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100 Proof Reviews

Loosely based on a real-life incident, Jeremy Horton's intriguingly grim feature debut chronicles one fateful day in the dingy lives of Rae (Pamela Stewart) and Carla (Tara Bellando), a pair of coke-addled, small-town Kentucky hookers with nothing better to do than turn tricks and snort the profits. The day begins with a brutal run-in with Rae's abusive father (Jim Varney, in a unsettlingly vicious turn), followed by a long, coke-fueled afternoon spent scamming drugs, OD-ing and wheedling a senile old man out of his pension check. By nightfall, Rae is out of control on drugs and festering anger, and she and Carla wind up mindlessly slaughtering five innocent people. Horton's film is a grueling, occasionally tiring experience, filled with pointedly inconsequential dialogue and action that is often as aimless as his soulless antiheroines. Abetted by its zero-budget look and feel, the film attains the dirty, hyperrealism of a reality based cop show, but with a surprising touch of quiet compassion: One can't help admiring Horton's unwillingness to unnecessarily exploit the tragedy of his character's lives. In the end, the violence isn't cleansing, redemptive or empowering; it's just pitiful and very nasty. THELMA & LOUISE this ain't.