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Thunder Road review


Saw Thunder Road on the Big Screen for the first time. (I have seen it before, but only on the tellie) But before I tell ya about that, I'll do the typical day trip.

Woke up today to a call from an agent, you know one of those people that we audience members loathe, and usually everyone else too. But soon as I began talking to him/her/it (don't want to put agent person/thing at risk) I began thinking about Jerry, you know that sport agent dude with the heart of gold? This agent seemed quite cool. (I can hear you now, Satan was a beautiful and charming snake in the garden of eden) Well that doesn't take away from the fact that he wasn't offering me no apples yet. Just admiring talk, and biz talk. After I got off the phone with him, I rolled back over to sleep.

The BBC calls. UGH, I roll back over and pick up the phone. Apparently I have a BBC Radio interview this Monday 9am (Texas Time). Cool, the BBC Radio Network. Am I really worthy of that? I don't think so. Surreal mist floats about my BIG head.

I try to go back to sleep. It doesn't work. BBC dreams of cheese penetrate my every thought. National Lampoon's Vacation images occupy my brain. I'm sick. In the head anyway.

The rest of the day procedes as expected. I pick up supplies to begin building the model kit that Robert Rodriguez gave me. I get back home and begin putting KALI from Golden Voyage of Sinbad together. While using the razor thingee, I instantly slice into my finger. Razor blading your finger is not a good idea. Make a note of that. My Eagle Scout training tells me to instantly apply pressure to the bone deep cut. Man, when I screw up, I SCREW UP!

I begin laughing for no apparent reason. My father is staring at me, bloody t-shirt (same one that was on ROUGH CUTS hahahahaha).

He asks, "What's so funny?"

I reply, "I cut myself while working on a Golden Voyage of Sinbad model, if only I had been building the Humonculus instead it would have come to life."

My father shakes his head in disgust, takes the shirt and begins the mystical blood removal technique. The DEEP finger wound has stopped bleeding, and a band-aid is no covering the finger that presses the "F" key! I finish up triming and sanding the Kali kit, and tomorrow I will glue and put a coat of primer on it.

Dad and I decide at this point, "Hey let's go see THUNDER ROAD!!!"

On my memorial page to Jimmy Stewart and Robert Mitchum you might remember my mentioning of this film. Excitedly we began to drive downtown to the Alamo Draft House (See reviews of Superfly and Exorcist). The whole ride we are singing Ballad of Thunder Road in the style of Robert Mitchum! I'm making engine throttling sounds: VRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

Yes, I do need help.

We go to head into the theater, and as I get out of the car... Somebody recognizes me. Yells out, "Harry, I love your site man! Keep it up!" Coool. Strange, a man crossing the street suddenly exclaiming from half a block these things. Of course I'm a walking billboard for geekness that is awfully hard to mistake for anyone else. We head to the box office, and as we get there another guy does the, "I love your web site bit." Followed by another guy wanting the address. (By the way folks this is a very weird feeling if you have never experienced. It's not a "back off or I'll kill ya" feeling, but more of a "who am I that they know me" feeling. In my brain, I'm still the same fat red-headed geek that I have always been, but now... It's weird.

Anyway, I head into the theater (which is filled with Robert Mitchum singing Calypso music) and with your THUNDER ROAD ticket you got a special drink offer... THUNDERBIRD CITRUS WINE!!!!! Cooooool. I love this sorta thing. So I get a pint of Thunderbird. (Yes, it is still in me as I write this.)

As we sit there, the theater owner comes up to see how I'm doing. (Cool gesture, but still weird) This fella is a real nice guy, and pretty damn cool. You remember the trailers before the last couple of films, well he did it again this time. Managed to top himself with cool trailers that perfectly put you in the mood for THIS MOVIE!

The holy bottle of ThunderBird arrives in it's bottle (see above picture) and I pour me a glass of it. Yuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmm, tastes like Jet Fuel. After the first sip, the internal engine begins cooking me from the inside, then the lights went down.

The first trailer belonged to Moon Runners (1974) film staring James Mitchum (Robert's kid), Spanky MacFarland (as in the Little Rascals) and Waylon Jennings (as in Waylon Jennings). Cars a flying, moon shine a being made, hillbillies aplenty. Coolness. Nothing like a bunch of distilling frenetic genetics in a movie to get me riled up. I wanna see this flick. At one point a cool slutty white trash babe (hey is that you Katherine?) says, "I never sleep alone... I always sleep with my 45 calibre!" I mean how can you not love a movie like that? Seriously.

Well geez, I was ready to go, then another one of them preview screens came up and that belly aching stomach ache (redundant ain't I?) of anticipation swelled up inside of me. Coooooooooooooooooool it is GREASED LIGHTNING!!! Mega cool moonshine and race car driving flick, with Clevon Little, Beau Bridges, Pam Grier and Richard Pryor in this cool trailer. When was the last time you saw a trailer that used the word "nigger" in it. Me too. I can't think of one. This trailer is outrageous and non-politically correct (THANK GOD). I wanna see THUNDER ROAD NOW!!!!

I take another sip of the jet fuel, and BAM Thunder Road is on. For you geeks out there, it has Deep Throat from THE X-FILES ever so briefly, and Gene Barry who fought the martians in the super kickass film WAR OF THE WORLDS, so there is your geek tie in.

Personally it's this damn song that makes it for me. "Thunder thunder ride the thunder road..." Coolness. Now that wussy sounding pansy singing the song at the beginning is no match for Robert Mitchum's own version, but if taken as a music video it rocks. I mean wussy boy is a singing to the fantastic night time moon shiner on the lam from the law and astounding speeds, driving mega cool "bulgemabiles".

The film is a bit on the laborous side, and you might look at your watch maybe once, but for me... Wow. Mitchum is a god in this film. He's just so damn cool. Walking around like a deity to the hillbillies that worship him. Why? Well you see he actually left their little backwoods village once, and is now back.

Mitchum dealing with the bad guy is what cool anti-heroes are about. And then there is that Thunder Road theme. Cool Cool Cool.

Tomorrow Night it's NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. I can't wait. This is simply one of the best films ever in my ignorant opinion. Laughton's one shot directing chore was startling and still can provide plenty of them nightmares we want.

How many people have Good and Evil tatooed on their knuckles cause of Mitchum? We will never know. (and that's a good thing)

As for now, go rent some Hillbilly Moonshine and Muscle Car flicks and get wasted with a group of friends. Not high brow for sure, but a whole hell of alot of fun. Plus you'll be surprised how much you like the films.

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