Border Radio (1987)

Border Radio (1987) movie poster

directors Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss
viewed: 07/03/2016

The debut film from writers/directors Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss is a moderately cool anomaly, made interesting by its stars which include Chris D. of the Flesh Eaters, John Doe of X, Anders’s younger sister Luanna, and a sprinkling of Dave Alvin (who also is credited with the film’s music.)

The music is pretty sweet, including performance footage of Green on Red, and tunes from Los Lobos, the Divine Horsemen, the Flesh Eaters, the Lazy Cowgirls, and Doe and Alvin.  It’s a slice of late 1980’s Los Angeles, in location, vibe, and sound.  I was struck how it might be an interesting contrast with Penelope Spheeris’s The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988), a different music LA’s waning decade.

The film is shot in black-and-white and has a lot of beauty in its images, its portrait of the more desolate edges of California and Baja.

The acting is amateurish but decent.  But the story, about Chris D.’s musician gone on the lam after some sort of thing went down…it’s just not all that compelling.

For what it is, it has its merits, and for my money, was worth checking out.

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