For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Movies that take place over a 24 Hour Time Frame (Not including time loop movies). here’s a review of Dazed and Confused (1993) by Quiggy of the Midnite Drive-In.
Thanks again to Jess Manzo of French Toast Sunday for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s genre has been chosen by Michaela of Love Letters to Hollywood and we will be reviewing our favorite 60’s Comedies.
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Sep by sending them to email@example.com
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Michaela!
Let’s see what Quiggy thought of this movie:
The last day of school. Anything and everything can happen. If you were alive in those post Nixon times, with a new president from Georgia on the horizon (even I, a simple high school freshman saw that then-President Ford wasn’t going to be re-elected), and gas hovering around 60 cents a gallon.
And, if you believe what’s going on in this movie, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in high school lit up a doobie now and then. (Note: I don’t have any clue whether this was true about my high school, but I attended a very small high school; my graduating class numbered only about 40, and there was only 120 in the entire 4 grades of high school when I graduated. And I didn’t partake of any drugs, legal or illegal until after I turned the then legal age of 18.)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
I have decided that this review is better served by addressing each character in the movie, rather than an overall view of the plot. Besides, there REALLY isn’t much of a plot in this one in the first place. It’s just about the last day of school and the night AFTER the last day of school in the life of the students at (the fictional) Lee High School in Austin, Texas. Most of the action centers on initiation rituals by the incoming seniors for the incoming freshmen (paddling for the boys, and a strange ritual that has to be seen to be believed for the girls), and a beer bust party in which the entire gang is involved in various unrelated antics.
Pink is the star football quarterback for the high school. He is an independent soul who values his friendship more than fitting in with what is expected of him by his coaches and teachers. In particular, his head coach, Coach Conrad (Terry Mross) who is extremely disapproving of his choices for friends, particularly those who are not his football teammates. Pink is also the friendly “big brother” figure to incoming freshman Mitch Kramer.
Mitch is an incoming freshman, and, initially, the prime target for the initiation proceedings by the seniors, primarily because his older sister, Jodi, tries to protect him by asking that her friends go easy on him, which only makes them that much more determined to single him out. After his initial paddling from a few of the seniors, Pink takes him under his wing and lets him hang out through the night.
Jodi is Mitch’s older sister, and one of the incoming female seniors. She also takes one of the initiated freshmen under her wing, Sabrina, after the girls perform their own initiation ritual. She is one of the more friendly and likable girls in the senior class.
Sabrina is one of the incoming freshmen girls, and the only one on whom any focus is made after the initiation ritual. The movie hints that she and Mitch may end up hooking up in the future, but that is open to speculation.
Wooderson is a dropout who still likes hanging out with the high school kids, especially the girls…(“That’s what I like about high school girls. I get older, they stay the same age” A dirty old man in the making…) Wooderson is the “brains” behind the keg party tha happens in the second half of the movie.
Slater is the ultimate dope head. Personally, I’m thinking he probably lights up in the classroom, since he is always stoned. Always trying to hook up with the doobie crowd, he is basically just a hanger-on.
If there is a villain in the movie, it’s O’Bannion. Hostility is his middle name, and he is a sadistic jerk, taking great pleasure in the initiation procedures for the freshmen. He is going to be a senior for the second time, since he failed, and some think he failed on purpose so he could be a sadist to freshmen two years in a row.
These three are bosom companions, probably the most intellectual of the entire school. They hang out with each other and have deep philosophical conversations, such as Mike’s weird dream of having sex with a girl with the head of Abraham Lincoln. Plus Mike has determined that he has changed his goal in life and wants to be a dancer.
Dawson and O’Donnell are Pink’s buddies from the football team. They encourage him to sign the sobriety contract the coaches want him to sign, but Pink remains aloof. They are also his partners in crime when hunting down incoming freshmen.
There are plenty of other characters in this movie, and, as well, more future stars who were still basic unknowns in this movie, including Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Joey Lauren Adams, Nicky Katt, and if you don’t blink, Renee Zellweger.
So, do you wonder which character best represents your humble blogger? I would have been an incoming freshman in 1976, so the obvious answer would be Mitch Kramer, but I think I identify most with Mike Newhouse. Watch the movie and see how this character is played and you’ll get a good idea of how my high school experience played out. (But no, I never dreamed I had sex with a girl who looked like Abraham Lincoln…)
If you are going to drive home, folks, be sure to hide the empty beer cans, and for God’s sake, air out the interior so it doesn’t smell like Cheech and Chong’s apartment.