lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

Breakdown (1997) - Kurt Russell

I love the premise behind Breakdown. Its logline is deliciously appealing: A couple are driving across the country when their car breaks down, the wife gets a lift to the nearest town to call for help, the man eventually gets his car going again and follows his into town, except noone has seen the wife.

It’s then that the movie starts to go downhill.

And there’s a lot going for the movie. Kurt Russell gives one of his most underrated performances as an everyman in extreme circumstances, and the score by Basil Poledouris (who also did the killer score for Conan the Barbarian) is wonderfully Bernard Hermann-esque. But it’s… wait, what’s that moving in the corner of my eye?

And what’s that noise?

OH FUCK, IT’S A BEE.

AND NOT JUST ANY BEE. IT’S HUGE! LIKE SOME FUCKING UBERBEE. GOOD FUCKING CHRIST, IT’S COMING THIS WAY! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! RUN AWAY!

Okay, now I’ve got a glass door between me and the bee. Time to think this one out. Jesus, I can still hear it through this glass. That’s so big. Maybe H. will know what to do.

Well, that was no fucking help. Put it under a glass?! It’s bigger than every glass we have! I could maybe try putting it under a vase, except every vase we have is in the room with the bee. And what if he gets wind of what I’m up to? He’ll go spare and sting the shit out of me.

Hang on. He’s just hitting the patio door. He just wants out. Maybe I can just open the door and let him out! Okay, I’ll just go back into that room and… wait, what the shit am I doing? I need to arm myself here. Defend myself. Magazines! Aha! I knew reading on the toilet would come in useful one day. Now I’ve got a giant copy of Edge in case this little shitbag gets any ideas. H., did you just call me a ‘fucking pussy’? I’ll let you away with that because you’re still in bed and HAVEN’T SEEN THE SIZE OF THIS GODZILLA-BEE.

Here we go. Softly, softly. Oh no! He’s stopped buzzing around! He’s onto me! No, wait. He’s just resting. Keep going. Keep… going… COCKING HELL, HE’S THE SIZE OF MY FUCKING HAMSTER! And wait, don’t they say that bees are especially ornery this time of year because they’re all dying from the cold? That’s not good. Why did I even remind myself of that? Am I trying to sabotage myself? Okay, easy big fella, I’m here to help. Just a friendly guy with a friendly magazine, trying to help. This isn’t good. This isn’t good. Almost there! Hand is on the key now. Turning the key! OH SHIT HERE HE COMES, HE’S COMING TO KILL ME! OPEN THE DOOR! NOW RUN! DON’T STOP RUNNING!

Is he gone? Is he gone? I can’t tell if he’s gone, I’m sobbing too hard.

He’s gone!

I need a lie down.