Road Ends


A stranger [Sarandon] in an expensive BMW drives into a tiny Central California town. The sheriff [Hopper] is skeptical, and the bed and breakfast owner [Hemingway] is a bit smitten. Meanwhile Peter Coyote is a cop chasing the stranger for some reason. He's in L.A. trying to figure out where the guy fled. He says creative things like "it's gonna be a long day" and "it just keeps getting better". The bad guys are also looking for the stranger. There is a preposterous scene where the bad guys spontaneously begin shooting the cops in, get this, a windshield replacement shop. The guns are loud and brightly flashing and glass flies everywhere. Just about every gun-related movie cliche was in evidence. The loud shotgun reloading, the stern face in closeup with gun ready, the duffle bag full of weapons, the 5,000 shots fired, none of which hit the target, and the lady-like pistol for the love interest. Hemingway gets to say things like "well, I'm gonna make it my business" as she heads for the final shootout, and "it looks like a lifetime with you and burnt popcorn" as she hugs the hero at the end. Dennis Hopper is far better than the material, he seems to just be talking rather than saying lines. He has the funniest lines and is a way better actor than the next closest one. Hemingway just has to be attractive, she isn't given much to work with.

Shown as part of Cinequest VIII, The San Jose Film Festival. Director Rick King and star Chris Sarandon were on hand to take questions afterwards. The rest of the audience was treating these two like Scorsese and De Niro. One pompous film school-type guy said that it was his third time seeing it. One person mentioned that it was such a unique script, how were they thinking of marketing it? The director said 'as a western'. They stayed out in the lobby for awhile afterwards and I heard Sarandon have to answer the inevitable questions about Susan. Imagine being so totally eclipsed talent-wise by your ex-wife. I think this film was added to the bill because of its relatively high star-quotient.

Gilchrist ... Dennis Hopper [Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, Hoosiers]
Gene Gere ... Peter Coyote [E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Jagged Edge]
Joanna Gleason [Mr. Holland's Opus, Boogie Nights]
Kat ... Mariel Hemingway ["Civil Wars"]
Orosco ... Miguel Najera
Maceda ... Chris Sarandon [Dog Day Afternoon, Fright Night]
Geoffrey Thorne
Edited by Daniel Loewenthal
Cinematography by Bruce Douglas Johnson
Written by Bill Mesce
Directed by Rick King

96 minutes

This Was Written on January 31, 1998

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