Dennis Hopper followed 'Colors' with this lost movie, which got held up for years (its original distributor folded) until it won a theatrical release in Europe and then a few playdates on American cable.Now that itís available on video in Hopperís preferred cut, it has a shot at the following it deserves; this is easily Hopperís smoothest directorial outing to date. Jodie Foster stars as a conceptual artist who witnesses a mob rubout. She goes to the police, who offer her the FBIís Witness Protection Program. Not wanting to give up her life, Foster flees cross-country, with both the cops and the mob on her tail. Hopper plays the hit man whoís sent after her, and he grows romantically obsessed with her ó a potentially icky twist that pays off, because Foster and Hopper turn out to have fantastic chemistry.
This thriller that morphs into a Jonathan Demme-like gentle comedy would be fine with just the two leads, but Hopper also corralled a supporting cast to die for: Joe Pesci, John Turturro, Dean Stockwell, Fred Ward, Vincent Price, and Bob Dylan as a chainsaw artist. If you cherish the idea of Pesci, Turturro (wearing a cowboy hat), Stockwell, and Hopper in the same room, you wonít be able to resist Backtrack.This, by the way, was clearly an inspiration for Neil LaButeís 'Nurse Betty.'