THE LAST MOVIE (1971)
Article 2578 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-26-2008
Posting Date: 9-3-2008
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Featuring Dennis Hopper, Stella Garcia, Julie Adams
A stuntman stays in Peru after working on a western being filmed there. He then finds himself caught up in the villagers of the area reenacting the shooting of the movie, though they lack the understanding of film illusion, resulting in the use of real violence in place of movie violence.
After the success of EASY RIDER, actor Dennis Hopper decided to make this his next venture into directing. There’s some definite promise in the basic premise of the movie, and individual scenes here and there aren’t bad, but, as a whole, it’s a confusing mess. According to another plot description I found for the movie, an actor dies while the real movie is being shot, but it says something about the incoherence of this movie that I was unable to pick that fact out of the mix. I’m sure some people will be able to find meaning in the jumble and will be fascinated by the movie, but I suspect it isn’t really worth the effort. As for the fantastic content…well, it may be another case of when a movie gets weird enough, it turns into something of a fantasy, and it gets in on strangeness alone. There’s lots of familiar names in the cast, though; Dennis Hopper, Julie Adams, Roy Engel, Samuel Fuller (playing himself), Sylvia Miles, Toni Basil, Rod Cameron, Peter Fonda, Henry Jaglom, Kris Kristofferson, John Philip Law, Russ Tamblyn, James Mitchum, and Peter Fonda all appear, though most of the familiar names appear only as people appearing in the movie western during the beginning of the movie. The title card flashes up a good half hour into the movie. If it feels something like EL TOPO, it may be of interest to know that Alejandro Jodorowsky was a consulting editor.