DVD Review: “Glen and Randa”
Released By: VCI Entertainment
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Number of Discs: 1
Approximate Running Time: 94 Minutes
Special Features: Interview with Director Jim McBride, Alternate Scenes and Outtakes, Theatrical trailer
Suggested Price: $19.99
A post-apocalyptic Adam and Eve leave the safety of their rural community in search of a city they have only heard of in legends. They journey through the remains of society on an ill advised quest guided only by what they have read in comic books.
The Fanboy Factor:
It doesn’t happen very often these days, but every once in a while I run across a vintage genre film I have never heard anything about. When I first saw the DVD for Glen and Randa, I knew two things; it claimed to be science fiction and was made in 1970. This, along with the ominous nuclear holocaust box art, was all I needed to get me interested. Unfortunately, what followed was ninety-four minutes of two incredibly annoying characters on a half ass adventure who never succeed in anything more than filling up the film’s running time.
Glen and Randa starts off with some very similar imagery to the surface scenes in A Boy and his Dog, which was made a few years later. The two title characters are young lovers who live a simplistic but serviceable life as part of a small tribe of survivors some twenty years after the final war (apparently canned goods keep better than anticipated). Into their lives comes the technology scrounging Magician who makes his living entertaining these rag tag communities with tales and reminders of the cities that once were. Taking the information in the comic books he reads a little too seriously, Glen convinces Randa to leave with him to find the fabled city of Metropolis where “everyone can fly”.
Their journey through some beautiful countysides that seem to have survived the apocalypse in remarkable condition is peppered with inane dialog that continually hammers home the point that they have no real idea of what they are doing. Somehow they survive long enough to find a hermit, character actor Woody Chambliss, and move in with him in the remnants of a seaside trailer park.
If all of this sounds pretty boring, that’s because it is. The worst part is that the film keeps the viewer interested with the possibilities of what could happen and then ultimately delivers nothing by its non-conclusion. The only elements that make this film stand out at all are some scenes of full frontal nudity, which earned it an X rating, and brutality against fish! In his interview included in the supplemental section, Director Jim McBride, who went on to direct mainstream pictures like Breathless and Great Balls of Fire, confesses to being stoned during most of the filming – it shows.
VCI Entertainment has done an admirable job with a less than admirable film. The video transfer is excellent and the film’s primarily outdoor photography looks stunning. The extras include an outtake reel with alternate and deleted scenes that add very little information to the finished product. The original theatrical trailer will make viewers wonder how many people were lured into the theater to see this during its initial release, which was probably further hindered by the X rating it barely warrants.
The Bottom Line:
Film fans owe a huge debt to the DVD revolution for making countless movies that would have otherwise slipped into obscurity available to the general public. There are a few films though, like Glen and Randa, which deserve their place on the bottom of the release list. This film’s only merit is as a historical document of what kind of product could actually receive theatrical distribution in 1970.