Based on a French comic book, BLUEBERRY (RENEGADE) never got much of a release here in the States, but hey, it's got BLACK SWAN's Vincent Cassel; Michael Madsen as a psychotic bad guy; loads of ayahuasca-style trips, and sudden horrific violence. It's kind of slow moving, color saturated, and grandiose, but hey, the visuals are trippy--almost too trippy--and as I'm writing for a blog called Acidemic, that's something I thought I'd never say.
Truth be told I rented this, got about 1/2 way through and had to stop since it was a bit too much like one of those old Heavy Metal comic book stories with almost no dialogue and just lots of hallucinations rendered by Moebius (POST NOTE: which makes sense since he drew the comic, see left) and a Jonah Hex-style cowpoke seeking his Indian familiar high in the Zzzz. One day I'll get back to it... in the meantime, I wanted to let the Acidemic readers know this film exists, in case they wanted to take the plunge... let me know how it ends.
Psychedelics are tricky and doing them in terms of a violent western with demonic Michael Madsens terrorizing the landscape, I mean, after awhile even the trippiest visuals in the world are just wearisome, like someone's having your hallucinations for you. Seeing all the morphing snakes and lizards, I was reminded of when I saw MONTY PYTHON in the college theater on acid and hallucinated all sorts of basilisks in the rocks and muddy hillsides. Having someone render them all for you in CGI is nice, but somewhere in there, maybe a point is missed? Like there's psychedelics and there's cowboy and Indians afoot here, but is there something higher, a third note infused in the two that makes it all more than the sum of its parts? Or is it kind of cold and strange and 'off' just a little bit? Or was I just cold and strange and off a bit when I tried to see it? That said, if I were to see just one western on acid and EL TOPO* wasn't available, I'd pick BLUEBERRY, aka RENEGADE.
Below is a clip from one of the more psychedelic parts. Pretty damn psychedelic:
* I also only ever got halfway through EL TOPO too! Go figure. Still waiting for the right 'off' mood.