After making an impact with his role in George Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973), Paul Le Mat starred in this crime melodrama from director Floyd Mutrux.
Bobby (Le Mat) is a Los Angeles car mechanic who is forced to go on the run with his girlfriend, Rose (newcomer Dianne Hull) – a waitress with a son at home, a run-away husband and a mother who cares for the boy – when a convenience store clerk is killed as the result of a fake holdup staged by Bobby as a joke – ostensibly for Rose’s amusement – when the couple goes to buy a bottle of wine.
Bobby and Rose flee, afraid they won’t be able to prove their innocence, heading for what they believe will be sanctuary in San Diego. During their travels, they meet unruly Texans Buford (Tim McIntire) and Donna Sue (Leigh French) and the couples spend a wild night in Tijuana before Bobby and Rose decide to retrieve her son from LA. This being an angst-ridden ’70s drama, suffice to say things don’t go according to plan.
Their pitiful flight, their clinging to each other, their disastrous and final encounter with the law often sinks to the level of soap opera, saved only by the film’s lack of pretension and the charm of the two young leads.
Mutrux spends a great deal of time toying with the cliche of the Sunset Strip.
Lights and signs flash by and fade into a blur, long lines of cars – their headlights snaking down the moist boulevard – tell us of the love of the young for the four-wheeled internal combustion engines marketed by their elders.
This is just the kind of rock ‘n’ roll chase movie that influenced Quentin Tarantino and paved the lethal path towards Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers (1994).
Paul Le Mat