BUFFALO '66

title: BUFFALO '66
year: 1998
cast: Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara, Angelica Huston, Kevin Corrigan, Jan-Michael Vincent, Mickey Rourke, Rosanna Arquette
writer/director: Vincent Gallo
rating: ****

This is like one of those eerie nightmares you have as a grownup that is strangely enjoyable and completely involving. Beginning with a guy played by actor/writer/director Vincent Gallo fresh out of a five-year prison stint who REALLY needs to take a piss but can't find a bathroom anywhere. Then he kidnaps a beautiful (and somewhat willing) young tap dancer Christina Ricci (in a building where he almost finds a toilet), brings her to his family and poses her as his wife. We then get a wonderful half-hour in which Gallo, Ricci and his parents, Angelica Huston and Ben Gazzara, have the most complicated anti-bonding dinner in history. After which Gallo and Ricci... who's now totally into being abucted by this insult-spouting, tantrum-throwing, goblin-chinned freak... go bowling, then go to Denny's, then get a Motel (but not having sex)... After which Gallo ventures off alone to a strip bar owned by a retired kicker of the Buffalo Bills - to kill the kicker for losing the Superbowl in which Gallo lost money on a bet in which, to make up for the debt he had to serve five years in prison for a crime he didn't commit (remember now, the film begins with him getting out). This indie gem is downright brilliant with wonderful imagery, antique film stock, strategically placed camera-angles and split-screen flashbacks that all work to embody the delightfully nightmarish quality. Vincent Gallo is at his peak as the troubled, woman-hating ex-con and Christina Ricci is basically a pretty piece of meat, but that's EXACTLY what she's supposed to be. The climax involving Gallo facing off with the Bills kicker at the Strip Joint is one of the best filmed purposely-overly-violent scenes ever, reminiscent of early Scorsese and, a year later, "borrowed" by the directors of "The Matrix".

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