Sunday, February 4, 2018

Wheeler (1975)



Wannabe thriller Wheeler, also known by titles including Psycho from Texas, has fans among those who relish bad cinema, and it’s not hard to see why. The plot is derivative schlock about a twisted redneck drifter who abuses women because he was traumatized during childhood by watching his prostitute mother service clients. Fair enough, except for the way the filmmakers illustrate this concept—flashbacks featuring awkward cuts between shots of Mom getting screwed and shots of an angelic little boy crying. Shameless. Adding to the film’s craptastic allure is the bizarre performance by leading man John King III, who elongates and emphasizes random words, somewhat in the style Christopher Walken later employed to more deliberate effect. Watching Wheeler, one gets the sense of an actor struggling to read cue cards that are held too far away for him to see clearly. And then there’s that damn chase scene. In the storyline, Wheeler (King) and his buddy Slick (Thomas Knight Lamey) kidnap a retired oilman, but the oilman escapes—so for a good 40 minutes of the movie, the filmmakers repeatedly cut to Slick chasing the oilman. Beyond how dull and repetitious these vignettes are, the chase scene defies logic since Slick is young and healthy while the oilman is middle-aged and doughy. The capper on this dispiriting cinematic experience is an interminable scene during which Wheeler forces a pretty waitress to strip naked and gyrate while he empties a pitcher of beer onto her. Gross.

Wheeler: LAME

3 comments:

Guy Callaway said...

Looks like the best film Meatloaf never made.

William Blake Hall said...

I'm not understanding the poster. Their quite Southern town? Quite Southern? Is it Southern or not? How would it not be fully Southern but only ... quite Southern?

By Peter Hanson said...

Wow. All that money spent on a respectable original painting and not a penny thrown at a proofreader. Quite shabby, that.