Kansas (Hopper) is a stunt coordinator in charge of horses on a Western film being shot in a small Peruvian village. Following a tragic incident on the set where an actor is killed in a stunt, he decides to quit the movie business and stay in Peru. His dreams of a paradisiacal existence are interrupted when he is called in to help in a bizarre incident: the Peruvian natives are "filming" their own movie with "cameras" made of sticks, and acting out real Western movie violence, as they don't understand movie fakery.
Hopper's follow-up to Easy Rider, it had an extremely Troubled Production, limited release, and poor critical reception, effectively becoming a Creator Killer for Hopper as a filmmaker, but has more recently been appreciated as a unique New Hollywood artifact and a Cult Classic, particularly after a 4K restoration premiered in 2018.
This film features examples of:
- Cargo Cult: The Peruvian natives are "filming" their own movie with "cameras" made of sticks, and acting out real Western movie violence, as they don't understand movie fakery.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Maria, the local prostitute Kansas takes up with after he decides to give up filmmaking and stay in Peru.
- The Last Title: The Last Movie.
- Scenery Porn: Especially in the restored version, some truly breathtaking shots of the Andes.