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Buying Time (1989): The Words Expressly Specify a Pound of Horseflesh

Buying Time (Mitchell Gabourie, 1989)

Jabber stands in front of a hole in a brock wall brandishing a rifle on the movie poster.

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Buying Time is a bad movie. Actually, let me rephrase. Buying Time is a very bad movie. But it is one of those movies that descends into the very bottom of that valley of awfulness and finds that golden river whose light bathes bad movies and in some strange way makes them shine. It is, in short, a movie so bad it achieves a certain awful greatness, a watchability that makes this time worth more than you would think.

Plot: Jabber (North of Pittsburgh‘s Jeff Schultz) and Reno (one of only three big-screen appearances for Leslie Toth) are two friends who work at a garage. They also occasionally do side jobs for Reno’s brother, a small-time member of an organized crime family. It is in this capacity that the two of them are nabbed by the cops. Detective Novak (Blue Velvet‘s Dean Stockwell) offers them a deal: go to prison or go undercover for the police to try and get information about a crooked racehorse trainer (The Hitchhiker‘s Page Fletcher). All seems to be going well until Jabber starts falling for the trainer’s hot girlfriend (Laura Cruickshank in her only feature appearance), and discovers the feeling might be mutual.

It’s predictable, stupid, funny in all the places it shouldn’t be and vice-versa. And yet there’s a kind of boneheaded affability to it that may have been peculiar to eighties movies of this stripe (think a far less intelligent version of Top Secret!, for example). Dumb but fun; if you run across this one showing late night on your local independent low-budget channel, it’s worth checking out, but don’t go out of your way. ** ½

No stills, no trailer, no nothin’. I really need to watch Netflix on my computer instead and start taking screenies…

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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