Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s End Of The Road (1970)

End Of The Road (1970)

It’s possible that a trillion years from now, a visiting alien will open a time capsule and alight upon a can of film containing this obscure 1970 movie. After ten minutes of watching it, he’ll switch it off and say to his alien comrade, “fancy a beer, mate?” – For few movies are as boringly awful as this one.

Stacy Keach stars as Jacob Horner, who walks from his graduation ceremony to a nearby railway station, where he stands in a catatonic state for what appears to be several days before the arrival of concerned psychiatrist, Doctor D (James Earl Jones).

Combative and sarcastic, Doctor D drags jake to a facility called “The Farm,” where Doctor D lets lunatics play out their fantasies as a form of therapy: One patient cross-dresses as a nun, one endures S&M abuse while crucified, and one rapes a chicken.

Doctor D leads Jake through harsh therapy sessions complete with heavy audiovisual gimmicks and occasional physical punishment. Then he declares he is cured and ready for a job.

Jake then blags his way into a job teaching English grammar at a college, soon befriending fellow lecturer Joe Morgan (Harris Yulin) and Joe’s long-suffering wife, Rennie (Dorothy Tristan). Joe is a weirdo who spends most of his time wearing a Boy Scout uniform and he’s prone to slapping Rennie around.

Jake begins an affair with Rennie, and their love-play includes a strange scene of spying on Joe while he thinks he’s alone.

As Jake and Rennie watch from a hiding place, Joe shoves a gun in his mouth and pantomimes suicide, then masturbates while reciting Shakespeare. Jake, meanwhile, exhibits loopy behaviour of his own, at one point parading around in a toga.

Eventually, the story resolves with a painfully detailed abortion scene which must set a record for butchery and horror on the screen.

Co-produced and co-written by 1960s satirist Terry Southern – the man who put the laughs into Dr Strangelove (1963) and the yawns into The Magic Christian (1969) – it’s a counterculture affair with psychedelic trips, mental illness and a graphic message about abortion.

Everyone looks stoned out of their minds and tends to cavort about naked.

Jacob (Jake) Horner
Stacy Keach
Joe Morgan
Harris Yulin
Rennie Morgan
Dorothy Tristan
Doctor D
James Earl Jones
Peggie Rankin
Grayson Hall
Dr Carter
Graham Jarvis
Miss Banning
June Hutchinson
Sniper Man/Mrs Dockey
Ray Brock
School Man
James Coco
Dog Man
Oliver Clark
Chicken Man
Joel Oppenheimer

Aram Avakian