‘Duel’ (1971) (B-Movie Review) — Part Two
Time for the next installment of this weird movie review. (Feel free to apply the word “weird” to either the movie or the review.)
Start with Part One.
And then … here we go!
Eventually, Dennis stops off at a diner or a pool hall or whatever. He orders a sandwich and, in time, The Truck pulls up in front of the place, within clear view through the big front picture window. At that point, Dennis gets all paranoid (and who can blame him?) even though we never see the truck driver leave the vehicle, let alone enter the diner/pool hall.
This sets Dennis to scanning the men seated at the diner counter. They all wear boots, and Dennis fixates on them as he scans. If he stares at any one of the men for any length of time, they look back at him, seeming ever-so-slightly affronted.
That’s when the VO (voice over) kicks in. And Dennis proceeds to VO at such a rapid rate, I thought his brain would fry. It eventually reached the point where his thoughts blended into one incomprehensible string of words and I couldn’t make out a damned thing he was VO-ing, but I got the general drift. He’s paranoid, baby!
So, for some reason, one guy in particular gets under Dennis’ skin and he approaches him warily to ask him, “WTF, dude?” Because he has some reason (God knows what) to believe that he’s the crazy driver who’s trying to kill him or his car. Dennis even slaps the sandwich right out of the guy’s hand. For reasons that seem somewhat speculative.
And that was another thing. I mean, the guy (Dennis) does seem like … I don’t know. A self-important asshole? He’s acting pretty high and mighty for a fellow whose ride is a garishly-orange Plymouth Valiant.
In any case, Dennis, through some miracle, manages not to get kicked out of the diner/pool hall despite assaulting and battering a customer. And denying him the satisfaction of finishing his meal. There’s a weirder part where Dennis wanders toward the rest rooms. (I seem to recall him making an allusion in a muttered VO to “the jungle.” Was this a Vietnam reference? Maybe. Who knows?)
Various people leave the cafe/truck stop/pool hall and head to their vehicles. None of which are The Truck, which stays parked undisturbed right out front. So, Dennis got all hot and bothered over nothing.
But — get this! — The Truck, without anyone getting in, fires up and starts to move off. So, the driver must have been hiding or lying down or something. Then Dennis tries to chase the damn truck! On foot! It’s the most hilarious bit ever! I mean, he’s running full-tilt after The Truck, which is racing off ahead of him. And I’m like, “Dude? Seriously?”
Then he trudges back to his car, gets in and leaves. I’m not sure if he even paid for his own sandwich.
Stay tuned! There’s more to come! :)
Here’s a preview of coming attractions/parts!