1980 / Director. Art Linson.
Anyone who's not familiar with Hunter S Thompson would struggle with WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM. Without that knowledge it's a chaotic and dysfunctional mess... however, with the man's reputation and legacy in mind, the film is superb. One year after making his feature film debut in MEATBALLS, Bill Murray assaulted audiences with this incredible performance. I think it's amongst the best of his career and considering the time it was made and that his career was still in it's infancy, it was a ballsy role to take on. If you loved FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS then you must check this out (if you haven't already). Similar in tone, it depicts Thompson's career throughout the late 60s and early 70s. In a constant state of chemical influence, he leaves a wake of mayhem behind him as he works his way from story to story... and never misses a deadline. Murray's portrayal is excellent. Hollywood legend says that he was so immersed into the character that it took him months to break away from it, to the point that it affected his time on Saturday Night Live. It's also the type of performance he has never emulated again. Peter Boyle co-stars as Hunter's attorney, who becomes a psychotic activist. This character was certainly a real life figure but his name and backstory have been granted liberties. Of course there are other creative licences in the film but to criticise them is to miss the point. The crux of WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM is the whole fact vs fiction thing. Like FEAR & LOATHING this film is more about the man's state of mind, rather than his work itself. It's a wonderful character study and a hugely undervalued film. I'd go so far as to consider it better than FEAR & LOATHING. Bill Murray dug deep and delivered a knock-out.