What pulls you (as a viewer) into a film? Is it the title? The look of it? How about who directed it or stars in it? Word of mouth? For me, it's a combination of things. I don't really rely much on word of mouth because frankly, I don't trust people. I know that sounds shitty but it all boils down to opinions and unlike some people, I wanna be able to form my own :) Again, probably shitty but hey, does anyone really care? I'll answer for you... no. Back to my point, the cast of a film plays a major part in whether I choose to watch it or not. Without a solid cast, even the most well written script with the best director will suck.
Seven people are passing time one late evening at a small roadside diner in the middle of nowhere. Among them are Noreen (Amber Benson), a waitress trapped in a loveless marriage; John (Harold Perrineau), a melancholy salesman; Hank (Kevin Gage), a quiet guy with a secret; Lonnie (Lew Temple), a small-town cop; and Jimmy (Danny Trejo), the ill-tempered owner. When a radio reports the disturbing murders of a family in a nearby county, the patrons immediately suspect new arrival DOE (Michael Madsen) as the killer. A bloody confrontation ensues, and the patrons become hostages as the troubled Doe decides their fates. As secrets are revealed, the desperate survivors slowly realize that one of the hostages may be even more dangerous than their captor.
This is the kind of cast I eluded to before. I don't know about you guys but I would sit and watch Michael Madsen read the phone book for 90 minutes. He is THAT good! While we're on the subject of good, Harold Perrineau plays his part extremely well. Which isn't surprising after seeing him in Oz but honestly, I was certain Madsen would outshine him but he held his own and gave a great performance. It would take two days for me to point out each and every good point about this cast so I'll just say it like this... Benson did a bang up job as the female lead. Temple, Gage and Jake Busey rocked it out and even though he only spent 5 or so minutes on screen, Trejo was greatness!
Even with a B-movie star studded cast, I didn't have very high expectations for this film. Making the choice to watch something based solely on the who's in it can sometimes back fire and leave you wishing you could un-watch it. I mean let's face it, even the BEST actors have made some stinkers. Fairly fresh faced writer/director Mark Young pulls together quite the entertaining little film. Some of the dialogue is a bit predictable and maybe kind of cheesy in spots but it only adds to it's charm. It's very well paced and Young makes sure it stays that way throughout the entire film. I think it's fair to say it starts off a little slow. Young uses the first 20 minutes or so to build up the story then slams you with plenty of tension and violence to hold your attention for the remaining 72 minutes.
I've read some really nasty reviews about this film so I know I'm not really in the majority here but I really liked this one. It has just the right mix of everything to make it a very solid Indie film. Indie film lovers will like it for it's simplicity and artsy transitional shots. Hardcore film lovers will probably figure out the twist (I did) but again, it doesn't take away from the charm of it. It's definitely a must see for Madsen fans. I would most definitely recommend it to others and given the opportunity, I would watch it again in a second.