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Desperation Rising (1989)

Directed by Jason Holt
Legacy Home Video VHS

THE FILM
There’s a possibility that Executioner Part II has a new Double Feature mate. It’s time to find my copy of Nomad Riders and pair that with Frozen Scream. “All The Way! All The Way! All The Way!” The madness of Jason Holt’s Desperation Rising has charmed me. The drug addicts, the prostitutes, the people at the awesome seminar (watch and enjoy!), the shoot-outs and punch-ups…

…it’s not really an action film…I thought it was going to be…

…bits of action do break out and it feels like it should be an action film but most of the time it’s strangely dubbed people doing things that are odd…

…but glorious……it does fit the mold of Executioner Part II. Sort of a world where everyone is terrible to everyone else. And, everyone is just out to take advantage of anyone to make some cash or survive. Executioner Part II ends on a bleaker note. Desperation Rising gives its folks freedom on the rocks. Maybe it’s a biblical thing? Maybe it’s a Big Rock thing? I don’t know.

People argue and swear. Music plays so loud that it’s tough to hear the arguing and swearing. Video captions give us info that doesn’t quite make sense and throws in the exact times, just to keep us on our toes. There is a creepy Red Room. There is a series of odd haircuts. There is some space-age editing and, at the seminar, an African American gentleman says “The black man be coming up in the world.” I had thought Amos & Andy went off the air around 1960. Maybe this is Andy’s son?

A bunch of bad guys deal drugs and keep women in The Red Room for prostitution. Other guys and gals go to a seminar of some sort. Other people hang around and appear and disappear. And, I’m never quite sure where I am and then it ends.

The movie is a smear. Things happen. They make no sense but possibly they’re all part of the strange, beautiful (and crowded) world that exists in Jason Holt’s mind…and what a place that must be…I don’t know what I’m watching. It’s a movie but it could be a miniseries. It’s a movie but I could just be loaded.

AUDIO AND VIDEO
Smeary looking. The audio is so disconnected that I didn’t even know where I was supposed to be looking half the time. It’s great. Jason Holt’s vision and the way I think about the world are not so far apart. I had a fever a few weekends ago and everyone and everything I saw and felt replicated the groove of this movie. Fever Dream is such a perfect term for this movie…

….I don’t want to go the Red Room…

This movie is right up there with Samurai Cop. It’s better than Kill Squad. These are recommendations of the highest order.

EXTRAS
I sure wish there were some.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I’ve watched it three times and, for some reason, it’s not sinking in. It’s a hazy series of disconnected scenes. I do know, however, that you need to find a copy and you need to watch it. Immediately…any deficiencies in this review are my own.

Possibly one of the pinnacles of Loopy Filmmaking. Drugs, thugs, prostitutes, rocks, running around, kung fu and insanity…it all means something…I just don’t know what. I’ll watch it ten more times and get back to you.

I had to have two sets of Final Thoughts because I have no “Final” Thoughts about this movie. All thoughts are still appearing. Making their feelings felt in their own special “Jason Holt Is Everywhere” way.