“You were meant to behave,” and therein lies the heart of the argument. It’s almost certainly a red 1993 Chrysler LeBaron, the convertible, but whatever the overall engine, it can’t take the pair any further.
Get on the scooter. Fried chicken. Potato chips. A girl tied up in the back of a van. Almost certainly there was ketchup. She will be blood.
The lines in the parking lot are a kind of offer, a pact that does not need to be obeyed. It is the full moon. There are offers that can be achieved beyond the combined meals. Take advantage of the means of escape.
Chelsea Lupkin’s film is strong, not just in terms of language. Conventional Glasgow and US perspectives vary on the C-word, but while it’s not touchy, it’s not inappropriate. He’s done his fair share of work in food TV or equivalent, and on film with a number of surprising moments, the sizzling potato in hot oil and the slow buildup of a non-Newtonian amalgamation of tomato puree and vinegar and depending on the precision of my television’s rendering of the shadows and fluorescents of a fast-food nightspot a little sugar and maybe a little spice. Although that’s not all little girls are made of. She has also directed a handful of short films, and based on this I am looking forward to looking them up. Scooter doesn’t develop as much as a stew, becoming an inventive and satisfying combination of ingredients.
“You were meant to behave”, but it is clear that the rules are not clear. They change to protect some and restrict others. Where to go, how to act, even the power to open doors.
Unseen forces are at work. Unnoticed too, the trope of the inattentive worker at their mop or vacuum while the chaos continues behind them was not new when Jim Cameron used it in True Lies and it’s even less new here. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t work, I smile even now thinking about it.
Anita Abinezhad’s central performance is convincing, daring and haggling. In a movie where someone is credited as someone else’s screams, her abilities manifest as revelation, rescue, retribution, and reward, all represented in the performance. She did a few shorts and had a recurring role in a TV series that seems to be disconnected from any streaming channel or site, but was shown at festivals. The dark arts of distribution are as horrible as anything here. Although the supernatural element may not be as chilling as Sky Smith’s performance as Heston. Just as Abinezhad’s performance includes not only his character but also his character’s performance, the pretense we all do to varying degrees as part of the lies we tell each other that we call society, his performance includes the sharp turns of the treble tones, masks and their slides. . The Red Rooster might give the drive-in its name, but that’s poor reward for sacrifice. Cold concrete and plastic baskets, opportunity in green paint or plastic film.
Johnny Kapps’ cinematography is sharp. The ‘Burgers’ stand with its incongruous ice cream cone dome is a neon church against an endlessly black sky. It sits like a painting under the credits, a delight. By then, Chris Dudley’s score is leading, as are two of our characters, to very different destinations. Invisible, except perhaps in hindsight or in the rearview mirror. Scooter is an exciting, simple, angular, direct ride. It’s powered by people and all the more powerful for it. Call him if you can, but know that it will be harder to leave him.
Reviewed on: 07 Aug 2022