Following the modest successes of “Repo Man” and “Sid and Nancy”, director Alex Cox took a chance on an Acid Western filmed in Nicaragua about soldier-of-fortune William Walker. Featuring a script by cult screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer, a great soundtrack by Joe Strummer of the Clash, and an excellent performance by Ed Harris in the title role, “Walker” (1987) is unlike any historical biopic made before or since. The stylistic madness of the film reflects the madness of Walker’s misadventures. A sense of absurdity and inevitability is added to the proceedings through intentional anachronisms. While this may take viewers out of the story, it also makes it impossible to ignore parallels between the colonialist, imperialist attitudes of Walker’s time and U.S foreign policy of the 1980s and today.
While the film failed at the box-office in the U.S., it became the second highest grossing film in Nicaragua at the time. Walker is a rare film that not only has a radical message but its production was a radical political act in itself, having economically supported the Sandinista government.