Directed by: SAM PECKINPAH
1974, TSPDT Rank #386
This post contains content written for the Internet Film Club.
I was blown away by this movie. Incredible. I am shocked by the people who call this movie "mindless violence," when that could not be farther from the truth. Obviously the character of Bennie is somewhat based on Sam Peckinpah, and the way I saw it the head was kind of a metaphor for success. All of that killing and bloodshed for something that doesn't really mean much anyway. I thought the movie fit together perfectly and was paced perfectly. Of course it's important to slow down for the love story in the first, because the business with the head in the second half all relates back to it. Plus, since the movie moves at a slower, calmer pace for the first hour (even though there are still some gritty and gruesome things happening), it makes it all the more exhilarating and bizarre when all hell breaks loose. One thing is clear, Peckinpah is baring his soul here. This movie is very personal, brave, ugly, and very violent - and it's all done with such brilliance. But I think it's better to have seen some other Peckinpah films first. I didn't find it a difficult experience at all - but then it seems like if you were still unfamiliar with Peckinpah, it might seem just like an uneven and strange action film, while if you're familiar with some of the other films, it feels like a masterpiece.