Movie Mars

Backtrack DVD

Dennis Hopper has long been passionately involved with the art world, both as a painter and a collector, and his eye for composition makes even his lesser films worth a look. Occasionally, his interest seeps into films like Wim Wenders's THE AMERICAN FRIEND, or the film under consideration, BACKTRACK. It stars Jodie Foster as Ann Benton, a self-possessed artist who stumbles across a mob hit in progress. She manages to escape and report the crime to the police but recognizes Mafia soldier John Luponi (Dean Stockwell) at the station and takes off, becoming a fugitive. Meanwhile, mob boss Lino Avoca (Vincent Price) has put out a contract on the artist with hit man Milo (Dennis Hopper). While Ann does her own informal witness relocation, Milo begins to research the artist's life, looking for clues that might help him find her, and he becomes increasingly fascinated with her. When the hit man finally runs Ann down, stealing her out from under the nose of Detective Pauling (Fred Ward), he offers her a deal that anybody could refuse: Be killed or become his private chattel. Familiar Hopper cronies such as Bob Dylan, Sam Fuller, Julie Adams, Alex Cox, and Helen Kallianotes make appearances.

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