Review

Alright, so Sunday was the first real day of CineVegas for me. Yesterday didn't count since I was closer to an occupant from the Cabinet of Dr Caligari, than an actual Day One film festival attendee... But after the mountain of sleep, I have emerged as Sooper-Festival Man! Ready to climb all movies, ready to cheer for independent films... Ready to watch the unwatchable and survive!

Luckily on this, my first full day of CineVegas I got my day off right as could be with a film that due to the fucking lamebrained MPAA, might never see the light of a screen near you anywhere near as cool as this unrated version I saw today at the fest. SPUN! SPUN is a masterpiece of drug cinema.

Director Jonas Åkerlund was working from the true life story of three astoundingly bizarre days of Meth-Addict Will De Los Santos, who went to rehab and through sheer willpower, managed to get this film into the perfect hands to direct, with the perfect cast to realize it.

In a film that reminds me in ways of MARATHON MAN, TRAINSPOTTING, the classic D.O.A., REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS and a dash of THE LOST WEEKEND for good measure. I saw the film sitting 3 seats away from Will De Los Santos and man is he a character... In the film he's played by Jason Schwartzman as Ross (all the names except for the dog known as Taco were changed to protect the guilty). Ross reminds me of all good guys that descend into the hellpit of addiction and excess. Now the brilliance of this film is that in showing us this 3 day epic in the life of a meth-head we are hit with a hyper-surge of energy through editting and slowed up, sped down trippy cool whacked out drug moments, along with brilliant traditional animation sequences that very much remind of Bakshi's work in COONSKINS and AMERICAN POP! Oh, and a supporting cast from Heaven!

Let's start with John Leguizamo as SPIDER MIKE! Spider Mike is a tattooed Meth dealer that is psychotically paranoid about the cops. From the moment we're introduced to his eyeball, to the moment with the sock and Debbie Harry (more on her later)... well I was just delighted. Again John Leguizamo proves why he is one of the most daringly wonderful performers out there. Between his role here and in the absolutely fucking superb ZIGZAG - which is in limited release in New York only - FUCKING STUDIOS GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES!!!! Ahem, sorry, I needed that moment. It just pisses me off to no end when I know I've seen a film that a great deal of you would love love love, and because a bunch of pussy bastards with no idea how to market quality are afraid to pick up a great film because it doesn't fit in their cookie cutter universe. UGH!

Ok, so John Leguizamo is great, but then Mena Suvari is wonderful as COOKIE - Spider Mike's girlfriend. From her gross gross gross grooooossss teeth to her nappy ass hair and those clothes that look like the stuff Rav wears... Of course he's cuter in them, because Mena was skank through and through in this flick. Absolutely wonderful performance here!

Well once at Spider Mike's we meet Patrick Fugit's FRISBEE character playing an absurdly violent and super-sexual Monkey Video game that after you kill your opponent you are allowed to jack off and ejaculate what I can only call robotic sperm. Now, I didn't even recognize Patrick Fugit in this film. Gone is that sweet faced good boy from Cameron Crowe's UNTITLED (aka ALMOST FAMOUS) He is pimply faced and disgusting, with a mom that all of you would love to bang. I mean hot as hell, her panty shot with the cheetohs... MAN! Whack material for years!

How was Brittany Murphy's NIKKI??? I'll never... I'm better than that gag, She was fantastic. Here she plays the super sexual, very meth-ed stripper girl friend of the epic COOK - to be discussed later -- Brittany is more than just a series of superbly performed mannerisms and nuances, she's also got sweetness in her... oh and a green dog named Taco - Though technically in the real world, the dog wasn't green and was named Taco because he was a Chuhuahua and back in 97 or so when Will De Los Santos went through all this shit, the YO QUIERO TACO BELL ads were like leprosy and apparently it caught even this doggie!

Then there was Chloe Hunter as APRIL - a stripper that Schwartzman picks up and fucks like crazy and then does... well let's just say that his treatment of women skills are a bit on the lacking side. I mean, i know he was interested in starting a relationship, but I really felt he could have handled this just a teeny tiny bit better than he did!

Then there were the TWO PSYCHOTIC DETECTIVES played with insanity by Peter Stormare and Alexis Arquette... At one point when they are going to be breaking in on someone... the 1970's Cop Show Opening Titles format nearly killed me it was so cool. And then the way these guys totally treat Patrick Fugit like their bitch to slap and abuse... WONDERFUL! This is great casting!

Oh, and then there is the wonderful Debbie Harry as the DYKE NEIGHBOR of Schwartzman! Again, this is wonderful. She is also... no, I won't say, but I will say that her scene at the liquior store and with Leguizamo are to be cherished always! This is great character casting.

Have I mentioned Eric Roberts as THE MAN. I haven't liked Eric Roberts this much since his film LA CUCARACHA - and technically he really reminded me of his turn in STAR 80 here, except with a different compassed direction for his sleaze.

In a part that was little more than a cameo, Larry Drake (yup, Robert Durant himself) plays DR. K - the animal doctor that must fix TACO, which by the way... I mentioned he was green, but I'm really hoping that this bares no resemblence to the green dogs of Ang Lee's HULK!

Throughout the film we have Schwartzman's frantic calls to his girlfriend that he hasn't seen in a year named AMY. Now, you get the idea that through his insistence to reach her, that he loves her deeply. That he has this terrible METH life, and that this Amy chick was the only good thing to happen to him. That she is his ROSEBUD that he's trying to rediscover. When she is revealed and Charlotte Ayanna appears... BOING! Oh yeah, she is so different from all the other women and people in general in this dirty nasty heinous world of rankness. She is a vision. And through her beauty and purity, you measure Ross' fall from grace to his drugged out perdition he is mucking his way through.

Lastly... MICKEY 'fucking' ROURKE! If there is a reason I prefer this movie to TRAINSPOTTING - it would be Mickey Rourke. He is so phenomenal. So great as THE COOK, that I couldn't believe it. There is this moment, where he is toying with Schwartzman while watching hardcore wrestling on the T.V. and it was played to genius levels. This is my favorite work of Rourke's since the amazing Alan Parker film ANGEL HEART, and technically this is a juicier role. In fact, Will De Los Santos when he first started on the script, was calling it THE COOK, the title SPUN came around later. Absolutely fantastic.

This film hit me in the forehead this morning and it made me feel great all day long... and I saw some other wonderful films today, I'll tell you about all of them later on. As for now, there is an empty bed that I need to get in. So adios!


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