B-Movie Blast: Liar’s Moon (1981)

And it all began — not just for Matt Dillon, but for all of us — with the greatest, modern juvenile delinquency film of all time: Over the Edge (1979), another one of those poorly-distributed, lost films that found a cult audience on HBO.

Needless to say, the girls loved Matt. And, between my sister and girlfriends, I went to the theaters to see his next four films: My Bodyguard (the best), Little Darlings (too romantic-sappy, but we did have Tatum O’Neal as a hot bad girl), Tex (much better), and this, his fifth and least-remembered film — made prior to his breakout role as Dallas “Dally” Winston in box-office hit, The Outsiders.

Now, if the theatrical one-sheet hasn’t given it all away, we’re dealing with star-crossed lovers from the wrong side of the tracks (set in 1940s Texas): Dillon’s a blue collar teen who elopes with the town banker’s daughter (Cindy Fisher from 1974’s Bad Ronald). (And yes, the “forbidden love” ends up being incest.)

As for the rest of the cast: We have American folk singer Hoyt Axton (of the Gone in Sixty Seconds franchise; best known for Gremlins) in one of his many, likable ’80s acting roles as Matt’s hardworking pop. Christopher Connelly (Atlantis Interceptors and a whole bunch of ’80s Italian stuff) is great in a rare, non-horror/action role as the snobby banker-pop, and film noir stalwart Broderick Crawford shines in his final film role. We’ve also have Susan Tyrrell (Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker) chewin’ the scenery like the pro-thespian she is, as always (yes, when you need the work, even Susan Tyrrell will go “slasher” for a paycheck). And it’s nice to see Yvonne “The Munsters” DeCarlo (Silent Scream . . . but she also made Nocturna) given a decent dramatic role for a change, proving she really can “act” outside of a B-horror flick. And, why yes, that is requisite sci-fi baddie Richard Moll (The Survivor, The Dungeonmaster) in an early role as a police detective. And look out for support roles from Jim Greenland (Joysticks) and Dawn Dunlap (Forbidden World). And, why yes . . . that is Asleep at the Wheel (remember Meatloaf’s Roadie, and their song “Texas, You and Me”) pickin’ and-a grinnin’ up the soundtrack.

You can watch Liar’s Moon as a free-with-ads stream on Roku via your PC or Laptop and get your own copy courtesy of Mill Creek on their B-Movie Blast 50-movie set. It’s also part of their Excellent Eighties box set that we are also unpacking this month; Sam will give us his take on the film for that set because, when you’re dealing in Susan Tyrrell — and that sexy, whiskey-hewn voice — you review her films as many times as you can to celebrate her awesomeness. Hey, she didn’t earn an Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actress” nomination for John Huston’s Fat City (1972) and a earn a Saturn Award for “Best Supporting Actress” for Andy Warhol’s Bad (1977) for nothin’!

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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