Cult Classic: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Posted: May 6, 2013 in -, Joe Giambrone
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A lot of old timers wax nostalgic about the films of the 1970s, to the point of repetitiveness (read: nausea), but to me the best films of the late 80s to 2000 stand up better to the cruel ravages of time.  One such mind jarring trip is Jacob’s Ladder, which really scared the crap out of me the first time I saw it.

Ladder will appear on my upcoming Mindfuck List, or whatever I choose to name that post.  This is a paranoid horror thriller set in Vietnam and then back in the US post-Vietnam.  Tim Robbins, who is one of America’s greatest living actors, has the primary role.  You should probably just get all Robbins’ films and watch them.

The plot establishes a cruel, pervasive military industrial complex.  The characters are veterans, trying to recover from the horrors, but things are awry.  Their lives aren’t fitting the mold, and their experiences are far more confusing than one might reasonably expect.  As a matter of fact, one can’t be sure if their experiences are actually their experiences at all.

This brings up the government’s human experimentations, its illegal and immoral drug testing on its own troops.  Shades of MKUltra and marching the troops into the radioactive zone after atomic detonations permeate.  And monsters.  Are they real?  Are they CIA assassins?  What the fuck is going on?

2012-10-21-jacob_ladder

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