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GLEN AND RANDA (1971).

Long before moving uptown with THE BIG EASY and GREAT BALLS OF FIRE, director Jim McBride spat out this highly-acclaimed, post-apocalyptic shaggy dog tale. Which nowadays only proves that back then, anything could be embraced by the underground press. Even something this uniformly annoying. There are no names in the cast, no budget to speak of, and often no clothes on the actors. And this lack of wardrobe is why the flick received an X-rating during its original release -- not for any sexual episodes, but because the stars occasionally stand around with their genitals hanging out...Glen and Randa are two pretty young people living after the end of civilization -- hanging out in a make-shift commune and digging through the past. Steven Curry and Shelley Plimpton star, and though I'm sure they were supposed to be wondrously innocent, I just considered 'em vapid, braindead imbeciles. People so ignorant they make Billy Jack's Freedom School look like Mensa candidates (and that ain't easy to do). Watching these perpetually happy, ragtag hippies wandering through the woods really got on my nerves after a while, and I wanted to give the entire cast a collective boot in the ass, in hope of knocking some sense into their brains. At least there's a few laughs (but they're over all too soon) when an old "magician" shows up with a trailerful of beat-up appliances, a pitchman's scam, and tales of the once prospering Big City. And since G&R always take the ass-backwards route, they head off to find Metropolis (from the SUPERMAN comic). It'd be nice if something actually happened during the 90+ minutes. Nope. They find a horse, look at a comic book, Randa gets pregnant, they encounter an old fisherman, et cetera, but there's a big difference between Naturalism and simple Tedium. Co-scripted by Rudy Wurlitzer (TWO-LANE BLACKTOP), this is truly one of the most depressing looks at the end of civilization I've ever witnessed. The thought of these hairballs inheriting the planet after we're all gone is worse than any other nightmare scenario. I'd rather have Cornelius and Zira running the place.

© 1991 by Steven Puchalski.