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Confessions Of A Trickbaby
100 minutes (18) aspect ratio 1.85:1
Director: Matthew Bright
review by Gary Couzens
Matthew Bright's first feature, Freeway, went straight to video in the UK (and
is slightly cut by the BBFC) but has picked up something of a cult following. It's also
the first of a thematic trilogy of films updating classic fairy tales. Freeway
has Reese Witherspoon's 'Red Riding Hood' encountering Kiefer Sutherland's Wolf.
'Trickbaby' has Natasha Lyonne's White Girl and bulimic lesbian Cyclona (Maria
Celedonio) as a latter-day 'Hansel and Gretel', on the run from a women's detention
centre. (Bright's next film is to be apparently a take on the 'Three Little Pigs'.)
White Girl and Cyclona, who is in prison for murdering her entire family, travel south
to Mexico where Cyclona remembers being cared for by Sister Gomez (Vincent Gallo).
Bright's films are distinguished by considerable energy, excellent taste in
remarkable leading ladies, and a complete disregard for good taste of any kind. This is
typified by the moment where Cyclona says how she hates vomiting because "it
reminds me of when I blew my Dad."" Now that is both very sick and in context
quite funny, but if you find that completely offensive take it as a warning to avoid
this film. Add to the above a strikingly perverse turn from Vincent Gallo, and you have
a film, like Gregg Araki's similarly 'excessive' The Doom Generation, that many
will hate. It's in atrocious taste, but I enjoyed it. If a midnight-movie circuit still
existed, 'Trickbaby' would be a natural for it.
Confessions Of A Trickbaby
Reviewed by Ian Shutter
Ostensibly, a sequel to the director's earlier, controversial black comedy-drama,
Freeway (a clever updating of 'Little Red Riding Hood' to urban America), this film
performs a similarly audacious gambit on another well-known fairy tale, the equally sinister
'Hansel & Gretel'.
Natasha Lyonne plays Crystal alias 'White Girl', a sluttish junkie with a
binge-and-purge eating disorder. Maria Celedonio co-stars as Angela alias 'Cyclona' - the
skinny black lesbian serial killer off her thioridazine. Together, they escape from a women's
detention centre and embark on a wild crime spree - slaying pensioners, mugging sailors, and
even shooting border patrolmen when they flee the US for Mexico, where the depraved pair are
fed and housed by witch-bitch Sister Gomez (Vincent Gallo). The Tijuana street markets are as
colourful as the lavish tables of foodstuff that White Girl pigs out on. Violent action
scenes serve to punctuate Cyclona's necrophilia and White Girl's barfing sessions. In-joke
fans should watch out for director John Landis who plays an unforgiving judge.
With its predatory female protagonists, lewd dialogue and contrived gags of
a particularly horrendous vulgarity, Confessions Of A Trickbaby (the Freeway II
prefix has been added for this video release) is a prime example of extreme cinema. It's a
sicko, sleazy, satirical bad taste shocker to the nth degree - about robbery, callous murders,
unsuspecting cannibalism, a history of child abuse and some blatant references to sordid
kiddie porn. Such contentious content aside, as a modern fable of exploitation and despair
this film is quite disturbingly funny.
previously published online in VideoVista #24 - March 2001 issue
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