5 user 1 critic

The Natural History of Parking Lots (1990)

When a high school senior, Chris, gets in trouble with the West L.A. police for joy riding in stolen cars, his wealthy but neglectful dad hires Chris's older brother Lance to spend time ... See full summary »



3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Bean ...
B. Wyatt ...
Eli Guralnick ...
Roy Heidicker ...
Sara ...
Charles Taylor ...
Mark Williams ...
Robert Hudson ...
David Kinder ...
Richard Stretz ...
Edie Zavala ...
Dennis Archambault ...
Douglass Coleman ...
Mike Huskey ...


When a high school senior, Chris, gets in trouble with the West L.A. police for joy riding in stolen cars, his wealthy but neglectful dad hires Chris's older brother Lance to spend time with him and keep him out of trouble. Lance is in the underworld, running guns, so caring for Chris starts out as a good cover. Then, he warms to his brother, and the two develop a strong bond; Chris gets serious about school and starts to come out of his shell. But, will the relationship be strong enough to weather pressures from Lance's business, Chris's discovery that dad is paying Lance for the care, and Lance's enjoyment of female companionship? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

November 1990 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Natural History of Parking Lots  »

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Did You Know?


Mexican Radio
Music by Wall of Voodoo (uncredited) and lyrics by Stan Ridgway (uncredited)
Performed by Wall of Voodoo
Call of the West
1980 Slash Records
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User Reviews

Post Bruce Weber Rebel without a Cause?
29 August 2001 | by (NYC/FL) – See all my reviews

Clearly influenced by `Rebel without a Cause', this is the story of a Chris who gets in trouble with the police. His absentee dad hires Lance, Chris's older gunrunning brother to `Baby-sit' at the rate of $2000 per week. Chris soon develops feelings for Lance and begins to clean up his act. These feelings are not entirely brotherly and Chris gets very jealous when he catches Lance in the bathtub with girlfriend Kelly.

In some ways this is a typical film school project with all the common errors, overexposed black and white `not-at-all steady' cam work, and under-miked dialogue (no ADR work) and overblown music. Characters have dialogue that is in no way motivated or in character with their personae. E.g. Toward the end when the money obsessed father is discussing his financial dealings with his son, his dialogue is definitely not finance savvy. Also there are obvious continuity errors. The police make Chris strip. Next scene he's still at the police station wearing different clothes than what he was arrested in (definitely NOT police issue)

The two main actors are attractive and the boys are constantly changing clothes, taking baths or showers and going skinny-dipping. I'm beginning to believe that the first lesson in any film class is `when the plot is thin show a little skin'.

Because of the obvious flaws, particularly the long stretches of unintelligible dialogue; I'm rating this movie lower than I normally would. It's a shame. I think that there was a good story here, I'm just not sure the film was able to tell it.

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