Neil Young’s $3 million movie to get nationwide release

Neil Young in Human Highway.

Neil Young in Human Highway.

Not only is he one of his generation’s greatest songwriters, he’s also a movie writer and director. Next month, Neil Young’s three-decade old labor of love – a movie called Human Highway – will get a nationwide theatrical debut.

The comedy, which has seen very limited releases over the years, features a motley cast from Dennis Hopper, to Dean Stockwell, to Devo’s members and Neil Young himself. Young, who co-wrote and co-directed Human Highway, started filming in 1978 and spent $3 million on production. That would be more than $10 million in today’s dollars.

“We were kind of repulsed by the whole experience,” Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh told Rolling Stone in 2010. “I thought Dennis Hopper was retarded when we met. He couldn’t say his lines. He couldn’t speak a sentence. He just ignored every direction he got. He was a short-order cook in the movie and he was playing with a knife and he ended up cutting Sally Kirkland really bad. She ended up suing Neil Young.”

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Young’s been tinkering with the film off and on over the past three decades. Looks like he’s finally ready to release it to the public. The movie bills itself as a “nuclear comedy.” “Human Highway is an anarchic satire conceived in the cauldron of Cold War America.” It’s also a testament to Young’s far-ranging artistic vision.

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