Ep. 15: “A Slow Bullet .. The War Comes Home” (1988)

This week we watched a slow movie. Maybe not coincidentally, it was called “A Slow Bullet .. The War Comes Home.” I won’t bother posting a link, because imdb knows even less about the movie than we do. 

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So here’s the deal. Someone said this is the worst movie ever made. I disagree. It’s not a great film, but it’s definitely not the worst movie ever made. It’s a movie about a man suffering from mental illness after returning from the Vietnam War. This guy, to be precise.

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He spends a lot of time in his basement apartment (most of the movie). Get used to this setting.

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His hobbies seem to be yelling, drinking, and to a lesser extent, using spray paint in an enclosed space. You can make your own joke here.

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He has a very patient girlfriend. Things don’t end well for her. Thankfully, they’ll always have Ft. Lauderdale.

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Most of his trauma seems to come from a mission gone wrong during which all of his merry band is killed. Here they are (the one with the cowboy hat is called ‘Cowboy’ if you can imagine such a thing):

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A few of them deserve it. This guy does something really unsavory to a dead Vietnamese woman:

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Anyway, he has one sort of likable friend who gets killed. You can see the subtle way the director and writer showed him going cuckoo. If you look at this screenshot carefully, you might be able to detect the change in the character:

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This is the guy who’s been killing all of his men, during their final showdown:

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He gets his revenge and it’s over. Or so you thought! He is about to kill himself when he has a flashback and kills his girlfriend instead, the very bullet that jammed up in the VC soldier’s gun — the one that would have killed him. Anyway I guess that’s the point of the title.

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Now this movie deserves some credit. It had a bitchin’ soundtrack, pretty well established atmosphere and tension, and they made really good use of what was obviously a budget of about 20 or 30 dollars. I don’t think it’s the worst movie ever made — not by a long shot. For more discussion about this and what we think are the worst movies ever made, check out the podcast. 

After you’re finished, head on over to the audio commentary tracks page and listen to us watch the movie, or just watch it here, synced and riffed for you, as a part of our special presentation on this film. After that, go play outside, maybe go to your local nature preserve and hike. Just watch out for snipers.

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