Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Talk Radio (1988)

Synopsis: Obnoxious windbag verbally abuses kooky right-wing hotheads on his way towards mental meltdown.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Dallas talk radio host Barry Champlain (Eric Bogosian) discovers one weekend that his skill in pushing people’s buttons has won him a chance for national syndication. But instead of celebrating, he subjects his ex-wife (Ellen Greene) and co-workers to a darkly comic marathon bout of compulsive risk-taking with his unstable radio audience. Barry and his ‘fans’ – the lonely, the angry and the dangerous - know that talk is not cheap, and words can kill.”

What Did I Learn?: If you run into a deranged “fan” with a beer in her hand, there’s a very good chance she’ll throw it in your face if you call her a “loser”.

Really?:  I have a funny feeling Barry would have been hauled into his boss’ office shortly after saying: “I love you blacks – I think everyone should own one”, but then, there was probably a lot less Political Correctness in Dallas during the 1980s.  

Rating: Talk Radio is a well-written, but rather unpleasant film. Bogosian gives a great performance as a glib asshole with a talent for getting under the skin of his listeners, but most of the movie consists of him exchanging insults with callers, and it gets tiresome after the first hour or so. 6/10 stars.

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