Monday, November 15, 2010

ROLLING THUNDER (1977) - John Flynn

I've seen the masochistic pulp masterpiece that is Rolling Thunder at least five times now. I first came to the movie on VHS by way of a typically effusive Quentin Tarantino interview about it in the late '90s. Having been burned by the Q.T. seal of approval several times before (Detroit 9000 anyone?) I was wary, but the Paul Schrader writing credit and Taxi Driver by way of Texas aspect kept me there. And kept me there...for a few more viewings at revival houses, on cable, wherever its hook-for-a-hand might pop up.

The movie holds up, getting a little more twisted and perfect as THE ultimate angry vet movie each time out. Maybe even in the top ten "revenge" movies of all time. Here are at least five of the hundred reasons (with visual accompaniment) you should see it if you haven't...

1.) Because, like all good Marines and/or masochists, eventually you've got to "learn to love the rope."

2. Because you must come to understand, when you return home from a POW camp and your wife has taken up with another dude and your kid thinks you're a freak and you've come to enjoy sleeping on a cot in the shed instead of your own bed, why getting your hand shoved down a garbage disposal by a bunch of thugs may not be such a bad thing -- in fact, it kind of gives you a sense of purpose.

3. Because you can get more things accomplished with a gun AND a hook for hand than with JUST a gun

4. Because the correct answer whenever a prostitute asks the question -- "What the fuck are you doing?" -- as you pull a very large shotgun from beneath her bed will always be the deadpan response -- "I'm gonna go kill some people."

5. Because no sane person in their right mind should ever be grinning this wide when they're involved in twelve man shootout in a Mexican whorehouse.

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