Fool for Love got its start as a play written by American Sam Shepard as part of his Family Trilogy, which is really five plays. The others are Curse of the Starving Class, Buried Child, True West and A Lie of the Mind. Originally, Kathy Bates and Ed Harris were the May and Eddie, who are played in this film by Shepherd and Kim Basinger.
This is yet another bid for artistic importance for Cannon, who not only got a screenplay and lead role out of Shepard, but Robert Altman as director.
Set in Shepard’s beloved American Southwest and expanding the play’s smaller cast and setting with more characters and an entire motel complex — the crew used the other rooms for production — we discover May, who is hiding out in said hotel when her old flame Eddie shows up. They’ve been through make-up and break-up more times than we can probably count and she refuses him at every turn, claiming to have moved on with Martin (Randy Quaid).
Meanwhile, the Old Man (Harry Dean Stanton) acts as the story’s Greek chorus, telling each of the main characters the information they desire. It turns out that he had two families in one town, which led to our leads being siblings without knowing it. After becoming lovers, Eddie’s mother shot herself. Eddie has started to become his father, sleeping around without considering the emotions that are destroyed in his wake, such as The Countess (Deborah McNaughton), a revolving carrying love who keeps coming back to enact her revenge.
Cannon somehow released this film the same year as Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, Rappin’ and American Ninja, which speaks to the sheer volume — and all over the place insanity — of what the studio released. Not many other studios released movies meant for Cannes as it also unleashed films born for the drive-in.
You can watch this on Tubi.