REVIEWED
2/23/03

STORY



LOOK

Drugstore Cowboy
Director: Gus Van Sant
Year: 1989
TRT: 1:44


The name of the film is quite fitting, following a junkie and his crew in 1971 on their neverending quest to score some more dope by knocking over pharmacies and hospitals. It's a realistic look at their lives as they try to find more drugs while avoiding the heat from the cops. They survive due to Bob (Matt Dillon), who leads the dysfunctional "family" with good ideas and some odd superstitions. Buy after a bad turn of events, it seems like their luck runs out, forcing Bob to make some major changes in his life.

This is a compelling look at the lifestyle, which is never sensationalized, and I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it. Despite the heavy material, there is an occasional light moment, and the performances by all are solid (including a good role of the ex-priest junkie played by the authority himself [of being a junkie, not a priest], William S. Burroughs). It's drama as it really is, with the struggles they have to face in order to continue living the lifestyle.

DVD Notes: Very decent compilation put out by Artisan that includes a great "Making of" documentary that has a very in-depth look at the characters and the shooting of the film itself. There are also cast & crew bios, some production notes on the history of the story itself, and an alright commentary with director Van Sant and Dillon.