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Buffalo '66 (1998)

Billy Brown just got out of jail. Now hes going to serve some real time. Hes going home.

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 110 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


Actor, director, screenwriter, musician, pants model. You could say Vincent Gallo is the archetypal jack of all trades, master of none. In ‘Buffalo ‘66’ he puts all of those bullet points on his CV to use at one point or another (yup, there’s even a brief moment where the knacks are on show) and, though the end result is watchable enough, it’s fair to say he struggles to excel in any of his chosen departments. Perhaps he should have created the ultimate in word-of-mouth by taking on the job of reviewing his own film as well (after all, he seems to do practically everything else).

In front of the camera he’s Billy, a whiney, obnoxious pratt of a man who’s no sooner completed a five-year spell in the nick than he’s kidnapping sullen dance student Layla (Christina Ricci) and forcing her to pretend she’s his wife for the benefit of his batty parents (Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston). Well, I say “forcing”, but she doesn’t exactly put up much of a fight. In fact, she doesn’t try to escape even once, an implausibility which is just one of the factors weighing this tale down.

Behind the camera, Gallo seems obsessed with littering his project with as much unnecessary stylistic nonsense as possible, from superimposed flashbacks, to strange ‘Matrix’-style bullet-time freeze-framing, to over-excessive switches in point-of-view.

The main saving grace is that the story itself is a decent one, with a nice line in dark humour. Unfortunately, as with everything else about the film, it eventually drowns in its own self-indulgence. By the time it’s reached the 90 minute mark, it’s successfully completed the transition from quirky and entertaining to tiresome and annoying – and that’s when you realise there’s still another 20 minutes left.

It's Got: Christina Ricci delivering one of the best performances of her carer – it’s just a pity Gallo never bothers to tell us anything about her character.

It Needs: To cut out the visual diarrhoea.

DVD Extras A bunch of random trailers for some seemingly unconnected films. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10


Worth seeing, if only because it’s one of the few films to spend much of its time focussing on the fact that people do, in fact, sometimes need to use the bathroom.