my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Border Radio
Director:   Allison Anders, Dean Lent, Kurt Voss
Year:   1987
Genre:   Drama
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   05.12.24

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
05.12.24Internet This marks the end of my little journey through the world of the LA punk scene. It's Allison Anders' first film and takes place in punk-vibes la and a beach in mexico, starring John Doe and Chris D (of The Flesh-Eaters) with appearances by Dave Alvin (The Blasters; Alvin also did the music for the movie) Texacala Jones (Tex and the Horseheads), and scenester Iris Berry (shot in her bedroom at Disgraceland where The Runnin' Kind was also shot).

The story is an attempt at noir where a musician (Chris D) is hiding out in mexico after a robbing a record producer and his wife is looking for him and trying to figure out why he left via his bandmates. Some affairs are had, there are a couple goons in a jeep, and then the musician comes home. On a story level it never came together for me, but I suspect the value of this movie (and the reason why Criterion released it) has more to do with the punk DIY vibes and musicians' early performances and whatnot. It's kind of like a west coast version of Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise (although I like that film more).

That's all to say that I didn't love it. Guess I'm glad I saw it, but I was kinda playing solitaire a bit on the second screen while watching. I will say that the footage in Hong Kong cafe was shot really well. I feel like that's the most I've seen of any of the punk venues where I can feel like I know what it's like inside, and even though many of the scenes feel almost improvised due to everyone's lack of experience acting in front of camera, there's also an indie charm to that. And just seeing the various posters or flyers on the walls was cool, to see all these band names I've spent the past couple months reading about. But as a narrative, as an engrossing movie? ehh.... not so much.

For anyone wanting to skip the riff raff and do the same journey as me but with actual good movies, I'd do a triple feature of Decline 1, Suburbia, and Repo Man.