Forgotten Film: Dolan’s Cadillac (2009)
This is the 85th in my series of Forgotten Obscure or Neglected Films
This week’s film is, I believe, a straight to video title based on a Stephen King short story. I found the DVD used one day for $5 or less so T thought I might take a chance. As it turns out, there is not much of a science fiction or fantasy element here, though the lead character frequently sees his dead wife giving him advice.
A young couple of teachers named Robinson are working in a desert area where they are working on a family. Early establishing shots show Elizabeth constantly consulting pregnancy tests with negative results. Elizabeth (Emmanuel Vaugier who has a semi-regular gig as Mia on Two and a Half Men) witnesses a human smuggling transaction going bad when a load of Hispanic women is found half dead by Vegas mobster Dolan (Christian Slater). The dead and near dead are worth nothing to him so he kills the living ones and buries them all in a mass grave. Elizabeth is seen near when her horse reacts badly to the murder and she loses her phone. The mobsters find the home and leave an unpleasant calling card to say, “What happened in the desert stays in the desert.” But Elizabeth has a conscience and goes to the Feds who want to bring Dolan down.
They put her in a safe house and begin the prosecution. But Vegas mobsters tend to hold their positions because they are able to get what they want. They find the address of the safe house and when Elizabeth, desperate to see if she is pregnant leaves the place to get some EPT sticks, she gets blown up.
Her husband (Wes Bentley) suffers badly in the loss. He cannot sleep. He sees her dead body in unusual places, usually telling him to kill Dolan. He buys a big gun and starts to follow Dolan around. But mobsters are paranoid and Robinson is discovered and taught a lesson in a dirty bathroom. But Dolan leaves him alive.
Now, if you know anything about Stephen King, you know that his characters do not roll over and play dead. Robinson knows a lot about Dolan. How he always goes to LA on Monday afternoon to check out his latest shipments of women. And Robinson knows how to plan.
He begins work on a road crew servicing the highway Dolan uses and plans for the end of summer, Labor Day weekend, when he will make his move and bring vengeance down on Dolan. The Feds are still working to bring Dolan to justice and they periodically talk to Robinson to keep him in the loop.
The end is mean, ugly, and vengeful. Not even as nice as the ending of the novel CUJO to which is bears a slight resemblance.
Overall, it’s not a bad film; it’s just also not a good film. It ran 88 minutes and I kept checking my watch. There are some flaws in the logic of the plan involving a construction site which I noted but they might not be noticeable to anyone else. I guess it was worth my $5 investment, but it is not one I plan on watching again. Your mileage may vary (especially since this one uses a Cadillac). Copies are available in the $5 to $10 price range from most of the usual on line sources.
Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.