Echo Park

Overview

This bittersweet comedy looks at the denizens of Echo Park, a decaying section of Los Angeles popular with struggling actors and musicians, largely because of its relatively low rents. May Greer Susan Dey is a single mother and aspiring actress who makes ends meet by tending bar the most lucrative job she's been offered in show biz is as a combination stripper and singing telegram girl. Her neighbor August Michael Bowen is a body-builder from Austria who dreams of becoming a movie star like Arnold Schwarzenegger,...
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Overview

This bittersweet comedy looks at the denizens of Echo Park, a decaying section of Los Angeles popular with struggling actors and musicians, largely because of its relatively low rents. May Greer Susan Dey is a single mother and aspiring actress who makes ends meet by tending bar the most lucrative job she's been offered in show biz is as a combination stripper and singing telegram girl. Her neighbor August Michael Bowen is a body-builder from Austria who dreams of becoming a movie star like Arnold Schwarzenegger, though these days he's supporting himself by doing low-budget TV commercials for deodorant. May and August have an on-again, off-again relationship, which has more to do with sex and loneliness than love. Hoping to stretch her budget a bit, May rents out a room to Jonathan Tom Hulce, a wannabe singer/songwriter who makes his money delivering pizzas. May takes a liking to Jonathan, and her son Henry Christopher Walker sees Jonathan as the benevolent father figure that's been missing from his life. The supporting cast includes cult figure Timothy Carey and Cassandra Peterson, best known as princess of the dark Elvira.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Echo Park is the kind of film you might stumble across late at night on cable, and ask yourself what the blazes you're watching. This strange nugget of '80s cinema is purportedly a character study about eccentric residents of L.A.'s Echo Park neighborhood -- May Greer Susan Dey, a single mother who pays the rent via stripper-grams, and Jonathan Tom Hulce, a pizza delivery guy who wants to be a musician. But, a byproduct of the film's Austrian roots is that there's a bizarre third character infiltrating their boy-girl romantic dynamic, an Arnold Schwarzenegger-worshipping Aryan body builder named August Michael Bowen suited for no greater function than the "wacky neighbor." He instead becomes a central figure, perhaps even the protagonist. This unconventional structure informs numerous other plot points, and the overall sense is that aliens are playing the roles of humans. The most glaring problem is that Dey's character is essentially profane and unlikable, an unfit mother who doesn't achieve the redemption that's usually in store for her type of character. Never mind her profession -- rarely is she home at the times a mother should be, and she thinks nothing of letting her son ride around in Jonathan's ramshackle delivery truck, which for reasons unknown is missing its doors, possessing only a flimsy chain on each side to separate a passenger from certain death. Undoubtedly intended as a quirky comedy, Echo Park wildly shifts tones, veering off into melodrama one minute, corny slapstick the next. The saving grace is that despite bearing the undeniable stamp of the '80s, it's also got a grungy recklessness that makes it seem like a holdover from the '70s, possibly explaining some of its failure to play by the rules. Consequently, Echo Park is intermittently interesting, but more often, it displays the peculiar abruptness of a cult film.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/26/2001
  • UPC: 883904129905
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Dey May Greer
Tom Hulce Jonathan
Michael Bowen August
Christopher Walker Henry Greer
Shirley Jo Finney Gloria
Timothy Carey Vinnie
Cassandra Peterson Sheri
Heinrich Schweiger August's Father
John Paragon Hugo
Top Jimmy Bar Customer
Cheech Marin Sid
Martin Suppan Austrian Consul
Robert Shafer Commercial Director
Dorothy Dells Consulate Secretary
Yana Nirvana Woman in Bar
Paul Anselmo Policeman
Jesse Aragon Policeman
Robert Cabral Policeman
Peter Drain Bar Customer
John Pochna Bar Customer
Dee Cooper Man in Park
Douglas M. Ford Biker
Stephen Gaines Desk Sergeant
Fred Leaf Burt Reynolds' Look-Alike
Mary Thompson Prospective Roommate
Anne Marie Bates Prospective Roommate
Jason Mayall Prospective Roommate
Renee LeBallister Prospective Roommate
Michael Marloe Party-Goer
Jim Smith Party-Goer
Skip O'Brien Prisoner
Biff Yeager Jailer
Jacki Easton Toelle Girl in Commercial
Bob Moss Birthday Boy
Doug Knott Birthday Man
James Helppi Guest in Elevator
George W. Scott Man with Tip
De Schneider Real Estate Secretary
Patricia Tippo Telegram Stripper
Max Trumpower Telegram Stripper
Penny Harris Telegram Stripper
Merrill Ward Telegram Stripper
Dana Collins Telegram Stripper
Technical Credits
Robert Dornhelm Director
David Boerwald Songwriter
Tom Boles Songwriter
Patti Callicott Costumes/Costume Designer
Bernt Amadeus Capra Production Designer
Dean Chamberlain Songwriter
Bo Harwood Songwriter
Karl Kofler Cinematographer
Ingrid Koller Editor
James Big Boy Medlin Screenwriter
Black Patti Songwriter
Bobbi Permanent Songwriter
Steve Richardson Songwriter
David Rickets Score Composer
Doug Sahn Songwriter
Shandi Songwriter
Chris Shaw Songwriter
Walter Shenson Producer
Michael Ventura Screenwriter
Mark Walton Songwriter
John Wilson Songwriter
James Woods Songwriter
Bill Wyman Songwriter
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