Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…


Directed by William Friedkin

Another masterpiece that didn`t get the attention it deserves.

When I saw it last year for the first time, I wondered how this could possibly have passed me by  all these years.

I`ve seen the french original  ,

but only by accident did I come across this film.

It is not a hundred percent remake, it has different characters and other stuff going on in it, that wasn`t part of the original, but it still was based on the original novel „Le salaire de la peur”  by Georges Arnaud.

Roy Scheider plays the main part, joined by Bruno Cremer and Francisco Rabal, to name only a few.

This movie sucks you in, it gets unbearably  intense at times, you have to sit down and really pay attention, or you`ll miss out on one of the greatest adventures ever put on film.


Several people fled deep into the south-american jungle, to escape their problems at home.

But life ain`t much easier around here. The only local employer is an oil company, but when an accident ignites the rig, no one can work, and the village descends into chaos, their only source of income cut off. The four exiles gradually team up for a mission that’s very likely to be suicide. To eliminate the fire, dynamite is needed. But the only dynamite available is 200 miles away,and it is old and very unstable

The task of driving 200 miles across the jungle and rough roads that barely deserve that name, with a truck (actually it`s two trucks) full of highly unstable dynamite is a suicide mission, each character has his own reasons for. But basically, they all want out of this hellhole in the south-american jungle. They all fled here for reasons that we are introduced to in the beginning of the film. The promised pay-check would enable them all to go away from here. The journey through the jungle begins. Will they arrive unharmed  or blow up on the road to hell?

The DVD is full-frame, ..yeah I know what you are going to say…what , why…I dunno. Maybe  it will be released some day in widescreen format, I´ve been reading it is in the making….

But watching it in full-frame didn`t really take away any of the suspense, and honestly, I never felt cheated out of stuff I may would be able to see in widescreen. In the end, it is less about the visuals than the nail-biting tension you are subjected to. The great score by Tangerine Dream doesn`t hurt, either.

But a Blue-Ray is in the works, it seems. Let`s hope so.

UPDATE: There is a laserdisc, which I believed to be in original aspect ratio…turns out, the LD is in 1.66:1, meaning letterboxed. But still way better than just fullframe.


Some interesting background info can be found here:


2 responses

  1. Jason Elizondo

    I’ve always wanted to see this. It looks amazing and all I ever read is how it was Friedkin’s huge bomb. The imagery alone looks amazing. I’ll have to check it out soon! Great review!

    November 8, 2011 at 5:33 AM

  2. I’ve seen the original, and that was intense, so if this has the ability to carry that intensity off– and it sounds like it does– I need to check it out.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:19 PM

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