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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