Review: Searchers 2.0 DVD

STUDIO: Microcinema | DIRECTOR: Alex Cox | CAST: Del Zamora, Ed Pansullo, Jaclyn Jonet, Sy Richardson, Roger Corman
RELEASE DATE: 10/26/10 | PRICE: DVD $24.95
BONUSES: commentary, making-of featurette
SPECS: NR | 97 min. | Comedy | 1.78:1 widescreen | Dolby Digital 2.0

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Hardcore movie buffs and especially western fans will be delighted by Searchers 2.0, an absurd yet heartfelt road movie from cult filmmaker Alex Cox (Sid and Nancy).

The plot of the comedy is straightforward and wafer-thin: Two veteran actors (Del Zamora, Ed Pansullo) who’ve played bit roles in countless action films decide they are going to travel to a commemorative movie screening to “kick the butt” of the screenwriter (Sy Richardson) who once tormented them as children on the set of a B western. From that utterly ridiculous premise, Cox, who wrote and directed the independent film, forges a sincere tribute to both maniacal movie fans and those on the lowest end of the film food-chain, from stunt men and bit actors to tech crew — and even screenwriters.

Produced by the king of genre-movie producers, none other than Roger Corman (Death Race), Searchers 2.0 is primarily a three-character film that rises and falls on Cox’s earnestly odd dialog. His characters shift from tossing around obscure movie trivia to indulging in the film’s smartest discussion, an exploration of how western revenge sagas relate to Shakespearean vengeance plays.

It is during these dialog-driven segments that one remembers that Cox was the original Quentin Tarantino back in the 1980s, drawing on the work of his moviemaking heroes to craft new and inventive situations, rather than simply paying homage to them by remaking his favorite, modestly financed genre-movie sequences on a much higher budget.

The extras on this DVD include a spirited commentary on inspiration and ideas by Cox, composer Dan Wool and sound designer Richard Beggs.


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About Ed

Ed Grant has written about film for a wide range of periodicals, books and websites. He edited the reference book The Motion Picture Guide Annual and, since 1993, has produced and hosted the weekly cable program Media Funhouse, which Time magazine called “the most eclectic and useful movie show on TV.”