Review: ‘The Coca-Cola Kid’

A decade in preparation and two years in actual production, The Coca-Cola Kid emerges with much of the flavor and character of Dusan Makavejev's earlier works such as WR: Mysteries of the Organism and Sweet Movie. But the mix of earthy symbolism, offbeat eroticism, the picaresque and the rough-and-tumble social, rather unpolitical satire now seems poured from a bottle that has been left uncapped overnight.

A decade in preparation and two years in actual production, The Coca-Cola Kid emerges with much of the flavor and character of Dusan Makavejev’s earlier works such as WR: Mysteries of the Organism and Sweet Movie. But the mix of earthy symbolism, offbeat eroticism, the picaresque and the rough-and-tumble social, rather unpolitical satire now seems poured from a bottle that has been left uncapped overnight.

The title figure is a young whiz-kid troubleshooter out of Atlanta, sent to Australia by Coca-Cola h.q. to root out whatever trouble might have been overlooked by the local company representative. Georgian Becker, played by Atlanta-raised Eric Roberts with drawl and drool, soon finds the Coca-Cola dry spot on Australia’s map in a remote area where land baron (Bill Kerr, playing a Colonel Sanders lookalike), has enforced his own soda pop monopoly on the population.

The ensuing fight between two parties, supposedly juxtaposing American and Australian attitudes, morals, etc, is complicated by a skirmish between Roberts and the local company secretary (Greta Scacchi in her first major film role since Heat and Dust).

Behind all its stylistic posturing The Coca-Cola Kid has a generally friendly air about it. What is lacking in the brew is true punch.

The Coca-Cola Kid

Australia

Production

Cinema Enterprises/Smart Egg. Director Dusan Makavejev; Producer David Roe; Screenplay Frank Moorhouse; Camera Dean Semler; Editor John Scott; Music William Motzing;; Art Director Graham 'Grace' Walker

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1985. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Eric Roberts Greta Scacchi Bill Kerr Chris Haywood Kris McQuade Max Gillies

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