The Rambler Blu-ray Review
Fantasy films, especially those that seem to be shot in stream of consciousness, have always been the surreal realm of directors like John Waters, or David Lynch. In the hands of a master, films like this have an artistic quality and the fun for some critics and fans is the discussion; what does it all mean? I don’t always feel that way, even about the best of them, but mostly I can enjoy them for the interesting and unique journeys on which they take us. Sadly, there have always been similar films made by less qualified, less revered filmmakers that don’t quite spark the same interest. THE RAMBLER ranks as one of those, a film that could have been interesting if it was a little less weird, a little less painfully artistic.
There isn’t much to say about THE RAMBLER. The story begins with a penitentiary montage, setting the stage with lots of film trickery to jump right into the disquiet that is the rest of the film. We meet THE RAMBLER, our title character, chain-smoking from moment to moment, played by Dermot Mulroney (of this year’s STOKER). We don’t know why he’s there, or why he has almost no emotion, but if you’re looking to THE RAMBLER for answers you’re going to be disappointed. Once released he spends a short amount of time with his wife before she kicks him out of their double-wide.
Deciding he’s going to head to Oregon to work for his brother, the Rambler sets out on a strange journey across the United States. Along the way he meets myriad characters, each growing weirder and grosser and ultimately more grotesque than the previous. The settings similarly disintegrate around him with each new location being stranger than the last. THE RAMBLER features other notably weird moments, including (but not limited to, sadly): vomiting, blood, gore, a woman collared and chained like a dog, mummies, heads exploding, unnecessary cursing, disturbing close-ups, and other nastiness.
If nothing else, THE RAMBLER reminds me of the worst stereotypes of what filmmakers and Hollywood consider artistic. It’s the kind of film that screams “I’m important, I’m ART! Can’t you see that?!?” but it is so poorly made that even the narrative lines that seem like they are going to resolve get lost in the mess. What we’re left with is the worst movie I’ve ever seen, possibly a high ranker for the worst movie ever made. Sadly, for all the reasons I mention above, it’s not even fun to watch (which terrible movies CAN be)… it’s just disturbing and, quite honestly, boring. Avoid at all costs.
THE RAMBLER BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p, 2.40:1 Widescreen) The video on THE RAMBLER is a clear, and dirty, and grimy, and downright disgusting as the movie itself. Sometimes disorienting, always gritty, the video is fine.
Audio: (English Dolby TrueHD 5.1) The audio is actually fairly well done, which is a bit disturbing given the quality of the film. THE RAMBLER features some of the strangest uses of sound and video I’ve seen. Would that they resulted in something vaguely interesting, instead of the zero that is THE RAMBLER.
Thankfully, THE RAMBLER is presented without a single special feature. While an interview or commentary might have helped make sense of the film, I’m personally grateful they didn’t waste time putting extra features on this piece of garbage.