Sorcerer

Sorcerer ★★★★★

I've been keeping this one in my back pocket for a while. From the title and the poster art, I had created this movie in my mind that was a gritty 70s Wishmaster in the Amazon with no jokes and insane body horror. Why? I don't know, because I'm perpetually 16 and holding out hope? Sorcerer is none of these things except for gritty, which is why this film not being what I expected was still what I wanted.

I consider myself knowledgeable about cinema history but I had no clue about this movie, it's issues and it's infamous director. Having chosen the name Sorcerer and also toting The Exorcist under your belt might not have been a bright idea. Once you have the context for why the film has it's name, I actually loved it. This is a very classic feeling adventure movie and the naming convention follows this style well.

Through and through, there is some fantastic story telling here. Epics aren't short like this anymore, establishing 10 to 15 minutes of pre-situational story on two of our leads in a really exciting way and never having it resolved. This is their past life, we need not concern ourselves with what got them here - they are here now and that's what is important.

Even still, we have quite some time to go before the adventure begins it's first leg. We're treated to some fantastic world building, showing the dangers of this oil town. The cut throat nature of things is exposed as one of our leads is extorted with no choice but to let it happen. Our other lead is striving to save to get back to his wife. Stakes are personal, not sky reaching high for us but they are to them.

That's when things get big, a creep through the woods in two old trucks transporting highly unstable nitro, just to get enough money to leave this shit hole. Obstacle after obstacle rearing their heads, each time you're left wondering what could go wrong, could they get through this one unscathed?

It's set up so perfectly from beginning to end, these moments of nail biting suspense blended with shady characters all selfishly pushing forward and to hell with each others safety. It's a grim movie, one that fits the description of a roller coaster more so than any other movie I can think of.

Though I understand there was backlash at the time, I'm hard pressed to see way. Friedkin's other work seems to be the same beat, crime thrillers that push the limits and the length seems on point as well. No matter what happened at the time, it's good to see Sorcerer receiving it's dues and I'm more than ecstatic to have seen it myself.