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Slacker (1990)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 5 July 1991 (USA)
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.


Richard Linklater
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Linklater ... Should Have Stayed at Bus Station
Rudy Basquez Rudy Basquez ... Taxi Driver
Jean Caffeine ... Roadkill
Jan Hockey Jan Hockey ... Jogger
Stephan Hockey Stephan Hockey ... Running Late
Mark James ... Hit-and-Run Son
Samuel Dietert Samuel Dietert ... Grocery Grabber of Death's Bounty
Bob Boyd Bob Boyd ... Officer Bozzio
Terrence Kirk Terrence Kirk ... Officer Love
Keith McCormack Keith McCormack ... Street Musician
Jennifer Schaudies ... Walking to Coffee Shop
Dan Kratochvil Dan Kratochvil ... Espresso Czar / Masonic Malcontent
Maris Strautmanis Maris Strautmanis ... Giant Cappuccino
Brecht Andersch Brecht Andersch ... Dostoyevsky Wannabe
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 <rag.apa@email.apa.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The text read by the Old Anarchist is from Friedrich Nietzsche's "The Will to Power". See more »


Although the credits list the final song as "Die Graskop Polska", it is actually "Skokiaan". Decades after this seminal film, Mr. Linklater noted that he mistakenly credited the wrong track from the sourced LP. 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 ...
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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 Scooby Doo, Where Are You! (1969) See more »


Seven Song
Written and Performed by Stick People
Courtesy of CBS Music
See more »

User Reviews

Eternal Weekend
2 January 2011 | by tvspaceSee all my reviews

Even though I've immensely enjoyed many of Richard Linklater's films (especially "Waking Life" and "Dazed and Confused"), I never had much desire to sit through Slacker. The title and the era made me anticipate this would be a lazily-crafted, self-indulgent, aimless exploration of the oh-so-forgettable ennui of 20-somethings.

Boy, was I wrong.

"Slacker" is actually a true "art film", a highly conceptualized storytelling experiment in the manner of mid-60's Godard. In fact, in many ways it seems patterned after Godard's "Weekend" -- a bold ambition for a young low-budget filmmaker if ever there was one -- with its long, fluid takes that seamlessly drift from one story to another with chance passings on Austin's sidewalks.

In many ways I found Slacker more interesting and more enjoyable than Godard's movie, though. Weekend ultimately boils down to Godard satirizing his society, while maintaining a dry, utterly unsentimental and unemotional attitude towards his characters. When you watch Weekend, there is always the sense that Godard is looking down his nose at his characters (however justifiably). Slacker has a more complicated relationship between Linklater and his subject. While there is undoubtedly a strongly satirical feel to many of the scenes (for example, the two apparently stoned guys debating the meaning of Saturday morning cartoons while they chain smoke in a bar), at the same time, the movie feels made from the inside. It's, maybe, a satirical self-portrait. In fact, since Linklater plays the first of the Slacker characters that we meet -- the cab fare spinning yarns about parallel universes -- it is in some manner quite literally a self-portrait.

All of that is a very academic way of saying what's viscerally obvious when watching Slacker - - it's funny and real and naturalistic at the same time that it is abstract, constructed and very obviously written.

I'm not sure what it all adds up to or if it's supposed to add up to anything. After all, this is the story of people who, with a couple of notable exceptions, can't seem to put their plans into action ("You're not on the list"), so it makes perfect sense that the movie in the end feels like it just wanders off a cliff instead of coming to an end. It would be a mistake to say that the movie captures a generation -- these are caricatures, without doubt -- but it does capture the flavor of the times as they rolled by on some particularly lazy afternoons.

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Release Date:

5 July 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Richard Linklater's Slacker See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$23,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,307, 7 July 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Detour Filmproduction See more »
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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo


Color | Black and White (bar scene)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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