmuniz from United States

I've become a fan of the criterion collection over the past few years or so. I consider the institution a staple in the film industry, both in recognizing and preserving pivotal pieces throughout the years. In fact, seeing the criterion collection symbol on a DVD cover sparks my interest in films that I probably wouldn't think twice about watching otherwise. An example of this is Border Radio. I anxiously awaited a screening of this film because of its importance to indie film explosion, and I am a big supporter of indie flicks. But as I watched it, I realized that this is a very good student film. But it's too amateur and unseasoned to earn any comparison to better indie flicks and better Hollywood flicks. The film is sloppy in its structure. After establishing the characters, the film takes the shape of a documentary where these characters are interviewed, one-on-one. The idea itself isn't a bad one, but the filmmakers don't give a reason for doing so. Why are these characters are being interviewed? How does it contribute to the story? The characters themselves have absolutely no redeeming qualities and the filmmakers don't give us a way to relate to any of them. The acting is horrific, and better directors in better movies have proved that non-actors can produce good and sometimes great performances. The actors in this movie all look like film students although we know some aren't. The best performance was produced by the Mexican who sang and drank a corona for 1 short scene. The story itself is dull and cliché. If another film student makes a movie that has to do with somebody owing a club owner money, I'm going to scream. More importantly, the film has no premise! Most films have a premise without trying. This one has none, no moral of the story, or no point to the story. These things are learned in film 101. In fact, these things should come natural in any form of storytelling. The only thing that makes this film worth anybody's time is its photography and some of the music. There are some great landscape shots and a beautiful scene where the daughter is circled on a music merry-go-round. Ultimately, this film is a perfect example on how some indie flicks get much props simply because their indie flicks. How this gets the criterion treatment, I have no idea. This is simply a bad movie made my amateur filmmakers still searching for a voice. It took them 4 years to make this movie and, despite how low-budget a film is, it should never take 4 years to make an 83 minute movie with non-actors and a bad script. I do appreciate a movie with good intentions and I would assume that these USC film students had good intentions to make a non-Hollywood film about real people; but those intentions fall massively short. The ridiculously high acclaim that some indie flicks get because they're shot with shoe-string budgets with plot less stories has to stop (in the same way the acclaim some Hollywood flicks get because they have big stories and a predictable storyline has to stop).

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