Fast-Walking (1982)

Genres - Crime, Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Prison Film  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This oddball prison story escaped notice at the time of its release but has since earned a following amongst cult film aficionados. One viewing of Fast-Walking makes it easy to understand why: this is exactly the kind of offbeat sleeper that is tailor made for the cult movie set. The storyline mixes grim, controversial content and dark humor in an unpredictable way, lacing its suspenseful tale with reams of quotably profane dialogue. Director James B. Harris handles this storyline in a spare, confident manner, allowing a gallery of interesting character actors to carry the film. That was a wise decision because the performances are fantastic across the board: James Woods digs into the role of the title character with fire and wit that distinguished his early performances while underrated leading lady Kay Lenz is all cool sex appeal as his romantic interest. The rest of the cast is fleshed with sly, humorous turns from reliable favorites like Susan Tyrrell, Timothy Carey and M. Emmet Walsh. However, the best performance comes from Tim McIntire as the film's scheming convict villain: he scorches the screen with a fierce, commanding turn highlighted by a few breathtaking scenes in which he lays out a black-hearted, cynical take on life in monologue form. There is plenty of recommend in this film but those scenes alone make it worth viewing. In short, Fast-Walking is a must for anyone interest in the cult cinema of the early 1980's, especially anyone who enjoys a good crime story told from an unconventional angle.