Where the Buffalo Roam

Director: Art Linson
Year Released: 1980
Rating: 1.0

Bill Murray plays American journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson in this film about his friendship with a radical lawyer (Peter Boyle) and various alcohol-and-drug induced misadventures. Too fractured to really gel as a narrative - it's more like a series of poorly linked vignettes - and too composed (in tone) to work as comedy (this kind of thing needs to be pushed to '11,' like Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which transforms Thompson's prose into the grand guignol comic-book anarchy it really is) - the camera merely sits back and lets Murray jerk around the screen or act indifferent to the chaos he creates. Thompson is shown as being a champion of drugs and alcohol (and the nonconformist among brain-dead conformists; he's been sent to 'liberate' the squares) whereas in Gilliam's version, his drug abuse is shown as being both ridiculous (for strangers to witness) and utterly horrifying (the delirium harms him more than anyone else).