Written & Directed By: Greg Araki
Cinematography By: Jim Fealy
Editor: Greg Araki & Kate McGowan
Cast: Rose McGowan, James Duval, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams, Nicky Katt, Skinny Puppy, Margaret Cho, Dustin Nguyen, Amanda Bearse, Christopher Knight, Perry Farrell, Heidi Fleiss, Parker Posey
Jordan White and Amy Blue, two troubled teens, pick up an adolescent drifter, Xavier Red. Together, the threesome embark on a sex and violence-filled journey through an America of psychos and quickie marts.
A Road movie that tries to model itself like all those classic lovers on the road classics. With it’s own style and updated for today’s audiences. The film has a stylish eye going for it but, This is a really bad movie, it seems to be going for a vibe of FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL as a film that breaks all the rules and is all about attitude. Which is where it’s problems lay. It has this great cast of hip celebrities from the 90’s making cameos that makes you believe the film is about something or has a belief that it stands for but it doesn’t . It seems to just try to shock it’s audience with extreme sadistic violence or extreme sex. For which there is no rhyme or reason. Which I guess is what the title is supposed to represent what the generation is about that it is representing. It does have a devil and hell theme that stays throughout.
The film has no real ideas. It isn’t even all that greatly filmed. The film’s devil may care attitude might have gotten it so far and I like that it is fearless but it’s not really rebelling against anything and often times just comes off as disgusting. The film thinks it comes off as dangerous and edgy and worse of all cool. It’s like a cool high school kid that is full of delusions that doesn’t know what’s going to happen once they get into the real world.
I believe that is why this film is such a lauded midnight film. The Film’s attitude and fearlessness. The problem is that it thinks it’s cool and it isn’t worse now when you watch it it’s like seeing a snapshot of the things you wore in high school and thought were so cool now you look at it and are embarrassed.
I guess it tries to be a modern day version of a 1970’s youth generation/Head Movie that doesn’t work at all.
It amazes me this is why when it comes to Director Greg Araki he is hit or miss with me because he can create something Beautiful like Mysterious Skin. Something fun with the same type of attitude but actually entertaining like KABOOM and NOWHERE even SPLENDOR was ok. But films like this and SMILEY FACE. Makes you wonder what went so wrong on these films. This was film #2 in Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy. The first was TOTALLY F**KED UP and the third was NOWHERE. I had never seen Araki’s two previous films before I saw this film. To this day I still haven’t. The first being THE LIVING END. I’m still not sure I want to. He is a great independent voice when he wants to but with films like this I don’t know exactly what the message is or what he was striving for in his artistic vision. This obviously isn’t a one off or a film made for fun. It seems more like a film that was made up just to make something and interest investors by saying it will be cool and what the young people will like and of course all kinds of nudity and sex. This was his first bisexual film after making movies that were more geared towards the gay community.
I saw the NC-17 Version not the shorter Rated R version. The director has likened this to a sort of mesh of dream and late night television the type of film you might dream of when going to sleep watching bad cable television. Which should have been the first clue that this film wasn’t a good idea.
One of the good things, I can say about the film is that it introduced the world to Rose McGowan. This is her debut and while she is good. This is the type of role that has pretty much defined her whole career. A no nonsense Sarcastic ass kicker. Who everyone wants to be with. The only other good thing is the cameos in the film they are shocking, entertaining and brief. Sort of like a low brow version of IT’S A MAD MAD MAD WORLD. I thought the ending was the only real inventive part of the film. It was when the movie finally made me happy.
If the film is trying to send a message about lost souls surrounded by a mercenary world. and satirizing macho culture and meaningless consumption. Then it need to make it’s message little more clear. I don’t mind if it’s a homage to road movies. At least be about something or have a point.
I didn’t like the film, but it has gained a sort of notoriety over the years in popularity. Which i believe is only because so many people have become enamored with Rose McGowan. She is really the only reason to see the film. To see all of her, But I would only even mildly recommend it to you. Only if you are a true die hard fan.