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Not much plot but it sort of works anyway
Like a lot of indie films, it doesn't seem to know what it's about, but it has a nice understated tension that keeps it from being dull. The main thread is about a young man caring for his disabled father. Everything else is a jumble of tangents--his fling with a female artist looking for kicks, his dead-ender street buddy, his run-ins with the cop on the block, his attempts at school and a career, his brief job as a drug dealer. None of these quite make sense, since the son clearly can't afford to leave his father alone for even an instant, given dad's tendency to nearly fall down elevator shafts and wander outside in his wheelchair. Scott Caan channels much of his real father's (James) charm, and I wonder if this was originally intended as a vehicle for them both. Leo Burmester gibbers and drools effectively, though you wish he had more lucid flashbacks. The film meanders without a plan, much like its protagonist, but the threads pull together enough for a "holy s--t" ending. End result is that it deserves to be better known, at least for the performances by Caan and the late great Burmester.
Nickel Mountain (1984)
Obscure for good reason
John Gardner's 1973 bestseller was tough to adapt to the screen, given it didn't have much plot and was mostly a rumination on life in upstate New York. The studios kicked it around for a while (Shelley Duvall and Peter Boyle at one point were set to star) and finally tossed it to one-time writer-director Drew Denbaum, who valiantly but fruitlessly tried to shape the material. Henry is too young, considering much of the story rides on the point that he's old enough to be Callie's father. At one point there's an absurd "Rocky" like montage in which he gets in shape for his bride, then Willard is turned into a villain just to create some drama. It's worth seeing for Heather Langenkamp, making you wonder why she got so little work outside the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films.
The Animals (1970)
cheapo nihilist western
The sort of movie where the Native American outfits appear to have come from Woolworth complete with rawhide leather go-go boots. The multiple titles alone tip you off it was hastily made for the bottom half of drive-in bills. It's sort of interesting in how it reflects (or panders to) the spirit of the late 60's/early 70's: protofeminist condemnation of rape, and peacenik condemnation of revenge. Meanwhile the viewers are supposed to get their kicks from the aforementioned acts, though at least the rape happens off-screen. Also typical of movies at the time, the story is bleak and pessimistic but for once mercifully short. Still it's worthy as a vehicle for Keenan Wynn, known for playing endearing cantankerous roles like Alonzo P. Hawk in the Disney Flubber movies. Here he has a scenery-chewing good time as a genuinely nasty bad guy, and he looks radiantly fit in his S & M-tinged nude scene. Another bonus is the theme music by future pina colada songwriter & Broadway director Rupert Holmes.