Slacker (1991)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  5 July 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 14,252 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 76 user | 59 critic | 16 from

A day in the life of Austin, Texas as the camera roams from place to place and provides a brief look at the overeducated, the social misfits, the outcasts and the oddballs.


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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rudy Basquez ...
Taxi Driver
Jean Caffeine ...
Jan Hockey ...
Stephan Hockey ...
Running Late
Mark James ...
Hit-and-Run Son
Samuel Dietert ...
Grocery Grabber of Death's Bounty
Bob Boyd ...
Officer Bozzio
Terrence Kirk ...
Officer Love
Keith McCormack ...
Street Musician
Jennifer Schaudies ...
Walking to Coffee Shop
Dan Kratochvil ...
Espresso Czar / Masonic Malcontent
Maris Strautmanis ...
Giant Cappuccino
Brecht Andersch ...
Tommy Pallotta ...
Looking for Missing Friend (as Tom Pallotta)


Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don't fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another's lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna's pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber. Written by Rick Gregory <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 July 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Richard Linklater's Slacker  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$23,000 (estimated)


$1,227,508 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:


(bar scene)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The average movie has 500-1,000 cuts in it. This movie only has 163. And almost a third of them come from the last five minutes during the super 8 film scene. See more »


When the GTO guy arrives he places a few aluminum drink cans on the ground and they clearly sound empty. When he and Nova pick up the Hitchhiker Awaiting 'True Call', they give him one of the cans which is now full. See more »


[first lines]
Should Have Stayed at Bus Station: [babbling to silent cab driver] Man, I just had the weirdest dream - back on the bus there? Did you ever have one of those dreams that are completely real. I mean they're so vivid. It's just like completely real. It's like, there's always something bizarre going on, though. I have one about every 2 years or something. I always remember 'em real good. Like there's always someone getting run over, or something really weird. Um, one time I had lunch with Tolstoy. Another time I was a ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, the usual disclaimer is replaced with: "This story was based on fact. Any similiarity with fictional events or characters is entirely coincidental." See more »


References The Smurfs (1981) See more »


Fight It Out
Written by Jim Roche
From his spoken word album "Learning To Count"
Performed in the movie by Kendal Smith
Courtesy of Jim Roche
See more »

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User Reviews

Your tuition money at work
12 September 2001 | by (behind the velvet rope) – See all my reviews

Extreme boredom leads to fascination. Like sands in the hourglass so is this day in the lives of several bohemians living in Austin, TX in 1990. You'll either be bored to tears or fascinated to no end.

If you've ever been to Austin, or spent a sleepy summer in a college town like Lawrence, KS or Madison, WI, then you'll appreciate the parade of pseudo-intellectuals and good-natured conspiracy theorists that provide much of the grist for the script. These offbeat characters and wonderful dialogue make this film memorable.

Remember the traumatized yacht owner in the greasy-spoon diner or the older dude with the toupee from the coffee shop? 'We've been on Mars since the 50's', he says. I loved the loser with the TV strapped to his back and the older guy who found an armed robber in his house, only to take him for a stroll and a friendly chat (about Charles Whitman). I also enjoyed the menstrual-cycle stone garden and the fortune-telling hippie chick with the black eye who was having 'a breakthrough day'. Nearly every conspiracy theory in modern pop-culture is paid lip service during the film. That's a lot of sophistry and navel gazing to be sure!

Not every character is a gem. The Madonna pap-smear girl gets more annoying with every viewing. But I recommend this film for its originality and understated comedic themes.

Much has been made of the tangent approach to the story telling. I think the technique runs out of steam about three-quarters of the way into it. In other words, it's about 20 minutes too long. Still, it's a fun movie!

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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