Jonathan “Silence of the Lambs” Demme directed this ultra-low-budget road romp starring Cloris “I won an Academy Award and four years later I’m in this weird movie?” Leachman, Donny “Ralph Malph” Most, and Ann “My Mother The Car” Sothern.
Leachman plays a trashy (read: awesome) hairdresser who loses her business to Jim “Giligan’s Millionaire” Backus and instead of rolling over she steals Backus’ car. Leachman, with her mom and her daughter (and her daughter’s Malphy boyfriend) head to Vegas, where they pick up even more stragglers, and soon they are a three-vehicle gang on a bonafide fun-loving crime spree across America heading out to the promised land: Arkansas.
This movie is full of great weirdos (Leachman’s own son is the big-haired biker “Snake”) and it plays like a tame John Waters movie (awkward period details, extreme hair).
There’s not a lot of “movie” here though, and many scenes fall apart (or never really get started), but despite the low budget they went big on killer tunes: the Everly Bros, Santo & Johnny, and the biggest brain buster of them all: the dissonant glory of the Bell Notes “I’ve Had It.” What a tune!
Check it out if you are into learning to live with your girlfriend’s boyfriend, nursing home escapees, or kidnapping yourself.