Written & Directed by Eric Chambers
Melissa is traveling the desert highways in her convertible headed to California when she decides to pick-up backpacker Nina so that she’ll have someone to talk to on the long ride. Melissa is a reserved young woman with an implacable European-sounding accent and a habit of throwing up for no particular reason. Nina is pretty, man-hungry and carries around a video camera to record everything because American Beauty is her favorite movie. If you felt the girly conversations in Death Proof just droned on then brace yourselves for the one’s these two ladies engage.
A brief stop at a middle-of-nowhere diner that ends up being less about getting a bite to eat and more about flirting with a handsome highway cop by engaging in a spirited game of parking lot frisbee. That same cop driving a sporty black police cruiser complete with tinted windows will soon pull them over, mainly so that he can flirt with Nina. He writes them a $1 ticket for “wasting gas” that requires them to follow him to the nearby police station to pay the fine where Nina and the deputy will slip off for a quickie in one of the empty prison cells.
At least that was the plan until the other cop on duty decided to entertain Melissa by introducing her to his pet tarantula. Melissa screams; Nina decides they’ll have to take a rain check since her ride is freaking out. This doesn’t sit well with the horny cop who then attempts to force himself on her. A knee to the groin later and the two girls are on the run. They’ll soon find themselves being stalked by a sleek black police cruiser that may or may not be being driven by the deputy Nina had her jail cell altercation with.
The rest of the movie has the two ladies taking flight through the desert back roads both by car and by foot, pursued by the black police cruiser that seems to come and go almost like a phantom. They’ll encounter other denizens of the desert along the way, most which exist solely to give the movie a body count. Secrets will be revealed. Women will bond. Rednecks will be put in their place. Guns will be fired. Cars will be wrecked. Boredom will remain constant.
If there is anything the movie Movin’ Too Fast cannot be accused of it would be movin’ too fast. A meandering thriller that has all the earmarks of an exploitation flick except it’s been written and directed with an air of Sundance Film Festival pretension, a behind the scenes featurette will reveal writer-director Eric Chambers’ desire to make something grittier and more realistic than the usual horror-thriller of this type. Aside from a truly gruesome shotgun death, the only thing gritty about the film is the desert sand. And realistic…? You mean like the faceless psycho in the supercharged police cruiser who stalks these two women for kicks with little motivation as to why? You mean like how two women can be on the run for days and still not find their way out of a little hole-in-the-wall section of the California desert?
Though I applaud Chambers for wanting to make something more substantial than just another exploitation flick, there’s no escaping the fact that he only succeeded in all the wrong ways. Look no further than his committing of two of indie cinemas most grievous (and badly clichéd) sins, setting the bad tone by introducing both of these elements in the film’s opening moments.
It starts with a lead actress providing a pretentious voiceover waxing philosophical about human nature in an oh-so-deep manner, her every word reeks of being nothing more than pointless self-importance masquerading as something more profound. It also doesn’t help that the actress sounds every bit as disinterested reading these lines as we feel listening to them.
Not to be outdone in the clichéd pretension department is the over reliance on quasi-religious symbolism. There seems to be only one radio station available in this desert area and it features a fire & brimstone preacher raving about sin and demons and God’s punishment of the wicked and so forth. These apocalyptic radio broadcasts almost become like Greek chorus but their actual connotation in correlation to the film’s action (or in-action as is the case much of the time) is rather dubious. Just like the voiceover narration, it’s pointless and reeks of more artsy fartsy self-importance.
Never exciting or thrilling or thoughtful, this is nothing more than a plodding production that never seems to make up its mind whether it wants to be an arthouse flick, an exploitation thriller, a dust bowl noir, or a Lifetime Network “men are evil” flick. Though handsomely shot and decently acted, Movin’ Too Fast just doesn’t work on any particular level.
1 out of 5
Discuss Movin’ Too Fast in the Dread Central forums!