|John Holmes Motherfucker |
I didn't see this when it was first on TV, but my father did, and he told me all about it at the breakfast table. My dad was a newspaper writer, and he told a good story, and it made a strong impression on him. I saw it in reruns a few months later, but it feels like my dad's retelling was the first time I "saw" Duel.
I didn't know it was directed by Spielberg until several years later, when Siskel and Ebert did a Spielberg retrospective show.
This has the distinction of being one of the few times (the only time I can name) when a TV movie got so much attention, it made the jump to from the small to the big screen. There was a theatrical release, and there were film festivals.
If you've never seen this, it's required. It's original, it's fast moving, it's mysterious, it's scary. An unseen driver in a big rig forces a salesman in a plymouth into a fight to the death. Thanks to the internet, I just found out it was written by Richard Matheson. I haven't seen this in about 25 years, so there's a chance it's not as great as I remember it. A small chance.
I just got home, and I'm going to watch it now!
Only other examples I can think of are some early 90s made-for-cable erotic thriller in the 90s that I never saw and forget the name of that went to theaters and got a bunch of press for it, and Repo Man (which made the jump from direct to video into the theaters about a year after it was first released).
It starts slow but it definitely pulls you in.
I guess you guys were too young to see this on constant syndication on late night TV throughout the 80's. Sigh.
One of my favourite movies. I drive my best friend to work most mornings, and a couple summers ago the city was doing a ton of construction near by so there were all sorts of big trucks on the road at all hours. All month she had to endure me shouting "You can't beat me on the grade! You can't beat me on the grade!" as we drove up even the tiniest hills because I am a tremendous dork.
Also, I wonder how many Targeted Individuals were made by this movie. I wonder how many have yet to see it.
Here's the script for Duel:
A truck chases a car.
Oh shit! I've been wanting to see this, but I haven't been wanting to put in any effort. Thanks, PoETV
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think what I like best about it is how much of a gigantic vagina the protagonist is. He's so much more realistic than your average horror movie male star. He doesn't ever go all macho hero, and` his fear is genuine and believable. Great film.
There's also just a lot of little things that movies just didn't do back then. You never see the face of the bad guy. Even though the truck goes over fairly dramatically and you get beat over the head with "FLAMMABLE" the whole movie, it doesn't explode. The speeds are pretty realistic and nowhere near "balls out". In the end there's the slight victory dance but he ultimately realizes he's miles out in the middle of absolutely nowhere and he's probably not likely to get picked up. Even if he is, he probably still lost his job and his marriage is going to be in shambles. Nobody is ever going to believe his story. Everyone he knows would likely believe he's crazy.
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