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The Doom Generation

Year: 1995
Director: Gregg Araki
Writer: Gregg Araki
Cast: Rose McGowan, James Duval, Jonathan Schaech, Dustin Nguyen
Gregg Araki is currently flavour of the month thanks to Mysterious Skin, which I haven't seen, but he's got something of a reputation as an auteur somewhere between the urban exploitation violence of Quentin Tarantino and the freaky middle America of David Lynch.

And it was in this film it seemed he honed his talents for the exploitative, over-the-top violence and forgot his talents for drama or storytelling. It just tried too hard for that 'teens living by their own rules' cool and ended up a farcical vignette of sequences obviously devised to do little but shock.

Rose McGowan and James Duval are a pair of hedonist teens who pick up an even more screwed-up hitcher in Jonathan Schaech (another promised Hollywood pretty boy star who went nowhere).

As they storm across middle America, everyone from right wing newscasters (describing one of the characters' jewellery as 'the sort worn by homosexuals and other sexual deviates') to psychotic Korean convenience store owners tries to stand in their way. They're met with everything from violence to the sort of scaremongering Araki himself is inviting from authority figures, and would from normal-thinking people too if the whole thing wasn't so cartoonish and so much like a cardboard cutout.

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