A long-cherished project of writer/director Kaylor (hitherto best remembered for Roller Derby), packaged on the strength of former Band-leader Robertson's enthusiastic involvement, this caused much unease among its backers with its dark tone and manic moodiness. Set amid the greasepaint and behind-the-canvas graft of a travelling carnival, it features Robertson as the resident con-artist and all-purpose fixer; Busey as the crazed bozo, goading the punters into taking pot-shots at his perch above a water-tank; and Jodie Foster as the runaway who threatens to split their strange bond. The road movie/buddy movie situations and emotions gain an intriguing perverse edge from the setting, with its genuine freaks and sideshow illusionism, as well as from Alex North's wonderfully unsettling score and Harry Stradling's dark cinematography. Better on electric, eccentric ambience than for its final rush of plotting, but such risk-taking movies are a welcome rarity.
Cast and crew
Gary Busey Jodie Foster Robbie Robertson Meg Foster Kenneth McMillan Elisha Cook Bill McKinney Bert Remsen