After seeing their ultra-low budget production of The High Road, a drug- and booze-infused trip around the state of Texas, I'm almost unable to comment. What might be described as Easy Rider meets Drugstore Cowboy, the movie is certainly a success in terms of experimental filmmaking, and it definitely has the potential of becoming a cult classic on the midnight circuit.
While following go-nowhere (and I mean it) twentysomethings on an inspired-by-nothing journey is nothing new, Pallotta's camera direction and eye for locations is more reminiscent of David Lynch than Dennis Hopper. Making the most of almost no money (how they got such a fantastic score is beyond me), Pallotta proves that his directorial style is a force to be reckoned with, should the Money Men come knocking.
Although the road movie has seen a resurgence of late, what sets The High Road apart from recent klunkers like The Doom Generation is the deadpan goofiness with which Pallotta and company have infused the film. Full of sex, drug, and alcohol clichés, all delivered in monotone by the cast of amateurs, the movie is one long running joke about being high, yet in some bizarre way manages to be as anti-drug as anything I've ever seen.
With production values at the low end of low-budget, much of the film's sound is drowned out by room/car tone and tape hiss. It's unfortunate, even if it is expected. The performances from the four leads are all, oddly, exactly the same, due to what Pallotta refers to as "the hyperrealism of the Huston/Buñuel approach." I'm not sure if I know what that means, and I'm not even sure if I spelled "hyperrealism" right, either... but, as with most experiments, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
Thankfully, The High Road works more often than not, and any fan of the genre will definitely be entertained.
Aka High Road.
Run time: 44 mins
In Theaters: Thursday 8th November 2012
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
IMDB: 8.6 / 10
Director: Thomas Pallotta