(1970)4Lucia BozzolaLurking beneath the humor of director Brian De Palma's irreverent breakthrough comedy is the politically charged suggestion that, in an already hyped-up environment, Vietnam vets may not be so easily re-assimilated to the home front. The main character of Rubin is something of a precursor to star Robert De Niro's ultra-violent, ultra-alienated Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). Independently produced, and shot for very little money on location in the Village, the film has a loose narrative structure and apt downtown details that give it a keen feel for the counterculture milieu on which it comments. More a cult favorite than a mainstream success, the film spotlights De Palma's visual smarts and interest in media voyeurism, and De Niro's off-kilter Rubin, retrospectively making Hi, Mom! a clever forerunner of the subsequent '70s work of both men.