Monday, June 25, 2012

Joe (1970)

What we have here is my favorite hippie-killer flick from the 70's, right next to The Peace Killers which would come out one year after Joe and offer a savage biker gang that crucifies pacifist hippies. While both films are gritty, The Peace Killers is a total exploitation flick and Joe is a serious piece of cinema from the 70's, complete with social message and a great depiction of two different generations from the time.

Joe played by Peter the-wizard Boyle (Taxi Driver) is your average working class stiff. Or should I say your average Joe? He is filled with hate a resentment for the younger generation which he feels is "shitting on everything he loves and believes in". He looks back fondly to when he served in the war and wishes he could start a new war against the homosexuals, blacks, and especially the hippie-youth of America.

Joe teams up with a high society yuppie who killed a drug-pushing hippie who got his daughter hooked on drugs. Things go from bad to worse with each hour that the two men spend together.

Joe offers up some nudity from Susan (Rocky Horror Picture Show) Sarandon in her first role ever. Sarandon plays the victim in a story that really doesn't offer up any hero's. She is part of the so called love generation which really isn't portrayed in a much better light then the older generation.

The old-timers carry on their ideals of democracy blended with racism, sexism, bigotry and class war while the young hip generation seems to be nothing more then a bunch of back-stabbing, junkie degenerates who lack in loyalty, respect and trust.

Joe really must have been an interesting theatrical experience back in 1970. It is some what of a dangerous film and I can almost picture the young and old leaving the theater together and having learned nothing. Since Joe has no clear message on who is right and who is wrong I think it is safe to say that the average viewer walked out the same person they were before the walked in but the film may have worked as fuel for their own personal political hatred.

I personally feel the film leans more to the left since it shows the hippies as victims of violence and murder but as I mentioned before these kids are no angels.

Joe is a perfect example of what will follow in the movies in the 70's. A dark look at humanity with a very downbeat ending. You don't walk out from this film feeling very good. Yet at the same time there is a lot of very funny moments in the film which we can thank Joe for. Peter Boyle's character is perhaps the most politically incorrect person in any film ever. He is so fucking racist that you have to laugh. "42 percent of all Liberals are queer! ... And that's a fact!"

So if you want some good ole gay-bashing and racial slurs thrown in with your hippie killing be sure to check this one out. The director would go on to do some big films in the 80's like the Karate Kid and Rocky but fuck all that. He would also go on to do a crazy little sex comedy called Cry Uncle which is probably the only other movie worth watching from this director.

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