SCARECROW ON SEATTLE
In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with Scarecrow Video to bring you weekly reviews of historical Seattle films. Each week we will showcase a new movie, with special emphasis on how these films show Seattle's most filmable locations.
Joyride is a meandering, rebellious road trip drama notable for its gimmicky casting, gratuitous car chases and excessive use of Electric Light Orchestra songs. The four main leads are all the offspring of famous parents (Desi Arnez Jr., Melanie Griffith, Robert Carradine, Anne Lockhart) and Washington State portrays most of the west coast of North America (including California, British Colombia, Alaska and itself). Desi, Melanie and Robert play a love triangle of disenfranchised Los Angeles youth who decide to head north to Alaska, buy a boat and enter into the lucrative salmon fishing business. Things don't work out so well thanks to lousy jobs and mean locals. The trio soon finds themselves broke, homeless, unemployed and eating dog food. They end up robbing a pipeline company's payroll office and kidnapping one of their employees (Anne Lockhart). She is a very co-operative "victim" and convinces the gang to demand a ransom payment from the pipeline company. Soon the group find themselves loaded with cash and on the run. Joyride can be looked at as Roslyn's audition for "Northern Exposure," as it portrays a run-down Alaskan company town. Frequent Rainier Beer product placement and the clearly labeled Roslyn Drug Store betray the actual locale. A small portion of the film does take place in Seattle where the gang is seen awkwardly skipping through Pioneer Square with a mid-seventies Seattle skyline in the background. The filmmakers do their best with numerous lovely locations but if you have spent much time in Western Washington you can clearly recognize the mountains, rivers and roads of the Evergreen State. Seattle TV personality Cliff Lenz (host of KING's old "Seattle Today" show) appears in a small acting role.