Pushing Up Daisies
(a.k.a. Five Minutes of Freedom
Five Minutes to Freedom)
Cast: Ross Hagen, Kelly Thordsen, Hoke Howell
I've reviewed my share of bad movies, and of all kinds.
There have been
interesting failures, bad but not completely worthless, the just plain
bad, and movies like Amanda and the Alien,
But even with the lowest of the low, it was always clear what kind
movies the makers of the movies were trying to make. Also, it was
clear why they had make these movies - to entertain people by
them some thrills, or laughs, or something else. With the movie Pushing
Up Daisies, though, we come up with a new kind of movie. No, it
isn't the worst movie in the world, or really one of the worst. Pushing
Up Daisies is a movie that, for the life of me, I can't figure
out why this movie was made. Yes, certainly the makers of the
wanted to make a few bucks. But from who? The movie doesn't seemed
at any specific demographic. There's action, but not enough to make it
an action movie for audiences wanting a slam-bang time. There's comedy,
but not enough to make it a comedy for audiences wanting a laughfest.
no real progression with the characters, so it isn't a drama. And the
itself progresses in a way that could be summed up as, "The characters
go here, then there, and they travel across that area, and they end up
there. Oh yeah, the end." This movie seems to have been made with no
audience in mind.
The movie centers around four small-time criminals who
have been working
on a streak of petty robberies. What do we find out about them? Well,
Maddux (Hagen, who also wrote the script), the leader, who's a former
Beret. And there's...well, to be honest, I never caught the names of
other three gentlemen. Nor did I find out anything about their lives,
for they are angry that their exploits haven't gotten their pictures in
the newspapers. They pull off a robbery dressed as nuns, and two of
are captured. After a lengthy segment portraying their suffering on a
gang, the other two gang members come along, blow away the guards, and
rescue the two. As two of them get into an argument concerning butter
margarine that almost becomes Tarentinoish, Maddux starts to tell them
about the big score he has planed. But instead of being interested in
plan (which isn't revealed to us until it actually happens), I was
What was the point of that beginning robbery and the subsequent
sequence, if it has nothing to do with the rest of the movie?
The rest of the movie concerns the execution of this
"big score", and
then pretty much nothing else happens in the way of story for the last
half-hour or so. For that half-hour, we are treated to regular bouts of
weirdness, like their encounter with the members of a Mexican family,
are all fast talkers (Mexicans speak funny, don't they!), dubbed-in
cheering and yelling when the men are shown a parade of hookers, the
"Over Hill, Over Dale," played at random moments, and general mindless
chatter. And so on.
It's no weirder than what's seen in the first hour or
so. The opening
credits (12 minutes into the movie), play over a weird sequence made up
of still pictures and echoy dialogue, for no apparent reason. There's a
heavy metal rendition of "Amazing Grace". Countless music montages made
up with jaw harps and/or foot stomping, sometimes played so loud that
audio of the dialogue uttered at these moments has to be cranked up.
This is one strange film. The technical aspects just add
to the general
weirdness. The voices sound muffled, as if the speakers were gagged.
apparently no steadicam, for scenes in vehicles cause the camera to
up and down violently. Many scenes photograph the actors at some
from the camera. Editing frequently is jarring, with scenes suddenly
to an end seconds before properly being played out. And so on.
Is there anything of merit to be said about Pushing
Well, there are several shoot-out sequences which have a good deal of
and excitement, especially with the editing suddenly taking a turn for
the better with these sequences. I also find deserts very scenic, and
movie took place smack dab in the American southwest. In a movie like
you're especially thankful of small blessings like that. Actually,
I don't think Pushing Up Daisies is anywhere near a
movie, there was a part of me that enjoyed watching it. This movie
up one night unannounced on a private TV station in my area, and
it was like unearthing something long lost. For me, it was fun
about why this was made, for who, and what the people making this movie
went through. So although the movie is pointless, it was interesting to
think about those things while watching it. Of course, this is just me,
and I rightly suspect other people will correctly label it a boring
But...I also wonder with a movie this obscure, and only
popping up occasionally
on late-night TV, if anyone else will see it. Though this page is
Unknown Movies, virtually all these movies have fairly easy access
for curious viewers. I wonder if there's any point in writing a review
for a movie like this, which maybe no one else will ever see. Oh well.
It's an unknown movie, so I won't treat it any differently. However, if
you, dear reader, have seen this movie, I'd love to hear from you.
Check for availability on Amazon.
Also: Didn't You Hear, Overkill, The Wild Wild
World Of Batwoman