Last night, as morning slowly approached, I curled up on the couch in my comfy Hello Kitty bathrobe and turned the TV over to the Retro Channel, where I watched a film from 1983. The name of that film? Eddie Macon’s Run.
Why Was I Watching It?
The short answer is insomnia. The long answer is that, when I checked the guide to see what was on TV at 3 in the morning, Eddie Macon’s Run was the only film listed that I had never heard of before. Since my life’s goal is to see every single film ever made, I knew I would have to watch this mysterious Eddie Macon’s Run at some point so I figured, “Why not tonight?”
What Was It About?
Eddie Macon’s running! Okay, well, there’s actually a little more to it than that…
Eddie (played by John Schneider, who has appeared in countless SyFy films) is a nice, blue-collar guy who finds himself wrongly imprisoned in Hunstville, Texas. During the prison rodeo, Eddie manages to escape and soon, he’s running down to Mexico where his wife and son are waiting. Kirk Douglas plays the cop who chases Eddie across Texas. Whenever Douglas shows up on screen, we hear a saxophone playing on the soundtrack. Scenes of Eddie thinking about his family are accompanied by country songs that, the credits reveal, were sung by John Schneider. Yes, it’s that type of film.
To be honest, the main thing that worked for me about this film is that it was shot on location in rural South Texas. That’s the same part of Texas that my mom grew up in and whenever I would bug her to tell me a story about when she was “my age,” the stories always took place in South Texas and I always enjoy seeing it in films (even if that film, as in the case of this one, goes out of its way to make South Texas seem like the 9th circle of Hell).
John Schneider, all hot and sexy here, gave a surprisingly good performance.
Kirk Douglas, meanwhile, didn’t really give that good of a performance but my God, that man could grimace with the best of them.
A kind of youngish John Goodman shows up for about 2 minutes and the whole process of going, “Oh my God, is that John Goodman!? I think that is John Goodman!” provided a nice break from the film’s general monotony.
What Did Not Work?
This is one of those films that, though it was filmed in Texas, was obviously made by Yankees. As such, the movie is full of actors who were obviously imported from up north and who are painful to listen to as they attempt to recreate the accents of South Texas.
The film, itself, moved about as slowly as the sun going down over the flat plains in North Texas. Seriously — for a film that featured nonstop running and Kirk Douglas finding about a hundred different ways to clench his jaw, Eddie Macon’s Run sure was boring. There’s a scene where Eddie is menaced by two ranchers and I swear to God, it seemed to last for a few hours.
It also quickly became apparent that the only way for the film’s plot to be believable was for every single character in the film to be a complete idiot.
“Oh My God! Just Like Me!” Moment
Eddie eventually meets the niece of the governor of Texas (played by Lee Purcell) and she agrees to help Eddie run because it’s “just a slow Wednesday.” That’s totally why I would get involved with an escaped fugitive as well.
Give me a couch and put me in a Hello Kitty bathrobe and I’ll watch anything.