The first challenge to reviewing the movie 'Easy Rider' was finding it. Not available On Demand. No rentals. I signed up for Nexflix and promptly cancelled when they didn't carry it. Then I found it, right under my nose. You Tube! Yep. I searched 'Easy Rider' and it came up, the entire movie, first. I watched it on my computer for free. And let me tell you, I got my money's worth. Generally it's a stupid movie that doesn't really have a plot or move along, about two guys (Jack Nicholson tags along for three) that wander around the country smoking dope and riding their bikes.
The story opens with Wyatt and Billy scoring big coke in Mexico and making bank back in the good old USA. They store the cash in the gas tank of Captain America's (Peter Fonda as Wyatt) bike. Their goal is to get to Florida and do nothing for the rest of their lives, with a stop for Mardi Gras.
They ride and toke their way across America. The film does show America's (particularly the south's) disdain for bikers, longhairs and drifters.
Wyatt picks up a hitchhiker and he takes them to their commune. Oh, wonderful. These people just live. No husbands or wives, no commitments, and they live off the land. Except they are dying because they sowed their seed in the desert. Duh! Move North, people! You need some water.
They hook up with George (Jack Nicholson, with hair) who throws off his lawyerisms and rides with them. They get beat up by rednecks when camping and George is killed. To honor their fallen friend, they visit a whorehouse in Louisiana. Wow, a Hallmark moment. Bring your tissues.
The boys hook ('hook' is the operative word) up with two chicks and they all drop acid, or LSD, together. This film should be mandatory in schools. Play the film with a guy saying, 'This is your brain (roll film). This is your brain on drugs (roll more film). Any questions?
Spoiler alert! A couple of rednecks blow them away with a shotgun in a drive by. Film over. And you thought it was a chick flick didn't you?
Amazing however, was the memories crashing in my mind as I watched them ride through the south. The camera captured beautiful vistas, colorful mesas, and magnificent sunsets, intersected with two guys on beautiful custom bikes, just enjoying. I remember. That's what grabbed me the first time. I managed to ignore all the stupidity and focus on the ride.
Keeping the time frame in perspective, watching a full color film on the big screen was a treat in '69, as television was just transforming into color, and the panoramic delights were a treat indeed.
Can't wait to get my motor running and head out on the highway, looking for adventure, whatever comes our way. I may just cut my hair when we get to the southern states.
And the Big Announcement? Not yet. Another setback, and another cool addition. Maybe Tuesday.