Confessions of a Trickbaby

aka Freeway 2: Trickbaby
dir-scr Matthew Bright
with Natasha Lyonne, Maria Caledonio, David Alan Grier, Vincent Gallo, Max Perlich, Michael T Weiss, John Landis, April Telek, Bob Dawson, Jennifer Griffin
99/US 1 out of 5 stars


Review by Rich Cline
Egads, where to start? Confessions of a Trickbaby is an homage to lesbian prison flicks, complete with 1970s-style filmmaking, garish music, rough and tumble production design, gruesome yet cartoonish violence, bulimia jokes and gratuitous nudity. Not remotely a spoof, it takes itself oddly seriously, even as the conventions of the genre make it ludicrously funny. And as the second part in writer-director Bright's Freeway Trilogy, it also has a Hansel and Gretel theme running through it.

At age 19 Crystal and Cyclona (Lyonne and Caledonio) decide to break out of prison as soon as their long sentences begin. On the run, Crystal tries to control Cyclona's murderous instincts ... but she continues to kill just about everyone she meets as they run for the Mexican border and a nun who helped her as an abused child. And when they meet Sister Gomez (Gallo), Cyclona's troubled past starts to make sense, but the duo is now in big trouble on both sides of the border.

The film is so unhinged and deliberately clunky that virtually nothing works at all--we never care about the characters, who are over-the-top caricatures from the beginning, and it tries far too hard to be wacky and funny, with little success. Even the deadly serious themes running underneath the story (about child abuse and redemption) never gel in a meaningful way--they become merely another bit of texture in an already cluttered film. You have to hand it to Bright for going for it as he does here. It would have been easier to make a straightforward parody and subvert the genre for laughs, but he plays by the rules. Unfortunately, once he goes there, he can't figure out how to get out.

[18--strong themes and situations, violence, nudity, language] 14.Mar.00
US release 19.Oct.99; UK release 24.Nov.00

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READER REVIEWS

"Twisted and vomit inducing! I found this movie horrible. I don't know why anyone would want to watch the lovely Natasha Lyonne vomit about 50 times. The film is twisted from beginning to end and there are to many attempts at pulling in the lesbian theme for anyones taste. (Although the shower scene was about the only pleasant part of the film!) I also don't believe anyone needed the scenes that involve sexual acts with dead old people, the nun with the penis or canibalism involving small children. Its not funny, its not clever." --Holly Anderson, net 3.May.03
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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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