Directed by David Fisher
Starring Matt Dillon, Cindy Fisher, Hoyt Axton, Yvonne De Carlo
MVD Rewind Collection
I don’t want to play on Southern stereotypes, but the two main themes in Liar’s Moon are incest and greased pig wresting. It’s also a nice love story. It’s 1940 something in rural America, Jack Duncan (Dillon) graduated high school and faces a promising life of manual labor with no health insurance. He falls for the beautiful rich guy’s daughter Ginny Petersen (Fisher), and she falls for him. Naturally their parents all oppose the wedding as parents so often do in romantic comedies, but true love rules and soon a child is on the way. But evil lurks in their DNA, and Ginny’s joy turns to terror when her doctor discovers some bad news: the couple are half brother and sister. Considering the poor record keeping and small gene pool in the Delta, it shouldn’t be THAT big a surprise. What to do? That’s the exciting part of the story: There’s a miscarriage, a car chase, and a funeral. And then, no one lives happily ever after.
Matt Dillon began his film career with this pot boiler, but he does well. His character is hardworking and sincere, and he’s buff and charming at the same time. Ms. Fisher is a good match, and the chemistry is quite strong. We don’t have a strong villain, and Ginny never seems to have an interest in anyone but Jack. I mentioned pig wrestling–that comes early in the story before the romance sets in, but sets a certain level rural expectations where love overcomes their family’s concerns. The pig wrestling scene is fun as well, and while it doesn’t really have anything to do with story, its great look at a semi-realistic slice of southern living. Hoyt Axton appears as Jack’s dad, and Broderick Crawford appears, as well as does Yvonne De Carlo of The Munsters fame. Here’s a fun fact: the movie was released with two different endings, one happy, one sad. This caused some intentional confusion for the viewers and may have driven a bit more traffic to it. The main film in this package shows the happy ending, and the sad ending is down in the comprehensive special features. My only technical complaint is the 4k rendering seems to have some odd artifacts, although that may be due to my cheap 4k player. Here’s my takeaway: Romance never goes out of fashion, nor does greased pig wresting.