Road Rash Reviews

5-25-77 Review****-

Cert 12 | 132 mins | 2022

4 Star

For the Love of Sci-Fi


(How to explain the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey in two minutes).

Writer, director, visual effects are Patrick Read Johnson‘s (Spaced Invaders, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) favourite things. A true sci-fi geek and the very first Star Wars fan brings us his labour of love. 5-25-77, the date that changed every sci-fi fan’s life forever and now some forty-five years later “May 4th Be With You” is firmly embedded in our rich culture. This is his coming-of-age film about himself and the fascination he has with making science fiction films after he saw Stanley Kubrick‘s (A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket) groundbreaking film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Most of this is true. The rest is truer.

5-7-68, an eight-year-old Pat Read Johnson, a citizen of Wadsworth, Illinois, population 750, sits with his parents Janet (Colleen Camp, 9 Bullets, Die Hard: With a Vengeance) and Francis in the local cinema, watching the Stanley Kubrick Sci-fi sensation 2001: A Space Odyssey, and it spoke to him, and affected his life forever. This led him to start making 8 mm films in his garage. These films were homages to all the films he got to see as a young boy, and it was his connection to his parents, as his father bought him models to stop him destroying things in his home to become props for his films, and his mother doted on all his films. Ultimately, it is his mother that supports him as his father leaves.

Pat’s partner in crime is leading man Bill (Steve Coulter, Fate Twisted Simply, Please Wait to Be Seated) and between them they make sequels to ‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Jaws’, and ‘Space: 1999’, all while destroying the family home and roping in his sister Jody’s (Gwen Kmiec, Please Wait to Be Seated) horse as a zebra. All this time Pat dreams of making it big in Hollywood as a special effects artist and filmmaker like his hero Douglas Trumbull (Michael Pawlak, Law Abiding Citizen, The Host) and he gets all his information from the American Cinematographer magazine.

Time passes, and we find Pat (John Francis Daley, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Horrible Bosses) and Bill as high school seniors, still misfits, and now there is a member of the opposite sex in the mix Robin (Katie Jeep, Casting About), she is an encouragement for Pat, and also a distraction for the pair of filmmakers.

Editing is when you see something in your story that you don’t like, and you just take it out. Take it out, cut.

That is until he sees a girl in the canteen reading the book of 2001: A Space Odyssey, this has to be fate, a fellow geek. She is Linda (Emmi Chen, Normal), and she becomes the main thing in his life. Knowing Pat’s desires as a filmmaker, his mum phones the editor of American Cinematographer Herb Lightman (Austin Pendleton, Short Circuit, My Cousin Vinny), she pesters him and eventually he relents and agrees to see Pat and get a meet-and-greet with Trumbull. The race is on to get him out there. This event will lead to Pat becoming the first fan of Star Wars and this is his struggle to get everybody to believe that this will be a momentous event in the world history of cinema.

5-25-77 is a must-see for any Sci-fi, Star Wars fan, and for anyone that was there on that historic day. The spawning of a legacy.

Just remember one thing, life doesn’t move at 24 frames per second. It moves a lot faster, and on this picture, you only get one roll of film.

5-25-77 is available on DVD, Blu-ray and on Amazon Prime


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DirectorPatrick Read Johnson
GenreComedy, Drama
StarringJohn Francis Daley, Austin Pendleton, Colleen Camp, Steve Coulter, Emmi Chen
Available to buy on : Own 5-25-77 (77) on DVD Own 5-25-77 (77) on Blu-Ray