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A state of fear and terror 

Year: 1993 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Brian Kessler (The X-Files' David Duchovny) and girlfriend Carrie Laughlin (Michelle Forbes) are at a loose end. Kessler may be obsessed with the gruesome phenomenom of serial killers but he owes his publishers a book and he is fresh out of ideas. Carrie meanwhile, is not faring any better as her pornographic art meets with rejection from every gallery she approaches. Disillusioned they eventually decide to take a "Blue Highways cross country tour of historic murder sites" (like you do!) and together create a book. Fortunately Early Grayce (Brad Pitt) and Adele Corners (Juliette Lewis) answer their advert for a ride share, unfortunately (but lucky for the plot!) Grayce just happens to be fond of the odd foray into homicide ensuring that Kessler ends up with more than enough research upon which to base his book.

Loved and loathed by the critics and audience in just about equal measures Kalifornia is not your average thriller. Dominic Sena's direction is highly stylised creating a tense, Noirish atmosphere that accentuates the danger inherent in Grayce. The pervading black humour is not intended to completely soften the gruesome violence, nor does the subject matter make you comfortable but it does make you think.

Pitt and Lewis stand out being blessed with the showier and more mannered roles but it is Duchovny and Forbes who actually give the most impressive performances as their characters are forced to re-evaluate their lofty lifestyles and the beliefs that they had shallowly adhered to. Controversial, slick and brutally entertaining Kalifornia is one hell of a ride.

Wow! I got through the entire review without mentioning David Duchovny showing his butt... (oops!)

Caroline Smit

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Screenings of this film:

1995/1996 Spring Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)