Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 97 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Drew Barrymore, James LeGros, Ione Skye, Michael Ironside, Billy Drago, Joe Dallesandro, Tracey Walter. Written by Matthew Bright (FREEWAY, FORBIDDEN ZONE).
Tag-line: "Love made them crazy. Guns made them outlaws."
Best one-liner: "I kinda de-poisoned 'em with a potato scraper." or "Pee-Wee- dammit, you piece of shit!!" (Both said by Billy Drago.)
GUNCRAZY, a loose remake of the 1950 classic, is surprisingly solid. It takes place in that youthful, marginalized universe which the late 80's-early 90's knew so well (DRUGSTORE COWBOY, PRINCE OF PENNSYLVANIA, etc.). It's a denim-draped world where drifters live for that frenetic, ecstatic moment of stuffing a purloined Hostess pocket pie in their mouth, whole.
Tasty pocket pies are all they have to live for. (Is that a TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES pocket pie?)
A world where a dog in a mansion lives better than 90% of the population. A world where, oh you think you're so smart? Well, I've got the gun, and so long as I've got this gun, I'm smart, and YOU'RE stupid. Drew Barrymore plays a trailer-dwellin' teen with low self-esteem who's raped by her mom's boyfriend
(Warhol's own Joe Dallesandro!) and pseudo-consensually assaulted by half the student body (including a young n' weaselly Jeremy Davies!)- until she meets fresh-faced, gun-luvin' ex-con James LeGros. But he's not your garden-variety, pistol-packin' psycho: he's a woebegone boy, who, given the assortment of problems which he faces at any given time, simply finds the Gun to be the easiest solution. They kill not because they like it, but because they've put themselves in a position where they must. And despite it all, they find that unenviable, ruinous position- that 'freedom' in the eye of the whirlpool before being sucked down- to be a vast improvement over their former miseries.
Then we got two of my all-time favorites: Michael Ironside and Billy Drago.
Ironside plays a tough-as-nails parole officer who will not hesitate to call you "trash" and say your gal "puts out for anyone in pants."
Ironside tells it like it is, much to LeGros' dismay.
He also wears a lot of cardigans. Why Hollywood saw it fit to dress Ironside in shitloads of cardigans is truly a mystery for the ages.
Ironside surrenders to... cardigans.
And as a side note, ONLY in a movie could LeGros beat up Ironside.
I mean, seriously.
Ah, 1992. And Ione Skye is Ironside's daughter!
Then Drago plays a batshit crazy, endlessly lovable preacher.
He imparts the Gospel to a crowd of about 9 and he does it from his garage, but there's SNAKES! Oh yes, there are snakes.
Drago prepares to drape his congregation in snakes.
Amen! Four stars.