Monday, November 08, 2010

Dead Ahead

Frank is a bankrobber with a plan. But, like most movie villains, his is not a very good plan. Frank (Peter Onorati) and his gang of generic bad guys are going to rob a tiny bank in a tiny town, drive two hours through twisting mountain highways, then meet up with an awaiting plane at a mountian-top airstrip.

Much like in real life, British Columbia poses as Oregon, and proves to be no friend to gun-toting thugs in SUVs. On the twisting mountain highway, Frank's driver crashes the getaway car, spilling the gang miles from their rendezvous point.

Meanwhile... The Loch family is enjoying a nice family outing. Okay, honestly, it isn't so nice. There is strife. Maura wants a career (in the big city) and continually argues about it with her husband (he eventually storms off), and their teenage daughter is just plain bratty (but she will Grow and Learn before things are through, be sure of that.) And the son? He has no characterization at all, despite being central to the plot.

The gangsters stumble upon the Loch's cabin, attempt to steal their car (that goes badly), then try to kill Maura (that goes badly), before finally settling on abducting her son to serve as a guide to the airstrip (that actually goes okay).

But Maura (Stephanie Zimbalist) doesn't take this lightly. Her maternal instincts kick in and she grabs her quiver and bow, a handful of scrunchies, and sets off after them. Her plan is to track the...

What? Scrunchies? Yes, I said scrunchies. You know, those little elastic things women put in their hair. Did you think that was a typo? No, really, the scrunchies are part of her plan. So, she sets off to...

Yes, seriously, scrunchies. I know, I know, but let me finish. Her plan is to track the thugs through the woods, leaving behind her a trail of scrunchies to mark the way for the authorities, while picking off the bad guys with her trusty bow. Her plan really isn't much better than Frank's getaway plan from the beginning of the film, but she's the film's heroine, so it works.

Directed by Stuart Cooper • PG-13 • 1996 • 92 minutes

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