Practically parodying a slumming B-lister’s phone-it-in, cash-the-check indie perf, Dermot Mulroney is good for a giggle — just one — in “The Rambler,” writer-director Calvin Lee Reeder’s randomly splattering take on the back-country-road movie. Sporting highway cop shades and a 10-gallon hat, Mulroney’s guitar-slinging, chain-smoking good ol’ boy beholds a steady stream of white-trash miscreants en route, circuitously, to his brother’s Oregon farm. Shot none too crisply in New Mexico, this increasingly frenzied and blood-soaked B-movie time-waster is best consumed late in the evening at home, and thus best suited to Anchor Bay’s VOD arm.
Wandering itself, “The Rambler” starts with Mulroney’s monosyllabic ex-con getting sprung after a four-year stint, whereupon he’s warmly greeted at a depraved trailer-park party and given back his old pawnshop job. Knocked-up ex-g.f. Cheryl (Natasha Lyonne, having fun) blows a gasket, and the Rambler splits to thumb rides, one steered by a gentle madman (James Cady) who captures his patrons’ dreams on VHS, literally blowing their minds. Bursting with cheap f/x, the pic is often tedious when not repugnant, but it’s hard to dislike. Mulroney sings near the end.