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Jesus' Son (1999)

There’s a price to be paid for dreaming

Directed by:

Alison Maclean

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 107 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

Billy Crudup’s character in 70s-set druggy flick ‘Jesus’ Son’ could well be one of the most appropriately-named leads in cinematic history. I can’t actually say what it is on a good wholesome family web site like this one, but let’s just say it starts with an “F” and ends with an “uckhead”. It’s a nickname, of course – nobody’s parents would be THAT cruel. But so apt is it (everything he touches inevitably seems to turn to crud – which actually makes the actor’s name fairly appropriate as well, come to think of it), that telling us his real name is never deemed important. Talk about making a guy feel special, eh?

This is essentially a road movie, following the drug-fuelled exploits of FH (we’ll follow the lead of the end credits and call him that from now on) as he drives around in a Volkswagen with girlfriend Michelle (Samantha Morton), bumping into the weird and wonderful characters who populate America’s Midwest along the way.

Included in the mixed bag are a bullet-holed Dennis Hopper, one seriously unlucky Holly Hunter (everyone she’s ever loved has died – and she seems to have loved a LOT of people), and a virtually unrecognisable Denis Leary. By far and away the best of the segments, however, are those featuring a spaced-out bunny-loving Jack Black. If you’re a fan of the ‘Tenacious D’ man, then this is a film you’ve got to see – even though his part in the proceedings is relatively small.

Importantly though, unlike Johnny Depp’s Raoul Duke in ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ or Vincent Gallo’s Billy in Buffalo 66, FH is a genuinely likable kinda bloke. Despite his less-than-grounded perspective of the world, he’s an easy character to sympathise with, root for, and even relate to. Even when the film becomes a little bogged down in melodrama in it’s final half-hour (incidentally, the whole thing’s around half-an-hour too long), it’s his genial good nature that keeps it watchable.

It's Got: A hunting knife through the eye.

It Needs: Milk for the bunnies!!

DVD Extras A trailer, and that’s it. Boo! DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Buffalo 66

Summary

Don’t let the title put you off – this is quite a bit easier going than 'The Passion of the Christ'!

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