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Human Highway [VHS]

17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Casale, Gerald V. Casale, John Herzog (II), Dennis Hopper, Sally Kirkland
  • Directors: Dean Stockwell
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Reprise
  • VHS Release Date: August 8, 1995
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303589219
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Neil Young's 1982 comic mess of a feature left many faithful fans baffled and was otherwise unappreciated at the time of its release. But with the benefit of hindsight and shifts in pop culture in the last couple of decades, much of Human Highway now feels warm and funny where it once looked disastrously undisciplined. Nostalgia helps: gilded memories of Devo's decadent antics long ago now make their recurring role in this film (as nuclear plant workers bathed in a suspicious red glow) almost sentimentally appealing. Similarly, Dennis Hopper's role as a chattering nutcase and short-order cook named Cracker looks sharper and more laughable now, and Dean Stockwell's perfectly timed performance as a slimeball businessman is even more entertaining knowing the former child actor was on the threshold of a career revival. (Stockwell is also credited as a writer and codirector of Human Highway.) The story, such as it is, concerns the goofy goings-on at a remote diner and gas station just down the road from a disintegrating nuclear plant. Stockwell's character has inherited the failing, ramshackle eatery and is crafting secret plans to torch the place. Meanwhile, Young's character, a dorky mechanic, swoons in the presence of a favorite waitress (Charlotte Stewart), bickers with his boyish partner (Russ Tamblyn), and dreams of playing music to an audience. Much of the film looks spontaneously conceived, but the players are all so good they know exactly where the laughs are. Influences are easier to spot now, too, particularly the freewheeling set-ups of Paul Morrissey and John Waters (though without their perversity). The hyperreal sets and backdrops actually anticipate Tim Burton by a couple of years, and overall the direction is more sure than most of us could see at the time. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Paz on May 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I know a lot of people out there still do acid, if you are one of those people...this movie is for you! I like acid, devo, and rock n' roll. I like this move. That is all.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Neil has always been known for his strange diversions of character and music. This is no exception. This is perhaps the strangest spoof type movie I've seen. However there's something to it. Sure, the movie was obviously low budget--Sure, the scenery and props were inspired by Neil's Lionel train collection. But, you have to look past this and really not take the film too seriously.
There is some twisted satire in this film.. some funny hidden comedy by Neil, Dennis Hopper and Dean Stockwell. I think this movie is best watched more than once.
I truly appreciated the dream sequence..when Neil's character, Lionel Switch (what a name huh?) dreamed of being a rock star.. then suddenly it diverts to a strange camping/outing/POW WOW scene.. with the background music of "Going Back.." from his "Come A Time" album.. it's done in pyschedelic/neo-80 sytle that truly, in my opinion, is beautiful..
I've always appreciated Neil's interest and concern of the Native American welfare.. this movie touches on that too..
No, this movie is not "Saving Private Ryan" and it wasn't made for film recognition or Oscar awards.. it's done in the name of fun and to perhaps convey a message.
And.. you know what? Perhaps I'm a little biased (being such a big Neil fan and all) but Neil came across as a pretty good actor too..
Rent it.. add it to your collection.. and enjoy the music..again, particularly the dream sequence...
I hope Neil relives his Bernard Shakey director pseudo-role and comes out with another film.. He always keeps things interesting!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
this is an excellent movie for people who enjoy cult films, non-mainstream, such as brazil, rocky horror picture show, fear and loathing in las vegas, gummo etc... while human highway isn't exactly of the same theme as any of these movies, it is similar in that it is very very original, maybe even unique. while at the same time it contains elements of life that many people may empathize with (maybe?) it's definetly not an a to b movie but there is enough some sense to it, and the music is great...although if you sit down to watch it expecting something reflecting neil youngs music you'll be surprised, or even confused. all in all a very entertaining, comical, musical, psychadelic, heady, surprising (especially for neil young fans) piece of art. probably something that would be best received by college kids ;-)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Anthony G. Traguardo on August 13, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Neil Young is the enigmatic "godfather of grunge." DEVO defined themselves as a representation of "de-evolution" ... whatever that means. The fact that these two forces would combine to produce "Human Highway" makes a whole lot of sense.
It's just a quiet day in a little one horse town, occupied for the most part by the workings of the diner, the garage and the thermonuclear power plant on the hill. Something goes wrong at the diner, the mechanic has a personality crisis triggered by a head trauma, and ... oh, yeah ... there's a leak at the power plant. "Barrel go boom," as the power plant worker so succinctly puts it.
"Human Highway" is NOT a laugh-a-minute. It really only seems to "work" on repeated viewing. The satire of the rock music scene is as funny as the goof on nuclear power. The psychedelic flashback segment is done with affection.
Though the film introduces Neil's music into a DEVO-esque scenario, and includes songs from different points in his career, this is NOT a "rock and roll" movie per se.
The traditional folk song "It Takes a Worried Man (to Sing a Worried Song)" appears twice in the movie, and is really what sets the tone. The DEVO take on Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind" has me in stitches each time I hear it.
Overall, I think you should give this strange little film a chance. Neil fans can add a star. Hardcore DEVO fans can add to stars.
It really DOES take a worried man!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I loved this film. A very surreal film about nuclear apathy and diner management. Neil Young is hilarious, and a surprisingly good actor. Dennis Hopper has 3 different rolls. The dream sequence (with Boojie Boy playing a MOOG synth in baby crib) is by far the creepiest thing I have ever seen on film. If you like `em weird, this one's for you. The music of DEVO and Young is excellent. The dance scene at the end is done ala "Grease." You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Mitchell on May 9, 2008
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Horrible movie, but I loved it, just because I bought that ugly brown Trans Am in the movie from Neil Young in 1982. Ran great till I sold it in 1993. I was told it was purchased by Neil just for this movie, I never really believed it, (pink slip listed Shakey Pictures as owner, I thought it was stolen!), until I bought this movie, 26 years after I bought that car.

Movie is very "stoney". Almost didn't recognize Neil in the movie.

Very nostalgic, for me at least.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
i think that this is a very unique film but i could see how it was given very poor reviews by critics. if you don't like DEVO, i wouldn't watch this film. a friend of mine who hates everything from the 80s watched it and hated the film. but if you want to see an interesting film and like Neil Young when he playing wicked guitar jams, i recommend this film to you
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