DVD The Rambler

DVD The Rambler

Run time: 97 min
Rating: 4.5
Genres: Comedy | Drama | Horror
Director: Calvin Reeder
Writers: Calvin Reeder
Stars: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne
A quiet drifter leaves prison, finds home on the road.
Plot Keywords: surrealism, severed arm, pawn shop, tied to a bed, bare chested male bondage
Country: USA
Release Date: 21 January 2013 (USA)


  1. It has been a few weeks since I viewed this film at its Sundance Premiere. Even now, I am still unsure about how to feel towards it. The plot consists of a man traveling along a desert highway, and the misadventures and people he encounters along the way. There are moments of brilliance, when the dialogue and scenes are laced with dark humor, that make for quite entertaining viewing. The hilarious early scenes with the Rambler and the Scientist who picks him up are among the best in the film. However, there are also moments that feel out of place, and just plain bizarre. The tone is shifty, and it's when the mood changes from a trippy, darkly funny road movie to full-on horror that the film loses some of its momentum.

    After the screening, there was a brief Q & A with the writer/director. I found it funny that when asked if there was a deeper meaning behind some of the events in the film, he said no, it is what it is. I guess what matters is the journey, not the destination. And what a mind-boggling, surreal journey it is.

    Above all, this film is surreal, and it is sure to polarize viewers. This film is not for everyone, but if you are a fan of dark humor, horror, surrealism, and the bizarre, you are in for a treat. A great midnight movie.


  2. Who is the rambler (Dermot Mulroney)? All we know is that he has been released from prison and is on his way to his brother's farm. But this is not important — what matters are all the misadventures he has between point A and point B.

    I really wanted to like this movie. The characters are interesting, some of the story is incredibly funny, and it is all-around entertaining. But, unfortunately, the film is completely disjointed. For every good segment, there is a bad segment, and unfortunately the better ones are in the beginning so as the film goes on the viewer becomes less entertained.

    Editing might have solved some of the problems, but as a whole I think there is only so much that could be done here… the film comes across as a series of short films or television episodes. And in those formats it might have a strong following. As a feature film, it tends to fail because of the lack of central narrative.

  3. As another reviewer said, if you have nothing to say, shut up. I'm amazed at how empty some peoples' minds can be, because I've seen some bad movies over the years but none as completely rotten as this one. Some bad movies are juvenile, others are unoriginal. Some are stupid, some have poor production values. This one is simply nothing. If someone deliberately set out to make a movie that had no story, no character development, no meaning, that wasn't even a pastiche of interesting or scenes randomly stitched together, that had no buildups and no payoffs at any point, they might come up with this movie. If you're sentenced to life in solitary confinement, with only this one movie for entertainment, don't watch it.

  4. It is for those who think that David Lynch makes far too few Movies, or for those that haunt Film Festivals and Midnight Movie Screenings, or the Counter-Culture Hordes who abhor anything from Mainstream Hollywood. That is to say this is one of the Weird Ones.

    It is incomprehensible and defies Classification. It is Bizarre and proud of it. Disturbing imagery abound and Ugly People populate this Misanthropic Movie and it has no pretensions other than to make you squirm and squabble about its Meaning (it has none other than what you provide).

    Definitely worth a watch for those interested in Underground Cinema and Films that inhabit the edge of the Universe defiling anyone who dares venture into proximity. It cannot be explained and doesn't attempt to offer any coherent Story. This is an exercise in Art and is filled with nothing more than Imagery and Sound to elicit a response. The Dialog is so strange that it really has nothing to do with anything.

    There is one exchange between a Cab Driver and The Rambler that is directed at those who will hate this Movie. Cabbie: "Have you seen the Movie Frankenstein?" Rambler: "No." Cabbie: "I Love that Movie, but I would have made it in Color."

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