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Scarecrow on Seattle: JOYRIDE

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter (you may have seen some of them when we had our Scarecrow on Seattle rental section up last year). We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.





Joyride (1977)
Joyride is a meandering, rebellious road trip drama notable for its gimmicky casting, gratuitous car chases and excessive use of Electric Light Orchestra songs. The four main leads are all the offspring of famous parents (Desi Arnez Jr., Melanie Griffith, Robert Carradine, Anne Lockhart) and Washington State portrays most of the west coast of North America (including California, British Colombia, Alaska and itself). Desi, Melanie and Robert play a love triangle of disenfranchised Los Angeles youth who decide to head north to Alaska, buy a boat and enter into the lucrative salmon fishing business. Things don't work out so well thanks to lousy jobs and mean locals. The trio soon finds themselves broke, homeless, unemployed and eating dog food. They end up robbing a pipeline company's payroll office and kidnapping one of their employees (Anne Lockhart). She is a very co-operative "victim" and convinces the gang to demand a ransom payment from the pipeline company. Soon the group find themselves loaded with cash and on the run. Joyride can be looked at as Roslyn's audition for "Northern Exposure," as it portrays a run-down Alaskan company town. Frequent Rainier Beer product placement and the clearly labeled Roslyn Drug Store betray the actual locale. A small portion of the film does take place in Seattle where the gang is seen awkwardly skipping through Occidental Park with a mid-seventies Seattle skyline in the background. The filmmakers do their best with numerous lovely locations but if you have spent much time in Western Washington you can clearly recognize the mountains, rivers and roads of the Evergreen State. Seattle TV personality Cliff Lenz (host of KING's old "Seattle Today" show) appears in a small acting role.
-Spenser Hoyt



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