Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sonny Boy (1990)

Robert Martin Carroll's magnum sleazus lets you know exactly what you're in for within its first hyperbolic ten minutes: A billy-goat-bearded and widow's-peaked Brad Dourif attempts to pawn off a stolen baby onto a snarling Paul L. Smith, and just as Smith gets ready to let Dourif know in no uncertain terms that he's not interested, Smith's wife walks out and claims the kid as her own. Here's the thing, though: The wife is played, with a completely straight face, by David Carradine. It's here that this movie reveals that it's clearly derived from sensibilities far different than the usual low-budget fare, and we haven't even begun. The subsequent feature that follows this set-up is dark, mean and severely whacked-out, as the baby is raised to be a mute savage who avenges wrongs done to his "father" (who runs a little Nevada desert town like a refugee from a spaghetti Western). And then just when you think you know where the story is going... you don't. I don't want to say much more about this, as you all should experience this sick little beaut for yourselves. It's rough and uncompromising, it's bleakly funny and it's possibly unlike anything else you'll ever see. And it's got David Carradine in a fucking dress.

Grade: B+


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