Highway 61

Watch Highway 61

"Where Else Would You Go To Bury Rock N' Roll?"
  • R
  • 1991
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 7.0  (1,473)

Highway 61 is a Canadian road movie written and directed by Bruce McDonald. The film was released in 1991 and stars Don McKellar, Valerie Buhagiar, and Earl Pastko. Highway 61 is a darkly comedic story about a young man's journey down a mythical American highway, where he meets a variety of unusual characters and gets into some unexpected situations.

The movie begins in a small town in Canada where a young barber named Pokey Jones (McKellar) is leading a fairly unremarkable life. One day, a woman named Jackie Bangs (Buhagiar) walks into his shop seeking a haircut, and Pokey is intrigued by her strange demeanor and outlandish claims that she is a rock and roll groupie. After cutting her hair in a unique way, Pokey learns that Jackie is on her way to New Orleans to help a musician named Johnnie Favourite (Pastko) make a comeback. Before she leaves town, Jackie convinces Pokey to come with her as her driver.

As they travel down Highway 61, a road that is said to run from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, Pokey and Jackie encounter a series of strange characters who offer them food, lodging, and entertainment. These include a group of born-again Christians who believe that Pokey is a messiah figure, a wealthy businessman who hires them to steal a corpse from a morgue, and a vampire who wants them to help him get his girlfriend back from the underworld.

Despite these bizarre adventures, Pokey remains focused on his ultimate goal, which is to become a rock and roll star. Along the way, he discovers that Johnnie Favourite is actually dead, and his corpse is being transported to New Orleans in a coffin. Undeterred, Pokey and Jackie continue on their journey to fulfill Johnnie's final wish, which is to have his ashes scattered on the Mississippi River.

Highway 61 is a surreal and darkly comic film that explores the American mythos of the road trip and the pursuit of fame and fortune. It is notable for its quirky characters, absurdist humor, and surreal imagery, which are combined with a strong sense of social commentary and political criticism. For example, the film satirizes the religious right, the commercialization of death, and the cultural appropriation of black music.

Don McKellar delivers a standout performance as Pokey, who is both naive and determined in his pursuit of fame. Valerie Buhagiar is also excellent as Jackie, a character who is both mysterious and unhinged. Earl Pastko gives a memorable turn as Johnnie Favourite, a musician who is more important in death than he ever was in life.

Highway 61 is a cult classic that has gained a following over the years for its unique blend of humor, social criticism, and surrealism. It is a film that rewards repeat viewing, as its many themes and motifs are easily overlooked on the first watch. Whether you're a fan of road movies, dark comedies, or offbeat cinema, Highway 61 is a film that is well worth checking out.

Highway 61
Highway 61 doesn't appear to be available from any streaming services.
Add this movie to your Watchlist to get notified when it's available.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (1,473)