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The Loveless
Breakdown / Black Leather

USA 1981
produced by
A. Kitman Ho, Grafton Nunes for Pioneer Films
directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery
starring Willem Dafoe, Robert Gordon, Marin Kanter, J. Don Ferguson, Tina L'Hotsky, Lawrence Matarese, Danny Rosen, Phillip Kimbrough, Ken Call, Elizabeth Gans, Margaret Jo Lee, John King, Bob Hannah, Jane Berman, A.B. Calloway, Leslie Kribbs jr, Don Tilly, Herbie Benton, Isaiah Houston, Charles Robertson, Cliff Hall, Chris Johnson, Michael Gorgick, Ned Lambert, Freddie West, Earl Jackson, Oscar Waycaster, Michael Birnes, Robin Davis, Allan Hunt, George Logan, Virginia Logan, Nicholas Warf, Paul Williams, Mary-Ann Monforton, Wallace Melton, Huey Dixon, John Cottes, Edward McDuffie, C. Alan Rawlins
written by Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery, music by Robert Gordon

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Indiana, the 1950s: Vance (Willem Dafoe) and his gang of bikers are on their way to Daytona when they make a stop in a town so small the bikers wonder if it's really a town or just a couple of houses that link the garage to the motel/diner. Anyways, the bikers soon take over the town, just to kill some time before moving on - when enter Telena (Marin Kanter), a troubled yet mouthy young girl who immediately attracts the attention of Vance - and after a spin through the countryside, the two spend the night together ... only for her to be brutally dragged from his room by her (armed) father the next morning. And this is where the atmosphere between the bikers and the locals takes a nosedive, and fear, loathing but maybe also envy towards our heroes slowly boils up - and all the while Vance (and the audience with him) starts to suspect more and more that there's something not quite alright behind closed curtains of the small town and there might be more going on between Telena and her dad, and that "more" might not exactly be healthy ...

 

The directorial debut feature by Kathryn Bigelow (and only directorial effort by producer Monty Montgomery), this turns out to be a very interesting movie: Sure it's an hommage to the 1950s, and especially The Wild One was obviously a major influence, and on first look, it's a film full of yesteryear's gestures and poses that often seem slightly artificial, and in its fascination for chrome and leather even a bit fetishistic - so one's tended to call it superficial. But the longer the film goes, the more interesting its subtext becomes, the more weight is put on the story between the lines, the things unsaid - which all lead to an explosive climax. And this being Willem Dafoe's first lead role (at age 26), he proves he has been the king of cool even back then.

Well worth a look for sure.

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD