7.1/10
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4 user 1 critic

The Rubber Gun (1977)

A communal drug family begins to dissolve from within while a University student watches and records it all.

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Documentary

Film Director Allan Moyle, who brought you the hits "Empire Records" (1995) and "Pump Up The Volume" (1990), joins up with four other diabetic candidates in exploring the phenomenon of "... See full summary »

Director: Allan Moyle
Stars: Allan Moyle, Charles Murphy, Fidel Arizmendi
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Steve
Pierre Robert ... Pierre
Peter Brawley ... Peter
... Bozo
Pam Holmes ... Pam
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pietro Bertolissi ... Cop
Bill Booth ... The Professor
Terrance P. Coady ... Cop (as Terry Coady)
Steve Crawford ... Cop
Alain Dumont-Frenette ... Cop
Lily Glidden ... The Family (as Lilly Glidden)
Pam Marchant ... The Family
Joe Mattia ... The Bad Cop
Martin McDonald ... Cop
Armand Monroe ... The Nightclub M.C.
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Storyline

Steve is the witty and energetic leader/guru of a quasi-family of artists-turned-drug addicts living together in a commune in Montreal. Bozo is a shy and naive McGill University sociology student who infiltrates the group, his motive being that he's writing his thesis on drug culture and is fascinated by Steve and his family. Bozo is very professional about his approach, but Steve regards him with bemused contempt. What Bozo observes is a group threatened from within and without. Steve is having doubts about his position as leader and Pierre and Peter have turned from cocaine to heroin. On top of that, a large cache of drugs is sitting in a locker at the Montreal Windsor Station, and the family are looking to retrieve it to make them rich and happy again. The problem is that the Police have surrounded the building and are closely watching it all times. Under this pressure Steve decides to back away, to the dismay of the rest of the group and Peter and Pierre decide amongst themselves ... Written by pr1mal_1

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A Strange Movie with Heart See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Release Date:

30 November 1978 (Netherlands)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD 90,000 (estimated)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 5 (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Depicts where Drug Communes Were Heading by the Later 70's

The Rubber Gun is a fairly typical Canadian drama from the 70's though the subject matter may not be quite so common for the time.

The story centers around a drug commune in Montreal. It consists of 4 main figures, a student outsider, a couple in the commune's daughter, some stragglers who play a much smaller role, and the police detectives. Drug commune's were not so unusual in the 60's, obviously, but this story focuses on one of these commune's years after the fact and you can sense a struggle brewing within as the years have gone by.

The story opens with a suitcase full of coke arriving and is put in a locker in a station waiting for pickup. The members of the commune go to see if they can pick it up but find the station is swarming with men they quickly suspect are plain clothes police detectives waiting for someone to take a chance and pick it up. While the commune wrestle with the idea of taking the suitcase or plotting a way to take it, a University student joins their commune and makes a study of them without their knowledge. The student and the leader of the commune played by Stephen Lack end up living together while the commune begins to break apart.

There's some serious gay undertones in this but you get the sense that the adults in this commune had been screwing each other while they were high and it didn't really mean anything. The scene with Peter and Stephen acting like they were coming on to boys playing hockey (mentioned by another reviewer) was more like a dumb joke than a real attempt to come on to them. They never actually approach any of them.

Two members of the commune have a young daughter and you feel for this character having to be brought up in this atmosphere. Children were bound to be in real communes of these kind. The girl. named Rainbow is still too young to understand her surroundings but Lack's character shares the sympathy for the child that the audience undoubtedly were feeling when seeing her during one scene. You don't get a sense that she's abused in any way, though it's hard to ignore how poor her environment is and what damage that will cause her in the long run.

Stephen Lack's character to me, also sums up the state of these communes in a single scene. He discusses how these older druggies spend most of their time getting high just to reminisce about the old times when they got high and nothing more. "They do it to feel 5 years younger" At some point people have to move on from the past and that's where the conflict in the story really begins. Some characters want nothing more but to break away from it and some just can't see a reason why they should ever bother trying to do that.

The film itself has a Cassavetes feel to it. A gritty kind of realism in the dialog and nature of the scenes depicted. If you want to know what I mean and you can't find this film, watch Cassavetes' Faces to understand the comparison. You don't get a sense that anyone in this is really acting. You feel like these people really are like this. I'm sure some of them did actually spend time in these types of communes but I'm sure this story is entirely fiction even though the character names match the actor's names.

I adore the soundtrack and the way it is used. The soundtrack is made up entirely of songs performed by Lewis Furey from his self titled album, and it fits this movie beautifully.

Not an easy movie to find. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I more or less stumbled across it by accident. I do recommend seeing it if it ever surfaces.


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