This Sunday at 6:30, I'm hosting Rolling Thunder at the Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park along with Robert Saucedo, and you should join us! The film will be shown in 35mm, part of our pretty wholly epic Badass 101 monthly series. Now, I've never seen Rolling Thunder, making this the very first Badass 101 title with which I'm not intimately familiar. So I'm stoked! I love seeing new movies! But that also means I'm going to leave this space for Robert's assessment of the film:
Movies like ROLLING THUNDER are the reason BADASS 101 exists. The Badass Digest co-hosted series, monthly screenings of kick ass action films in 35mm, has been going strong since May and together we’ve seen a variety of cinematic badasses flicker across the screen. No movie in the series, though, has come close to capturing the raw, undiluted sheen of grit-stained, hairy knuckle machismo like ROLLING THUNDER. A long, steady pour of deadly intensity, the movie is a meditation on duty, loss and revenge. It’s also a shock to the cinematic nervous system akin to licking a battery. It’s the stale-cigarette smelling, trenchcoat wearing gentlemen sitting in the park, staring off into the distance. You know you shouldn’t get too close to this movie because it reeks of danger but you can’t help but approach in the hopes that you’ll have the chance to share in said danger.
William Devane stars as Major Charles Rane, a Vietnam veteran returning home to San Antonio after seven years in a POW camp. Adrift in a life he thought was forever lost to him, Rane finds his marriage in shambles, his son a stranger and his life without purpose. Purpose has a funny way of rearing its ugly head, though. When a group of thugs kills Rane’s family over a briefcase full of silver dollars, the Major loses a hand but finds a new mission in life – revenge. Drawn along on the hoof-beaten path to vengeance is Linda, a waitress played by Linda Haynes who took a shining to the Major, and Sergeant First Class Johnny Vohden, a young soldier played by Tommy Lee Jones who is experiencing similar questions about what to do with his life now that he has escaped hell.
ROLLING THUNDER is directed by Lawrence Gordon from a script by Heywood Gould and Paul Schrader (TAXI DRIVER). The movie takes audiences on a bloodstained tour of west Texas – as Major Rane tracks his attackers across the Texas border. If you dig exploitation films and the dark and gritty take-no-prisoners cinematic bliss that could have only come from the ‘70s, ROLLING THUNDER is essential viewing. It is a movie unafraid to grab audiences by the lapels and shake them awake from whatever peaceful cinematic acquiescence they thought they might have been entering into.
One of the film’s most outspoken fans is director Quentin Tarantino. “Most movies let you down but this is ass kicking nirvana,” Tarantino wrote when including the film in a list of his favorite movies ever. And the director of DJANGO UNCHAINED couldn’t have been more right on the money. ROLLING THUNDER is a powerful example of badassery and we can’t wait to share it with Houston audiences on Sunday, December 30. The screening is in 35mm and the show starts at 6:30 PM. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see one of the greatest action movies ever made on the big screen the way it was meant to be seen. Your future as a badass depends on it.
Goddammit, he makes it sound good, doesn't he? I can't wait! Get your tickets here.
And if you're inspired to attend by this post, come say hi! I want to meet you!