All sorts of movies come through St. Louis, good and bad, old and new. Good, of course, means I like them, while bad means the opposite. And then there's "Roll On Cowboy," which takes us to new depths of boredom. Even if it's a spoof, an attempt to show just how untalented a so-called entertainer can be, it doesn't work.
Chris (Sandman) Sand is from Dunn Center, North Dakota, a town of about 120 people, most of them elderly. Sand, who is only slightly literate, or so it appears, has the idea that what the world needs is cowboy-rap, with himself as its world leader. He is a self-taught singer, guitar player, composer and lyricist, flunking all four parts of the curriculum, but he still decides to go on a cross-country performance tour with his friend and roadie, Jonah Carpenter, who also cannot sing.
Somehow, Sand finds places to play. Who booked the dates and found the venues is a mystery that would be more entertaining than the film. He starts in Columbia, Mo., where he is at a farmers' rally of some sort, and plays small, untidy, mostly empty rooms at bars in Des Moines, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Bozeman, Mont., and other places, large and small. He plays badly, sings badly, has little stage presence and less talent as a songwriter. Elizabeth Lawrence, who directed, matches him stride for stride in her movie-making ability.
When the not-so-successful tour is over and Sand returns to Dunn Center, he then decides to do a free concert for the townspeople. He makes arrangements to use a hall, cleans it, prints handbills and passes them out. About 10 people show up.
Among the most boring experiences I've ever had at the movies.
Roll On Cowboy opens tonight at the Winifred Moore Auditorium as part of the Webster University Film Series, and runs through Sunday