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Let's start from this point: This is not a movie intended for the common audience. Utterly bizarre, somehow incomprehensible, totally unpredictable, it just keep you stoned watching at the screen trying to figure out what will happen next. If that by itself doesn't make you agree it is an excellent movie, then go back to your "family" movies and forget about MOTORAMA. It has material to be considered a cult movie, it can be placed in the same category with movies that win awards in Cannes or other intellectual film festivals, but, sadly, Hollywood already let if fall in oblivion, simply because it is not commercial. The performance of young Jordan Christopher Michael may not be Oscar material, but he gives the right touch to the story. Even the genre is difficult to describe; it is not a comedy in the proper sense, you don't know if you are supposed to laugh at the strange situations in which Gus gets involved. It is more like an impossible adventure that some kids may wish to have, but don't let them watch it either... it is not a movie for kids. So, if you like Disney movies or are looking for a "Home Alone" style, this one is definitively not for you. But if you enjoy reading Edgar Alan Poe or the works of Tim Burton, then you will like Motorama. So, jump in your red Mustang, get a tattoo spelling "Tora" and cruise Strangeland with Gus. I'd like that...
Too bad 'Motorama' never found an audience that would appreciate it! Misleadingly thought by some to be a kids movie, it is closer in spirit to David Lynch's stylized surreal looks at the "real" America. Jordan Christopher Michael plays a young boy who runs away from home, and travel across America in a stolen car. Only it isn't exactly America as we know it. At a gas station he is given some "motorama" cards, which are part of a competition which has a possible 500 million dollar prize. He slowly becomes obsessed with the game as he continues on his increasingly bizarre trip, which sees him encounter a strange bunch of oddballs, eccentrics and weirdos. He even loses an eye along the way! The nutters he interacts with are played by an amazing array of character actors and cult figures including Lynch favourite Jack Nance ('Eraserhead'), Susan Tyrrell ('Flesh and Blood'), Mary Woronov ('Eating Raoul'), Michael J. Pollard ('Bonnie And Clyde'), John Diehl ('Stripes'), Dick Miller ('A Bucket Of Blood'), Robert Picardo ('Innerspace'), Flea, Meatloaf, and a teenage Drew Barrymore (note sleaze fans - a pre-breast reduction teenage Drew Barrymore!). This movie is easily overlooked in the video racks - especially with its misleading "Home Alone meets Thelma And Louise" packaging - but it is really worth watching. Fans of quirky road movies like 'Wild At Heart', 'Highway 61' or 'Roadside Prophets' should enjoy this quietly subversive dark fantasy, which in my opinion is one of the most unfairly overlooked movies of the last ten years or so.
DON'T EVEN TRY to figure out the logic of this story. But do ride along with 10-year-old Gus on the most bizarre road trip ever witnessed. More weird characters and implausible situations than a Twin Peaks reunion! Nothing makes sense, yet it's impossible to stop watching Motorama! Now, where can I find that 'R'????
Little Gus is a ten year old delinquent. He runs away from his parents and decides to go on a road-trip. Reaching the petal is somewhat tough for him, so he creates a device to help him. His goal is to win a gimmicky lottery type card game called Motorama. He has to find all eight letters in order to spell M-O-T-O-R-A-M-A. Dark laughter follows as it turns into the road-trip from hell. He runs into some deranged Lynch like characters. Most memorable is the gas station attendant, who puts his picture on a kite in hopes that God will see it. Later Gus gets a tattoo and an eye-patch for his injured eye. He becomes one of the most rebellious bad-ass 10 year olds you may ever witness on screen. This is no kid's flick! Look for cameos by Jack Nance, Flea and Drew Berrymore. Be warned although Drew is on the front cover, she only appears in the film in a dream sequence for a couple seconds. Also the film gets confusing towards the end reaching David Lynch territory, you may want to watch it a couple times. "Motorama" was written by Joseph Minion, most well known for his screenplays for "After Hours" and "Vampire's Kiss" So enjoy this depraved surreal road-trip of fun!
Offbeat film about a kid who runs away from home and steals a vintage Mustang and treks across a surrealistic version of the southwest collecting cards for an oil company promotional game called Motorama. Most of the performances in the film amount to cameos by recognizable actors and actresses, with only the kid getting any real screen time. Although ultimately the film doesn't really go anywhere it's an interesting trip to watch. Be warned that although Drew Barrymore appears on the video box she's only in the movie for about eight seconds. *** out of *****
This is a great, dark, offbeat little film, a modern day adaptation of the quest for the Holy Grail myth. It's a sleeper if there ever was one. I saw it on cable some years ago and taped it. I've loaned it to many of my friends and everyone loved it.
Joseph Minion wrote this eerie, spooky, unusual film which is expertly directed by Barry Shils. It's subject matter is straight out of the Twilight Zone. The story begins with a pint-size ten year old boy named Gus (Jordan Christopher Michael) who's abusive home environment spurs him to steal a beautiful, mint condition, red 65 Ford Mustang and run away. Despite his inability to reach the foot peddles, he crafts a prosthetic foot device to reach the floor. Along the long stretch of roadway, which he flies over at top speed, he encounters a dozen unusual characters. His secret objective is to gather a series of Collectable cards in an effort to win a Million Dollar Prize. What he discovers is a tribute to the universal law of Be careful what you wish for. Gus is subjected to an odd collection of weirdos, kidnappers, bikers and an occasional helpful nudge towards his goal. What the movie allows the audience is a cruel, insightful look at life. Indeed, for movie buffs, we are treated to a whole plethora of Hollywood thespians. Stars like Michael J. Pollard, Vince Edwards, Drew Barrymore, Dick Miller, Meat Loaf and John Diehl are scattered throughout the film. Interestingly enough the movie itself is fascinating and even at it's conclusion, one has the notion that it must be seen again. I did. Recommended. ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie may be the best ever if you like watching movies and laughing and then subjecting your friends to watch those movies too. If you're anything like me, and you probably are, you'll be laughing for years to come at the jokes in this movie. One of the funniest parts is when Gus sharks some money off a guy with kids and then the guy takes those kids into the forest like Hansel and Gretel then he and his wife go home with them. The soup scene kitchen is rife with comic genius of buffoonery: "Inspection officer -- Here!" and the lines to follow will stay in my mind forever probably. When I have shown this movie to my friends, they usually say "What was that?!?" so if you're in the mood for one of those types of movies, yippee! This movie is so OOP it's not funny anymore, so probably the easiest way to get it would be online auctioning. The first time I saw it was from a rental.
This oddity contains Bunuel-like touches, but doesn't sustain one's interest. A 10 year old roams a bizarro America in a stolen Mustang, while the usual cult movie suspects (Dick Miller, Mary Woronov, Susie Tyrell) commit malicious acts in the name of comedy. Like his AFTER HOURS and VAMPIRE'S KISS, the screenwriter delights in making you squirm. I remained unaffected, due to the broad acting. You know you're in for it when Meat Loaf and Flea give the most appealing perfs. (And what did this kid's screen test look like? He's insufferable.) Recommended to the dozen or so fans of SONNY BOY ('87).
I watched this film late at night on an independent station. When I saw the title, I wasn't very interested. But, the idea of a 10 year old driving intrigued me. Quite the strange film, but I enjoyed it. I really recommend it.
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