Dark and dour in the manner of a self-important student film, this arty examination of a criminal mind examines the effects of drugs on free will. Released from an asylum and graduated from a halfway house, Charlie (screenwriter Kirk Harris) pays regular visits to his psychiatrist, Dr. Resner (Jonathan Chaus). Charlie's demeanor is calmly reassuring, and he discusses his job as a machinist and even alludes to a girlfriend. But Charlie's hasn't exactly recovered from his past: He killed his abusive father, who was suspected in the deaths of Charlie's mother and sister. As Charlie starts to tinker with his medication, he begins hearing voices in his new quarters, and it becomes apparent that his "girlfriend" is actually an hallucination of Pasqua (Stephanie Knight), the woman who committed suicide in Charlie's apartment before he moved in. Pasqua haunts Charlies dreams and infects his subconscious with thoughts of violence. Though a new co-worker, Buck Buckler (producer Jack Rubio), befriends Charlie, sticks up for him at work and even sets him up with a girl, Charlie can't function outside the regimented structure of an institution. Soon, Charlie stops fighting the mental demons. Unable to sleep, Charlie buys street drugs from Quote (associate producer Art Chudabala) and Jerry (Luis Guizar), whose only concern is to hook Charlie on their product. As Charlie indulges in assorted illegal pharmaceuticals, he loses his job and his self-control. His killing instinct resurfaces with deadly consequences for the drug-pushers. Will his inner voices egg Charlie on to further aggression against those trying to help him? Though the story bears a certain resemblance to Patrick McGrath's chilling Spider, filmed by David Cronenberg, this film's shifts from fantasy to reality are less dream-like state than monotonous. Rather than bringing his own original insights to the material, star and screenwriter Harris recycles cliches from other melodramas about madness; films like CLEAN SHAVEN and REPULSION are far more shocking and enlightening.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: R
- Review: Dark and dour in the manner of a self-important student film, this arty examination of a criminal mind examines the effects of drugs on free will. Released from an asylum and graduated from a halfway house, Charlie (screenwriter Kirk Harris) pays regular v… (more)