Movie Night – The Barkley Marathons
Tonight is movie night. And today I’m reviewing The Barkley Marathons.
It’s a film about this mad bastard called Lazarus who invented this insane run around the prison Ted Bundy escaped from. It’s called The Barkley Marathons because of his beloved dead cat or neighbour who was/is called Barkley. It is not held in Berkley, California. This is Tennessee. The land of whiskey and Hunter S Thompson. Or Whiskey then.
Lazarus (no relation to Jesus’s dead mate) keeps a map of Tennessee in his garage with a list of the roads he has ran on. He physically updates the map with a marker pen every time he runs down a new one. He’s clearly a dedicated man, if not a little batshit insane. At several moments in the movie I was expecting him to show some dead bodies he’d been preserving in his garage. An American Dennis Nilsen, if you will.
But no. No dead animals are shown in this film. And Lazarus is quite well rounded for a man called Lazarus. Even if he has insane eyes and looks like one of those crazy bra-burning Kerouac-reading radicals from the 1960’s
You don’t really get to know the people in the documentary and I’m not sure you’d want to either really. They are runners. They get tired. They want to complete the race because their wives and husbands are making them feel suicidal and instead of blowing their heads off with a shotgun, they are slowly trying to kill themselves with long distance running. An honourable endeavour that we can all relate to.
The ending is good. It involves a finishing line. I won’t spoil it but people actually finish the race. For many years, no one finished it. The lazy bastards got bored and just sat about Tennessee scratching their balls (or whatever it is that people from the Mid-West do).
This movie has made the race infamous now, so I’m guessing Lazarus is gonna cancel it as he seems to have set it all up as an elaborate joke and it’s backfired totally on him now. One day someone will die in the race and that will not make for a happy sequel.
But hey, at least he’ll have some bodies to show us.
I hate watching movies, but I didn’t totally hate this.
It gets 4 wee gurns out of 5 sorry scowls.