Glen and Randa

Once upon a time, there were countries, cities, schools, movies, electric appliances, The Beatles, politicians, then...Glen and Randa.

Year of Release: 1971
Genre: Science Fiction/Adventure
Rated: R
Running Time: 93 minutes (1:33)
Director: Jim McBride


Steve Curry ... Glen
Shelley Plimpton ... Randa
Woody Chambliss ... Sidney Miller
Garry Goodrow ... Magician


The magician came to camp and gave a show. He even put on a fireproof suit and ignited himself, but there was no applause. Later, when the magician was in his trailer making it with Randa, Glen stayed outside looking at maps. He found one of a place called Idaho, and some picture books about a lady named Wonder Woman who lives in a city called Metropolis that is all shiny and white and where people can fly. He asked the magician about it.

"The city's far, far away, over the mountains," the magician told him. "I was 15 when it was totaled. They were droppin' dead in the streets for years." "Take me to the city," Glen said. But the magician had other business, so just like Prince Valiant on a quest for the Holy Grail, Glen set out for the city.


Glen and Randa, remindin' us that few things in life are scarier'n the groupie scrapbook of a geriatric magician who wears Japanese Geisha kimonos. Fortunately, in the dystopian future, nobody can even muster up enough emotion to throw a punch when they find pictures of their own girlfriends posin' with a scrotum that looks like a Shar Pei puppy that just got outta the tub. So we've learned from our aggressive launchin' of destructive weapons, at least. An speakin' of things that'll ruin your weekend, mine at least started out pretty good after Duke Tankersley made his way by my place while he was out drivin' around lookin' for junk sittin' in people's yards to make offers on, when he stopped to ask what I wanted for my outhouse frame. Apparently, he's gonna remodel it a little an turn it into a fishin' shanty an try to catch Old Crudfin (they say he's 110 years old an 245lbs, but the only picture I've seen of 'im looks suspiciously like the frozen T-Rex from Dinosaurus, so I'm kinda skeptical) out at Lake Gunkamucka once it freezes over. Course, then I hadda pour some lime down into the shit pit an let it do its thing awhile an ended up leavin' Apollo unsupervised while I went to pull Shankles down offa the TV antenna before he jostled it an caused me to lose that channel that airs Mexican wrestling live from Chihuahua an... ya know, I'm just gonna come right out an say it; that dog's dumber'n Skunky Hernandez' idea about puttin' Youtube comments on Audio Book. I dunno what that thing he dove in after was, but it sure wasn't anything I wanna step on in the middle of the night. An the worst part is that the heap was partially frozen, so the big dumbass ended up breakin' his right hind leg when he landed an I hadda get Billy Hilliard to come over an lift 'im outta there with one of Skunky Hernandez' cow harnesses an pitch 'im into the tub just to get 'im presentable for the vet's office. Plus he drank about a quarter of the tub water by the time I'd scrubbed all the refined beans an weenies off, so when they put 'im under to set the bone an stick a splint on 'im he ended up hosin' down most of the surgical staff. I moved that old F-150 bench seat he likes to sleep on inside an set it next to the stove for 'im, but there's no way he'll be able to go turkey huntin' with Billy an me this weekend, an he's gonna be one bummed Boxer when we get back an he smells what we've been up to. I feel bad for 'im, but he's about as slow as the patrons at Blitzedkrieg's Bar in Reichenstein, Idaho at 2AM. So that pretty well absorbed all my outhouse earnins an cut about five Hungry Man dinners outta my food budget, but I just can't say no to that big, stupid, drooly face of his.

That's alright I guess. I can always go beg for table scraps over at Macks's Stacks of Manly Snacks til B.J. Wilder gets sick of hearin' my whinin' an sneaks me out one of the burgers that got returned to the kitchen for bein' redder than a baboon's butt cheek. Anyway, this week I got somethin' a little different for everybody: Glen and Randa, which is prolly the best post-apocalyptic movie ever made to feature hippies tryin' to find their way to Metropolis on the advice of their Wonder Woman comic books. Which is not a bad goal to have in life, cause Lynda Carter had more'n just one wonder that I could see. But this one's kinda different from your typical post-holocaust flick, in that if features no furry supportin' actors (cept Woody Chambliss) or extras who look like they just fled an S&M club that got raided by the the morality police, so have a looksee at these observations an decide for yourselves if this sounds like somethin' you can't live without seein'. First, after the nuclear holocaust, mankind will end up devolvin' into Stone Age nomads who're so pathetic that they don't do nothin' but scour the Earth in search of Van Camp's Pork and Bean cans. Which, I guess isn't much different than what happens at the Save-A-Lot, but it's still kinda pitiful. Second, if you make a movie real slow an artsy lookin', The Rolling Stones'll let you use their tunes in it. Or maybe the director just asked Keith Richards for permission when he was on a cocaine binge an was met with "blahdy 'el Jim, 'at souns blahdy smashin' mate, now 'elp me roll up this 'eah dollah." Really, it's too close to call. An third, the nuclear judgment day will take place in Boise, Idaho. So you may wanna start scalpin' your Broncos season tickets now to beat the rush.

See there? Clearly we're dealin' with some kind of genius. Or just some guy who thought it'd be real funny to rehash the old story from Genesis with a nuclear warhead standin' in for God, which may not necessarily suggest genius, but it's still weird as all get-out. And ya know, a lot of these post-nuke flicks make a concerted effort to show us what a heckhole the planet's gonna turn into if we don't stop treatin' it like Rodney Dangerfield, cause for a lot of folks, change is scary stuff. But just cause a nuclear weapon vaporizes 99% of the planet's population an turns Nampa, Idaho into a lovely strip of beachfront property, that doesn't mean that *everything* is gonna change. There'll still be lotsa things that'll never change no matter how many times the Commies set us up the bomb, so for those members of the audience who happen to be frightened of the impending armageddon, I thought I might cobble together a list of things that you can always rely on stayin' the same.

1) Teenagers will never stop gettin' pregnant in the backseats of cars. Granted, the car may be 30 feet above the ground after the nuclear shock wave trees it like an old coon hound, but the backseat boffing tradition will live forever.

2) Charisma and a great ride will still bag a man chicks that're half his age.

3) Children will never stop playin' with matches, even when they're rarer than a drug free colon in the maximum security ward.

4) Teenagers will still spill your gasoline during the pumping process.

5) The Sears Roebuck catalog will remain the buttwipe of choice for demonstrative poopers.

6) There still won't be anything on TV.

7) Women're still gonna be offended when you wanna do it like THAT.

8) Ancient texts will continue to instill hope in the population, despite not makin' a lick of sense.

9) Old folks'll still tell you stories about people that you dunno and consider it interactive conversation.

10) The Rolling Stones will still be touring the world, even if its just in the form of an LP bein' toted around from town to town by a creepy old man who drives a motor-trike an wears a Hefty bag windbreaker.

So, as you can see, there's really nothin' to worry about. I mean, unless we get that gloomy Planet of the Apes future. Then you might wanna panic a little.

The movie begins some time after the Commies got real mad at us for unleashin' bell bottoms on an unsuspectin' public an decided to strike down Capitalism directly at the source, completely devastatin' the greater Boise, Idaho region an destroyin' the center of antique/pawn shop culture all in one fell swoop. So what we're down to now is small bands of people who look like they crawled outta the Salvation Army donation box outside Wal-Mart, an in particular, we got Glen an Randa, who like to climb trees in the buff an speculate on how come all the disabled cars in the world have "wash me" scribbled into the dust of their back windows. Glen tends to get philosophical about anything he finds on the ground, while Randa basically sticks with 'im cause she thinks it's real funny to point a flashlight at 'im an laugh at how his silhouette looks like the palm tree in the Corona Christmas ad. Anyway, the two of 'em exchange genital juice for awhile an head back to their drug encampment below an underpass on I-84 to see what's goin' on with the rest of the cast of Sad Max, an Glen hasta sort through all the tin cans everybody's gathered from the rubble to make sure nobody eats anything life threatenin' like 10W-30 or okra. Then this lunatic wearin' a Bea Arthur wig rides into town on a souped up TerraTrike an tells everybody that he's gonna make like Ed Sullivan an put on a really big shoe for everybody, an that all he asks in return are all the gold fillins in their mouths that're goin' to waste keepin' the nuclear tarter outta their cavities. Glen's pretty sure the man's a genius after observin' 'im readin' Archie comics on a fold up johnchair an then havin' the good sense to wipe his hinder with the Jughead panel, so when the guy takes out a gas pump with the Harlem Sidekick an starts fillin' up a coupla milk jugs, Glen is instinctively drawn to him. Then the guy suckers Glen into doin' all the gas siphonin' for 'im like a post-apocalyptic Tom Sawyer so he can light up a smoke an play the harmonica with his nose. Later that night, everybody heads over to Doc Clown's tent pavilion where he pull starts a generator an instructs Glen to play the symbols to increase the theatrical flair, while he starts hockin' kitchen appliances like Billy Mays on an acid trip. This goes over like a Jerry Lewis sketch in any country except France, so the nut goes for his big finish an blasts "Time is on My Side" by The Rolling Stones on an old LP spinner after dressin' up like the guys who raided Dee Wallace's house at the end of E.T. an lightin' 'imself on fire with a road flare. Unfortunately, the man is no Steve Vai, an the audience is most definitely not listening. So after that display the spectators get bored an head over to Tina Turner's place to see who's fightin' in the Thunderdome, an the guy puts on a bathrobe that looks like it was stolen from a Japanese health spa an invites Glen an Randa into his den of antiquity to share some peanut butter an clam sammiches.

Then he rambles on an on about how in his day people had too much gumption to let the end of the world get in the way of their life's ambitions, while Glen constantly interrupts with questions about "the city" the guy mentions durin' his rant, an eventually wears down his resistance like a middle-aged divorcee at happy hour. Eventually he caves an sends Glen out to his bike to retrieve a map of the gem state so he can mark all the KKK strongholds that he'll wanna avoid on account of his afro, an while Glen's diggin' around in the guy's locker, he's inside makin' a Polaroid porno flip book of his sexploits with Randa. Glen's super stoked about makin' his way to the city to see the big potato parade they have every year in Twin Falls, an once he thinks he understands how the map works, he an Randa head into the mild west. Then they find this horse an they get a little scared when it starts eyeballin' Glen's hair on account of it lookin' like a patch of naturally occurin' spiral macaroni noodles that got left on the stove for two days, but the horse eventually stops creepin' 'em out an they decide to take it with 'em once Randa finishes pukin' up about a quart of Sunny Delight. Randa's a little concerned cause she thinks she's pregnant an happened to miss the day in home economics class where they learned about how not to have a brain aneurysm durin' child birth, an cause she ain't got enough breastage to suckle a chinchilla, but Glen assures 'er everything'll be fine an that they can always just stuff 'er with five alarm chili an smoke the kid out with heartburn if it comes to that. Then they head out again an stop to waste a buncha matches so they can worry about what'll happen when the matches run out, an after that they eat a buncha rollie pollies til they start feelin' so undignified that they hafta go crawl around in the river like Gollum an beat a buncha salmon to death like a gonzo fisherman that lost his favorite spoon lure inside one of 'em. Unfortunately, their horse ends up goin' to the big Casa de Shenandoah in the sky, an Glen hasta force feed Randa chunks of Mr. Ed even though it's the exact same stuff that's in their Alpo cans, an he gets so tired of 'er unsupportive attitude that he heads off without 'er til she tries to give chase while simultaneously doin' a back bend to keep 'er baby bump counterbalanced. Then they end up at a coastline an get scared of the tide cause the dang thing keeps goin' in an out an nobody at Fox News has been able to explain why, an before too long they run into the titular character from The Old Man and the Sea (Sidney) who invites 'em back to his place for potato soup an Werther's Originals.

So once Sid gets done tellin' 'em stories about people they've never heard of an pausin' for several minutes at a time to remember people's names, he takes 'em over to Arlene's house an says they can crash on the sofa if they'll just stick Arlene's skeleton on the compost heap in the kitchen. Then Sid tells 'em that Boise's about 10 miles down the road, but Glen's not interested cause he's on his way to Metropolis to make use of his D.C. Comics map to the stars' homes. He's hopin' to get Superman to bend somethin' for 'im as a souvenir an ask Wonder Woman if she'll tie 'im up with 'er Lasso of Truth. Sid just kinda nods an figures he could see doin' that if he weren't so old an crusty. Then Glen gets P.O.'d at Randa's inability to have his rat-kabobs prepared for 'im when he gets home after a long day of sittin' on the beach immitatin' the The Thinker sculpture, an Sid tells 'er not to get too upset about it cause sooner or later Ronald Reagan'll become president an we'll finally get that no-fault divorce system we've been waitin' for. So some more time passes an Glen starts developin' obsessive compulsive disorder an labelin' all the appliances in the house with hooker lipstick when he's not starin' at an old dead TV screen after hearin' Sid talk about how most civilized folks used to spend a lotta time watchin' Rod Serling forecast our eventual destruction. I feel like Sid's really missin' a lot of opportunities to inject humor here, cause if I was him I'd be tellin' Glen that in olden times the most learned members of society would only poop while doin' headstands an that his pet rock secretly watches him in his sleep. But anyway, Glen gets over it an puts his ear up to Randa's stomach to see if he can hear the Coeur d'Alene casino, an once that gets old he pulls out his copy of the Kamasutra an tries to figure out some way to bump rump that won't be made impossible by Randa's preggo-gut, til she gets P.O.'d an tells 'im that from now on if he wants any clam he'd best hit the beach with a shovel. Then Glen an Sid walk along the beach like they're in one of those '90s soft rock CD compilations with a lotta Chicago tracks to check an see if any fish've been trapped inside 6-pack holders, an eventually watch the sunset til Chuck Heston shows up an starts poundin' sand an screamin' about how the maniacs blew it up. Unfortunately, after more time passes, things start to get so bad that Glen hasta burn his beloved funny books for warmth so he an Randa won't get their giblets frozen together while they're makin' the sign of the crack addled couch marmot, only Randa's so bulbous with baby bloat that Sid hasta spot 'er while they're doin' it so she doesn't pull a uterus muscle, an pretty quick Glen's wangdoodle creates such a powerful suction vacuum that he induces labor. I think I'll cut it off here, cause there really ain't any good place on to stop on account of how weird this one is.

Alrighty, well, does it sound a little slow? Maybe that's not entirely fair, I mean, a box turtle with rheumatoid arthritis is a *little* slow. This one'd have to add in a few explosions just to get up to Yertle speed. So really, I get why it has such a low rating on the IMDB. A lot of people would prolly tell you that anybody who craps on it just "doesn't get it," but that's bull honkey. I kinda liked it, don't get me wrong, but the people who gave it bad ratings didn't do so because they didn't "get it," they did it because it made 'em drowsier'n a sloth on Valium. I never really got bored watching it, but that's because it's just so weird. I'll watch anything that's this strange from start to finish and prolly never complain about it with any semblance of rage in my tone, because they don't make movies like this anymore. The plot is remarkably simple, and a little bit funny when you consider how the protagonists' quest is based upon locating a mythical comic book city, but a big part of what makes it so weird is that it's shot in a semi-documentary style that essentially does little more than keep tabs on their progress. It's prolly the weirdest post-holocaust flick you'll ever see just because of the clinical tone that the director takes. It's like when you're watching a National Geographic special where five lions are tearin' apart a baby gazelle and the narrator's talkin' about how it may be gruesome, but it's basically the circle of life and that you oughta slap the little girl in the room who's now in tears. The other thing about these post-apocalypse flicks is that they generally involve roving bands of leather-clad desert mutants who're all trying to murder each other and gain access to the last known storehouse of Dockers jeans, but this is nothing like that. So I think a lot of people see the cover art and go in expecting something like Mad Max or one of its 700 Italian imitations, and get P.O.'d because the movie wasn't what they expected it to be. This is the kinda movie you expect to be shown at a private fundraiser for the Hipster AV Fund of Greenwich, Connecticut, not a drive-in in 1971. I'm a little surprised that the film schools aren't all over this one, seems perfect for those stuffy professors who wear tweed jackets and spend a lotta time stroking their beards. They'd probably go on to talk about how the film is an allegory representing man's ejection from the Garden of Eden following his original sin or something like that, and how there's an indelible "innocence" about it. I mostly liked it because, despite being pretty slow, you never knew what the heck was gonna happen next, and that's a feeling that not nearly enough movies invoke. You may well be watching a movie and be fooled by a plot twist, but you did at least *think* you knew what was gonna happen next. In Glen and Randa, even if you weren't too enraptured with how strange it is to venture a guess, you'd never get it right.

Okay then, let's nuke this thing from orbit and try to figure out why the only place that survived was Idaho. The plot is more or less non-existent. There's a journey taking place, documentary style, and you're really just along for the ride. There isn't much in the way of plot twists or even any major bumps in the road that the characters have to overcome. There is one big problem that I have with it though, and it's simply that I find it pretty hard to believe that mankind would have fallen this far after just forty years. All the surviving people in the flick seem to have pretty well resigned themselves to scavenging for things that survived the nuke, rather than trying to rebuild anything. I guess the director was going for a time and place where the remaining population was psychologically broken and incapable of moving past the destruction, but it seems a little unlikely to me. But yeah, basically, there is no plot. The acting is fairly amateurish, but it doesn't come across as inept because the tone of the movie is so bizarre, and because the central characters have basically grown up with no education or understanding about the world around them. They're ignorant of a great many things, and that translates into some really unusual acting that's neither good nor bad, just strange. Garry Goodrow is pretty entertaining as civilization's new self-declared captain of industry, who lights himself on fire and boffs Randa while Glen's rootin' through his foot locker, though. He's probably the weirdest thing about this flick, but he's also the best actor in it. Woody Chambliss isn't bad either, as the lonely old beach bum who gives Glen and Randa a place to stay and spends all his free time keeping an inventory of the debris that washes up on the beach. Although he's kind of a poor man's Keenan Wynn. Here's who matters and why: Woody Chambliss (The Devil's Rain, Gargoyles), Garry Goodrow (Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978, Circuitry Man, The Prey, Eating Raoul), Leonard Johnson (Manhunter), Barbara Spiegel (The Werewolf of Washington). Didn't exactly kickstart a lot of careers, and might even have killed a few just due to how strange it is.

The special effects, well, there aren't any. The salmon that get bludgeoned to death were most definitely harmed in the making of this film, and even the dead horse looks like a real horse. I'm not suggesting they killed the horse just for the shot, but it sure looks like they got a real dead horse from someplace. So it literally has no special effects. The shooting locations are pretty good, despite the flick not making too much effort to show a dystopian landscape. Seems like the nuke(s) must've gone off a significant distance from where the movie's set, as there isn't much in the way of destruction or even a barren environment. There's really only one scene early on that shows the encampment where the nomadic survivors are staying, and one destroyed house that's being looted. Although the old car up in the tree and the gas pump being reclaimed by vegetation are pretty good. The old trailer that Glen and Randa make their home in near the beach is an excellent location as well, and it's pretty obvious that it was a place that they simply found rather than built, which adds a great deal to the realism. Other than those, you've got a pretty good variety of terrain being crossed, from lush forests to rocky hillsides, into some sage country and finally ending on a coastline. So the locations they chose and the structures they were able to utilize are pretty good, even if the movie would have benefited by showing off a little more annihilation. The soundtrack, like the special effects, also does not exist, which is a sure sign of an art house film. Technically they do have the scene where Garry Goodrow is playing "Time is on My Side" by The Rolling Stones on a record player (which is made interesting by the fact that the player keeps wanting to die in the process), but that's the only music in the entire movie. And given the tone of the movie, it actually makes sense for it to lack a soundtrack, because it would diminish the documentary style they were going for. So really, like a movie from the 1930s, the atmosphere is created more through the use of sound effects than music, and the only real sound effects that're utilized are the nature sounds of whatever geographical region Glen and Randa happen to be traversing at the time. In just about any other movie this wouldn't work, but it works pretty well here. Overall, this movie's really only watchable by an audience that enjoys cinematic oddities, post-nuke completionists, and stuck up artsy fartsy film historians who like to look for a deeper meaning that seldom exists. I think this one would probably bore the average person to tears, so unless you're in one of the three aforementioned groups, you'll probably wanna skip it.

Rating: 61%