HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
   
 
  Freeway Zero Tolerance
Year: 1996
Director: Matthew Bright
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Reese Witherspoon, Dan Hedaya, Wolfgang Bodison, Amanda Plummer, Michael T. Weiss, Bokeem Woodbine, Brooke Shields, Brittany Murphy, Alanna Ubach, Conchata Ferrell, Tara Subkoff, Susan Barnes, Guillermo Díaz, Sydney Lassick
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Teenage Vanessa Lutz (Reese Witherspoon) hasn't had the best start, what with her father missing from early in her life, her mother (Amanda Plummer) an enthusiastic prostitute and even more enthusiastic drug addict, her stepfather (Michael T. Weiss) with the same habit and making moves to molest Vanessa if he can, and her education suffering with all this stressful environment she does her best to rise above. At least she has a boyfriend, Chopper (Bokeem Woodbine), who loves her and sticks by her, and she might just have a chance at making something of herself if she can beat the system and lack of social standing she has been landed with. But that might be easier said than done, especially with so much danger around...

Writer and director Matthew Bright might just have had one great film in him, but it was not often identified as such. He did direct again, but after Tiptoes, one of the worst-received movies of all time among the small few who saw it, he fell off the radar and it seemed nobody would hire him again, which was a pity as no matter how awful and misguided that film was, it did represent a talent willing to take chances, which he assuredly did when producer Oliver Stone got hold of his script for Freeway and demanded he take the helm in spite of being totally untested in that area. He already had one cult classic under his belt with the screenplay for Forbidden Zone, but that was not the sort of effort that ended up as dismissed as this.

Which was odd since it had a cast that if they were not already high profile at the time of Freeway's release, then the fresher faces would soon become very well-known indeed. Reese Witherspoon was the potential breakout star, making the move from juvenile roles to more grown-up territory, though she would have to wait for Election before the audience really sat up and took notice. She had the reputation of being a hardheaded, no bullshit kind of professional actress who would never be satisfied until she had the world at her feet, and that translated into a particular strain of determined characters of various types, but perhaps nobody was as formidable as Vanessa when it came to getting what she wanted.

With so many famous faces in that cast list, this was almost an ensemble piece, and they were each firing on all cylinders as if relishing the opportunity Bright gave them in such distinctive roles. Kiefer Sutherland was the outwardly respectable villain, in effect the Big, Bad Wolf (as the cartoon sketched title sequence made plain) as this was a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where she didn't need the intervention of a strapping woodcutter, she was going to take care of business by herself. Bright called his film a tribute to girls, and it was apparent he respected Vanessa and females like her very much, not sweetness and light by any means but taken advantage of by circumstances often beyond their control and Vanessa represented every one of them who was not going to take it anymore and stand up for themselves.

Thanks to her parents getting arrested, she makes up her mind to go and live with her grandmother, but the problem is that she has to get there, so she steals the car of her temporary guardian and heads off on the, yes, freeway - until the vehicle breaks down. In an item of plot foreshadowing, we discover on TV there is a serial killer on the loose, and when Vanessa is picked up by ostensible Good Samaritan Sutherland, the fact that he is called Bob Wolverton and he is introduced with a sinister sting of Danny Elfman's score confirms our suspicions that our girl is in peril. We can perceive that she will survive, but the how and why are riveting and lead into an extended plotline where she is entirely misinterpreted because of her age, gender and social position, which only spurs her on to more extreme actions to get some form of justice and peace of mind. With frequent jolts, ranging from shocking imagery and disturbing dialogue to sudden, unexpected laughs of dark humour, Freeway was undoubtedly not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but if you could stand it, and more importantly understand why Vanessa was worth cheering for, then you'd have a blast.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1528 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Matthew Bright  (1952 - )

American writer and director of trashy projects. He scripted films for Richard Elfman: cult favourite Forbidden Zone, Shrunken Heads and Revenant; there was also Guncrazy and, bizarrely, TV movie After Diff'rent Strokes: When the Laughter Stopped. As a director, he gained a following with Freeway, Confessions of a Trickbaby, true-life crime movie Ted Bundy and the ill-judged Tiptoes, which was taken out of his hands by the producers.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: