Released: 1970 Director: John G. Avildsen Starring: Peter Boyle, Dennis Patrick, Susan Sarandon, Audrey Caire, and K Callan Website: AMAZON Buy this movie at AMAZON
A successful business man named Bill Compton (Patrick) ventures into another world when his daughter (Sarandon) almost overdoses on drugs. While collecting her belongings at her apartment he confronts her drug dealing boyfriend with one too many blows to the head - killing him. Walking the streets to gain composure before returning home, he decides to have a drink to calm his nerves.
At the bar is Joe Currin (Boyle) a drunken blue-collar welder who is on a tirade about the social values of the society at large. By accident he slips and leads Currin on to the fact that he may or may not have just killed a hippy. This sparks a friendship of two completely opposite characters that personalities eventually blend together.
When Compton’s daughter escapes the hospital, it is here where the two take to the pavement on a hippy killing rampage that’s ending is as shocking as Peter Boyle’s dialogue!
Joe is a forgotten classic. It’s a document of the typical racism that the working man held towards the welfare system in the early seventies. Just picture All in the Family’s Archie Bunker with a streak of violence and you have Joe Currin. Angry with the blacks, jews, hippies, and anyone who might have surpassed him without paying their dues, Joe has a lot to say and he does just that.
The scene when Compton and Joe meet for the first time is insane. Joe is chewing the ear off his poor bartender and complaining more than Adam Corolla could ever dream of. He spurts out lines such as, “And the white kids, there worse than the niggers! Money doesn’t mean nuthin’ to them. Motorcycles, marijuana, five dollar records, Ehh… the dollar aint worth shit.” He just goes on and on bitching and moaning in what I would call one of the most entertaining and shocking scenes ever.
But the film really takes a turn when Compton’s daughter Melissa takes off from the hospital and the two new friends go searching for her. The try to infiltrate the scene as a couple of hip old dudes but they end up getting blown out themselves. They even hook up with some young hippy chicks only to get robbed by their boyfriends.
So now not only are they fucked up, they are pissed, and they go get revenge with no regard for human life.
This was one of Peter Boyle’s first films, and it’s the movie that put him on the map. The film was actually nominated for an Oscar in 1971! It was also directed by John Avildsen who went on to direct Rocky. So why has this movie been shuffled so far under the carpet? Probably because the entire movie deals with such racial tones it was a little much to handle.
With everyone so P.C., a film such as this could never be made today. Boyle’s hardhat persona is a breed of man that no longer exists. Not that I am complaining, it’s the fact that we have come so far but socially we live in an environment that is more censored than 1970. Regardless, Joe is a bit hard to find but it’s good one.
Joe was also one of Cannon's first films and if you are a fan of Sheer Terror, you will recognize a ton of samples from this flick.
Special note: This was Susan Sarandon's first film and she gets naked in it. You see her boobs too. My favorite line of the film has to be when Boyle is talking about "Easter Orgies" with a total kick ass accent! I read that Peter Boyle actually wrote a sequel to this but it never saw the light of day.