DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cisco Pike
Cisco Pike
Sony Pictures // R // January 24, 2006
List Price: $14.94 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted January 4, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie

If there's one thing I enjoy more than discovering a solid little 1970s flick, it's discovering a solid little 1970s flick that features Gene Hackman, Harry Dean Stanton, and a whole lot of marijuana. It doesn't actually happen all that often, which is why the debut feature from Bill L. Norton, 1972's Cisco Pike, proved to be such an unexpected treat.

Kris Kristofferson (also in his debut) stars as Cisco Pike, a former teen idol who has fallen on hard times. Forced to peddle drugs as a way to make some coin, Cisco has a loyal-yet-disapproving girlfriend (as played by Karen Black), a long-lost addict pal (Stanton), and an unwelcome visitor in the form of police sergeant Leo Holland (Hackman).

Essentially blackmailed by Holland into selling pounds of reefer, Cisco hops from sale to sale, forever dodging the (non-crooked) cops and dealing with all sorts of untrustworthy pothead bastards. Given a strict deadline under which to unload all the weed, and more than aware that his girlfriend will have his head if she discovers the truth, Cisco must use all of his cannabis-laden wits to get the cop his money while keeping his ass out of jail. And we're not talking about a few dime-bags here. The dirty cop wants Cisco to unload about 100 kilos of fancy ganja in less than 53 hours.

In case you're still wondering, Cisco Pike is precisely one of those low-budget, low-profile, low-key character study pieces that were so popular in the early and mid-70s. Not beholden to any sort of massive plot threads or shocking revelations, Mr. Norton focuses his attention on the disparate characters that populate this landscape.

The overriding theme of Cisco Pike seems to be this: the hippies lost, and now it seems that all involved parties have been chewed up and spit out by the machine known as modern society. Cisco would love to make a comeback as a performer, but he's seen by his peers as a has-been pot dealer, so there's little luck to be found there. Sergeant Holland is a disillusioned veteran cop who simply wants to retire in style, but he's being screwed over by the very system he's spent years defending. Cisco Pike is not exactly a happy flick, but it is quite engaging, and it's certainly never boring ... especially in the late moments when Harry Dean Stanton shows up as a former bandmate of Cisco's who is now a shameless junkie.

Low-key and quiet, Cisco Pike is more or less a "forgotten" piece of 70's cinema, which is precisely why I jumped into the thing with both feet. It's a somber, efficient, and enjoyably moody tale of hope, desperation, and final chances. Plus it's got a lot of people in it who smoke weed, and that's always good for a few laughs.

The DVD

Video: The movie is presented in a pretty solid anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) format.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 English, with optional subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, and Thai.

Extras: Nada.

Final Thoughts

At first I thought "Cool, here's another movie to knock off my Gene Hackman* checklist," but Cisco Pike impressed me by telling a solid story and doing it with no muss and no fuss. If you're a fan of the 70s Cinema vibe, you should absolutely consider this one worthy of a weekend rental sometime soon.

(* The guy's one of my very favorite actors, and he delivers yet another effortlessly memorable performance here.)

Popular Reviews
1. Ben-Hur (Diamond Luxe Edition)
2. Natural Born Killers: 20th Anniversary
3. The Equalizer (2014)
4. The Skeleton Twins
5. The Long Goodbye
6. Running Scared
7. Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
9. Dr. Gillespie Film Collection (Warner Archive Collection)
10. Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use