AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2010
By Don Simpson | October 19, 2010
Director: Eric Hueber
Writer(s): Andy Cope, Eric Hueber
John Wayne once asked, “Have you ever been to Nacogdoches?” Well, few people ever visit the “great white grandmother of the lone star state” — the home of the ceiling fan, the strip tease and the first oil well in Texas; the great hecklers of Nacogdoches also helped convince the Marx Brothers that they should become comedians rather than singers. Then on February 1, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere; much of the debris fell on Nacogdoches and suddenly Nacogdoches skyrocketed to international headlines…
…And from the debris of the Columbia — and I mean this quite literally, as they construct their drum set out of space shuttle debris — arises the great rock band Country Willie & the Cosmic Debris. Lead singer Country Willie Edwards, guitarist Zack Jones and drummer Brad Maule soon receive an invitation to record with The Legendary Stardust Cowboy in California, prompting The Cosmic Debris to launch their first tour.
The band enlists the aid of three other Nacogdochian weirdos-cum-California dreamers: permanently stuck in 1978, Peter Guzzino’s one-man show is recruited as their opening act; cock-fighter Brian “Birdman” Birdwell offers to drive the band’s bus, Green Hell, in the hopes of getting his two cocks cast in a Hollywood feature film; and Audrey Dean Leighton — a parapsychologist, hitchhiker, and baton-twirler — wants to learn about the Internet in California in the hopes of creating a cyber psychic readings storefront.
Quite awesomely narrated by the great Don Morrow, Eric Hueber’s Rainbows End chronicles the California-bound road trip of these six men, two roosters, and one dilapidated green bus…all in search of their proverbial pot of gold. Presumably shot in the strange vein of Babakiueria, Fear of a Black Hat, Forgotten Silver and This is Spinal Tap, it is difficult not to conclude that this is a world of fiction (though it is screening as part of Austin Film Festival’s Documentary Feature Competition). No matter if Rainbows End is a work of truth or fiction (or both), the film does include a brilliantly absurd cacophony of music, wrestling, cockfights, mayhem, zaniness and — let us not forget — cars that are blown up by a cannon. For some viewers the unbridled craziness might be a bit too much to digest, but for others who are willing to take a couple hits and go along on this far out trip, Rainbows End promises to be pure comedic gold.