When you're young and going nowhere...the Carny looks like a good way out.
This one showed up in one of those Warner Home Video/Amazon DVD voting promotions, but, alas, it was not selected by the public. Even though Warner vowed that all titles on the ballot would be released on DVD, Carny still has not appeared on this format. It's an oddball film, to be sure, and seems to have been left over from the '70s. In another year or so, small films like this were summarily swept out by the likes of Simpson and Bruckheimer. It's about carnival workers Frankie (Gary Busey, in one of his pre-wack job performances) and Patch (Robbie Robertson, ex-Band member and friend of Scorsese), and the young runaway (Jodie Foster) who comes between them.
The sublime supporting cast includes the aforementioned Kenneth McMillan, Elisha Cook Jr. (what self-respecting carny movie would not utilize Cook if he were living), Meg Foster (one-time Cagney & Lacey co-star and possessor of the most hauntingly blue eyes), Tim Thomerson (of Trancers fame), Fred Ward (what else needs to be said?), the much-maligned Craig Wasson, Bill McKinney (the scariest Mountain Man you'll find), and Bert Remsen (who also appeared in Brewster McCloud).
I've always had a fascination with carnival life and carnies (along with truckers) and maybe that's why this film appeals so much to me. Plus, I love films that are set in a milieu we don't often see depicted in the movies. Director Robert Kaylor previously made a well-received documentary on the roller derby craze titled, appropriately, Derby. His only subsequent credit is the 1989 Chad Lowe comedy Nobody's Perfect (of course, this one is on DVD). I haven't seen the latter, but it does not look very promising. I would hope that the presence of Foster would be enough to release Carny on DVD. Maybe it'll happen if Busey does something crazier than, say, molesting Jennifer Garner on the red carpet...
Carny Theatrical Trailer:
Busey Goes Crazy at the Oscars: