I re-watched one of my favourite foreign movies the other night. The story of old cockney men driving to the English seaside to dump their buddy’s ashes, Last Orders is perhaps the best film adaptation of a book that I can think of. It got me thinking of other things. Now, please enjoy Steve’s list of Great Road Movies from the Wrong Side of the Road. Part I!
A road movie with old farts, Last Orders is a slice-of-life wherein these crumbling Englishmen show their respect by ferrying Michael’s Caine’s remains to their final resting spot in a black Mercedes. The story takes place during the drive. They leave east London and fight traffic, their pasts and each other, throughout the picturesque south English countryside. The cast is so full of legends that if they’d had a collision, Britain would have gone Oscar free for a decade. Consider the list: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Tom Courtenay and, yes, Michael Caine. If the subject matter seems a tad too tweedy, you’ll be pleased to learn that a marvelous pair of silicon-free breasts appears in a very fleshy flashback, earning this sweet little story an undeserved restricted rating.
A terrifying story, terrifying realized, 28 Days Later is one of the best Danny Boyle offerings, right up there with including Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting. Synopsis: a disease that instantly turns people into savage man-eating psychos has spread throughout Britain, and five survivors drive a hackney cab north from London to escape the madness until the epidemic’s burned itself out. It’s an interesting thought that the only safe place is this boxy auto-for-hire: an allegory for what? I don’t know but it’s a wicked ride.
Road Warrior was the coolest episode of the entire “Mad Max” series. It’s great to see Mel Gibson sober and not damning Jews. Most impressive, at first, is the quality of his Australian accent. That is, until you learn that he actually spent much of his childhood living in Australia. Still, this movie boasts some of the most creative deaths by auto ever. Pre-CGI, it’s just cooler.
Image courtesy of Garry.