Pulpmovies Cult Film Reviews
The first time I watched Random Canyon, I really didn’t like it. It came across, to me, as attempting to be both humorous and shocking and falling short on both counts.
Watching it again for the purpose of this review, I’ve moderated my opinion somewhat. It’s not a great film and you really do have to be in the right mood to appreciate it, but there are some moments of twisted reality that really do have to be seen to be believed.
That said, reviewing the film has been a bit of a struggle for me. My normal approach of starting with a synopsis and then digressing to talk about what was and wasn’t enjoyable about the film really doesn’t work in this case because I really have no idea of what – if anything - the film is about.
But… here goes anyway.
There isn’t much of an overall narrative to the film, instead it consists of several sequences – some of which are linked, some of which appear to have been randomly added.
Once we’re past the extended farmyard opening sequence, which does drag a bit, the film starts to centre on a group of rednecks shooting a film. As far as I can make out, the film they are shooting is a documentary about themselves, although they may be shooting a documentary about shooting a documentary about themselves. Either way, if you combined Deliverance with Big Brother, you’d be pretty close to the feel of this sequence.
Not surprisingly considering that most of the characters are playing with something less than a full deck, the film shoot is a pretty chaotic affair and our time with most of these characters ends when one of their number decides that he’s had enough and leaves the set.
The focus of the film switches to this guy – if he had a name, I didn’t catch it so I shall refer to him from this point on as Passenger – as he starts to try and hitch a lift.
With a strange inevitability, someone – also unnamed, so he gets the moniker of Driver - does finally stop for him and the two men get bizarrely stoned together as they travel towards an unnamed destination.
Of course, all good things must come to an end and the now unconscious Passenger is eventually dumped from the car and left lying in the road. Still semi-comatose he staggers into the first barn he finds and promptly passes out.
When he finally comes around he staggers outside where he meets the object of his affection… a goat called Jackie, at which point things really do start to get silly. It really isn’t possible to sufficiently describe this sequence other than to say that it is both bizarre and surreal and you really do need to be feeling either open minded or easily amused – preferably both - in order to watch it.
And if you get past that, there is one more sequence that is both unrelated to what has gone on before and beyond belief.
All in all, Random Canyon is a strange and surreal piece of cinema that will only appeal to a minority of audiences. Watch it if you dare.