“Joe” keeps becoming more relevant as the years pass. What was once a scathing indictment of the Nixon supporters became lumped onto the Reagan supporter, then W and now the Trump people. The film is pretty straightforward. An affluent older man kills his runaway daughter’s drug dealer. Fearing a reprisal from the authorities, the wealthy guy hunts down a working class Right-winger who would just love to kill a criminal. Naturally, our titular hero obliges him.
Joe wants a buddy with the means to facilitate his murderous dreams. Now, they stalk the streets looking for the scum that sells drugs and makes little suburban white girls stray off the path. For a movie from famed Rocky director John G. Avildsen, they don’t turn an eye from the dirty nature of middle class rage. Peter Boyle just needed an opportunity for his character to resort to violence. By letting the wealthier man pave the way, it’s like watching a Make A Wish kid get to meet John Cena.
The film builds to its logical point, but seems to peter out from making any real decisions. Naturally, I suspect this is why it’s not remembered as fondly as the rest of 1969’s cinema.
- 1.85:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD MONO
RELEASE DATE: 4/24/18
The Plot Thus Far
Bill, a wealthy businessman, confronts his junkie daughter’s drug-dealing boyfriend; in the ensuing argument, Bill kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and eventually stops at a bar. There he runs into a drunken factory worker named Joe, who hates hippies, blacks, and anyone who is “different”, and would like to kill one himself. The two start talking, and Bill reveals his secret to Joe. Complications ensue.