Walk the Walk (1970) Poster


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Beyond weird but not beyond terrible.
MOscarbradley27 July 2019
"Walk the Walk" may be a piece of cheap Z-Movie exploitation but it's clear from its opening scene with its decidedly off-the-wall performance from Bernie Hamilton and it's jazz-inflected score that at least it's a film with ambition. Unfortunately, that ambition is never fulfilled. Its writer/producer/director Jac Zacha may have been a man with ambition but with no talent except perhaps for persuading an actor like Bernie Hamilton, not quite 'a name' but no slouch either, (he had worked with Bunuel), to star as a man of God who also happens to be a drug-addict.

Presumably the movie was meant to show us the horrors of drugs but if you can actually make it to the end you'll definitely need something stiff inside you, (and no sniggering at the back). Perhaps the most surprising thing about the film is that it actually looks quite interesting, (well, it did have three credited Directors of Photography), though the colour palette does vary wildly. Weird doesn't even begin to describe it; terrible, on the other hand, does.
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An odd artifact, but rough sledding
ofumalow14 October 2019
This oddity is part drugsploitation movie, part sermon, and part hippie happening. It's the kind of movie in which many of the actors seem to have never acted before or since, apart of course from Bernie Hamilton, the only person here who actually had a career. The writer-director made a prior feature called "The Stud Farm" that was apparently an early gay-themed drama, but there's no evidence it has survived-or that he learned the first thing about filmmaking from it, since this exercise often seems amateurish and possibly semi-improvised. (There are scenes that go on forever to no point at all, notably the very first scene of the main character freaking out in his room.)

42-year-old Hamilton plays an unlikely "seminary student" living in a monastery who is indiscriminately addicted to drugs, and stumbles upon a provider in the form of equally long-in-tooth Judy (Honor Lawrence), who appears to have some kind of guru status in the local hippie scene. She also offers improbable sex for money in the same scene.

Even these starting premises make no sense, but there's some garish color and a lot of the era's lame country rock and psych rock (none by well-known artists) on the soundtrack. This is one of those films that no doubt has a much more interesting story behind it than the pretty tedious, shapeless story onscreen-what was the background of the people who made it? Was there a script at all? Why are two none-too-youthful-looking fortysomethings starring in a movie about counterculture hipsters? Why does Judy betray go-between Toke (Eric Weston), dispatching him to buy drugs on credit, then dooming him to the drug dealers' vengeance by claiming she didn't? Were the long, dull dialogue scenes improvised? Did they happen because funding fell through for something more watchable, involving more locations and actors? Who on Earth thought Lawrence was a suitable lead (let alone capable of an eventual dual role)?

These questions arise because the most interesting thing about "Walk the Walk" is wondering just how it turned out so badly. It's the kind of terrible movie in which you can't even be sure what the makers intended, it falls so wide of anything audiences would have wanted to see then (or now).

There's some spectacular bad acting here, particularly at the start, and in a scene where Hamilton spurns overtures from a very hammily played gay man (Bert Hoffman). But most of "Walk" is static and boring, with the kinds of problems that often come from technical compromises forced by losing crew members (as when a talky scene is filmed entirely in longshot). Scenes at a coffee house where there's dancing and sometime live music are the only relatively lively ones in the movie, aside from a ludicrous and incongruous chase climax in a desert area. (How did the characters suddenly get there?) If you're a sucker for vintage counterculture movies like me, you'll be curious enough to sit through this...once. But it's a hard slog, and I'd be surprised if the film originally got much of a release, because it must have struck most potential distributors as beyond salvage.
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Worth it for the Kroger Babb graphic at the beginning
BandSAboutMovies6 March 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This film starts with a title card that says, "America's Fearless Showman Kroger Babb."

No matter what happens after that, I love this movie.

Bernie Hamilton, who was Capt. Harold Dobey on Starsky and Hutch, as well as appearing in Scream Blacula Scream, The Swimmer and Luis Buñuel's The Young One, is Mike, a black theology student dealing with addiction.

Writer, actor and producer Jac Zacha had aspirations here, but the film falters. Supposedly, there was a cut opening where he explained how this was the true story of his life. Maybe he wanted to take that out after, you know, there's that scene when a woman goes off a cliff. Beyond being as convincing as a falling in a Fulci movie, this movie would implicate him in a death.

One of the actors in here, Eric Weston, would go on to write and direct Evilspeak.
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