Border Radio

1987

Drama

1
IMDb Rating 5.4 10 627

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 11, 2020 at 06:44 PM

Director

Cast

John Doe as Dean
Craig Stark as Thug
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
768.16 MB
1280*952
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S 14 / 24
1.39 GB
1440*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 23 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by AlsExGal 3 / 10

Bordering on just awful

Apparently most people are crazy about this "cult film". I am not. I do enjoy looking at the stylized cinematography. I liked it enough to sit through the rest of this awful film because at least I had something interesting to look at.

Three southern California punk rockers rob a club of one thousand dollars that they feel was robbed from them for services rendered, and hide out across the Mexican border waiting for - what I don't know, but I'm not alone, because they don't seem to know either They seem to completely lack any kind of plan. They have committed a serious crime but they just sit around shooting a gun into thin air, talking to dolls and smashing their faces, and acting in general like people I do not want to know. And nothing is ever said or done that makes me want to know them.

Lu (Luanne Anders), is actually married to one of these guys and they have a little girl together, and thus she starts trying to figure out what happened - why and where have they disappeared?. One of them calls her and tells her where HE is and to come down and he will tell her the story. When she arrives he acts like a complete idiot. For example, she asks "Why am I here?". He just wears a stupid grin and says "Why are any of us here?". It's like watching somebody discipline a ten year old boy. Like a ten year old boy, he's mentally old enough to know when he has done something wrong, but not able to digest the serious ramifications of anything.

As this film wears on - and it did wear on me - we learn that, IMHO, the dumbest of the three, who is constantly being bailed out by his well off parents although apparently in his mid 20's, is having an affair with Lu. Why she would pick this guy when her husband seemed like he had more potential, AND he was her husband? I was never able to figure that out.

Some people highly praise this film. I'll grant them that for the cinematography, but unless you are from southern California and were ever inside the punk rock movement, I doubt you'll glean much from this experience. I walked away from this knowing little more about the characters and feeling nothing more for them than I did at the beginning, and to me that's a major sign that a film has failed in its mission.

Reviewed by StevePulaski 6 / 10

Stumbles its way into significance, much like the movement it is a part of

Had Border Radio not been released on the prestigious Criterion Collection label, I doubt many people, even the most hardened cinephiles, would be aware of its existence. It's less a cogent film and more a peculiar oddity from an era that was brewing in American film, which was the do it yourself (DIY) movement that basically involved a slew of young directors seeing films and becoming inspired enough to make their own works with the technology readily available to them. Being that home video has begun and VHS camcorders were becoming more common and affordable, unknowns turned acclaimed directors like Richard Linklater, Spike Lee, Kevin Smith, and Jim Jarmusch took their inspiration from certain films, and even films made by one another, and used it as the gas to fuel their latest projects.

One of the few female directors from that time period, Allison Anders, who seems to get lost in the shuffle to her more successful male counterparts, helped kick off the DIY movement more or less with Border Radio, a perplexing eighty-minute film that functions less like a film and more like a rambling musing on rock and roll, punk-culture, and the aimless and desolate landscape of a border community. This particular film concerns a trio of of Southern Californian musicians, who hold up a nightclub they performed at for $1,000 for a presumably unpaid show before hightailing to Mexico just as soon as they arrived. They are also in search of Jeff (Chris D.), a rocker who goes missing around the same time, resulting in a search for him by, not only the criminals, but Jeff's ex-wife.

This plot is a lot easier to understand on paper than practice; Border Radio is about as disjointed as a film can be, essentially playing hopscotch with the idea of a conventional and linear narrative. Distracting us from the occasionally plodding and unclear characters and story is the abundance of natural beauty that directors Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss convey quite nicely through black and white, Super 16mm filmstock. The result is a film that feels like a shoddy home movie, only adding to the kind of yesteryear punk style that would make an older, wiser Richard Kern crack a faint grin, especially after the masterpieces he created after working with Sonic Youth.

Border Radio is a tricky film to understand in that it's unconventionality and lack of a cohesive narrative bleed through it like an unattended to flesh wound. It's never really that funny, never completely interesting, and always seems to leave you at arm's length with all its characters and their situations. Having said all of that, its coldness is a key element in punk filmmaking, at least the kind I've seen. It's a film with an attitude and unwillingness to compromise its style for anything in the way of substance - sort of like the DIY films of the 1990's, which sort of just stumbled their way into being considered smart, observant comedies thanks to those who went out of their way to rent them at the videostore countless times. With Border Radio, there's no mean-spirited comedy, no melodrama, and no real menace or spice to its recipe; it's too busy living a cold and unashamed life to divulge into anything of that magnitude.

Directed by: Allison Anders, Dena Lent, and Kurt Voss.

Reviewed by mr-jon-hope 3 / 10

Cowpunk noir

An era of LA punk ended by the time Border Radio was released in 1987. Chris D. disbanded the Flesh Eaters, Phil and Dave Alvin split up the Blasters, and Billy Zoom left X. Tex and the Horseheads (whose singer has a scene here, and whose band name is seen on graffiti and t-shirts throughout the film) also broke up. Chris D and John Doe don't perform any music in the film. The band Green on Red is shown playing at the Hong Kong Cafe, and near the end we see a glam metal band called Billy Wisdom & the Hee Shees rehearsing. Border Radio was released in the same year as Guns & Roses' debut and the birth of hair metal.

Spoiler: there isn't much of a story, either. Chris D leaves LA for Mexico. His wife doesn't know why he left or when he's coming back. She sells her car to pay back the money that he stole, then finds out that he already settled his debt. She goes to Mexico to find him; he returns to their home while she's gone. Border Radio has a love triangle, a heist, and some kind of crisis in Chris D's musical career, but each of these plot lines vanishes without climax or resolution.

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