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Kalifornia (1993)

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A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
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4,360 ( 646)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kathy Larson ...
Teenage Girl (as Catherine Larson)
David Milford ...
Driver
...
John Zarchen ...
Peter
David Rose ...
Eric
...
Tommy Chappelle ...
Old Man
...
...
Parole Officer
James Michael McDougal ...
John Diebold (as J. Michael McDougal)
...
Carol
...
Police Officer
Marisa Raper ...
Little Girl
Bill Crabb ...
Middle Aged Farmer (as Bill Crabbe)
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Storyline

Brian Kessler, a journalist researching serial killers, and his photographer girlfriend Carrie set out on a cross-country tour of the sites of the killings. Sharing the ride and their expenses are Early Grayce, a paroled white trash criminal, and his girlfriend Adele. As the trip progresses, Early begins to appear more and more unstable, and Brian and Carrie begin to fear that they may have a real-life killer in the back seat of their car. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

fear never travels alone See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Калифорния  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,395,231 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Michelle Forbes'' photographer character is a reference to the controversial photographer Andres Serrano, specifically his series 'History of Sex' and 'The Klan' (from the early 1990s). See more »

Goofs

When Early Grayce flicks the bug/cockroach from the restaurant counter onto the grill, the bug is alive when he flicks it, but it doesn't squirm or struggle when it hits the hot grill surface. See more »

Quotes

Early Grayce: Some day me and Adele be walking down the road and we'll see your book and we'll buy it and put it on our coffee table.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Do You Need Some?
Written by Matt Mercado
Performed by Mind Bomb
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Killer On The Road
11 July 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

It's a road movie, with a killer on-board. Brian Kessler (David Duchovny), a sophisticated, urbane writer, wants to conduct field research on American serial killers. But, neither he, nor his girlfriend, Carrie (Michelle Forbes), has the money for a cross-country tour of murder sites, so they advertise for someone to share travel expenses. Who they end up with is a young couple, Early Grayce (Brad Pitt) and his girlfriend, Adele (Juliette Lewis), two better examples of "poor white trash" you will never find in all of cinema.

Indeed, Early and Adele are what make this film so entertaining, as they babble, cackle, confide, muse, speculate, drool, and otherwise behave in ways I haven't seen since reruns of "The Beverly Hillbillies". Early's idea of California: "People think faster out there, on account of all that warm weather; cold weather makes people stupid". That's enough to convince Adele: "I guess that explains why there are so many stupid people around here". To which Early responds proudly: "It sure does". Early continues to instruct Adele about California: "You never have to buy no fruit, on account it's all on the trees ... and they ain't got no speed limits, and I hear your first month's rent is free, state law".

But poor Early has some, well, mental problems, which become ever more obvious to Brian and Carrie as the four travelers proceed west across the U.S. As they enter the desert Southwest, with its beautifully stark landscape, "Kalifornia" starts to look more and more like "The Hitcher" (1986), and Early starts to act more and more like John Ryder, everyone's maniacal hitchhiker, whose terror seemed so unstoppable.

In "Kalifornia", the acting is uneven. Duchovny's performance is flat. Brad Pitt is surprisingly effective, despite his overacting at times. Michelle Forbes is great as the avant-garde, photographic artist. But my choice for best performance goes to Juliette Lewis. With her nasal voice and heavy-duty Southern accent, she is stunning, as the naive, highly animated, child-like Adele.

Toward the end, the film takes on a Twilight Zone feel to it, as our travelers enter a Nevada nuclear test site with a dilapidated old house full of test mannequins. The plot dissolves rather messily into unnecessary and preposterous violence, an ending that was somewhat disappointing.

Overall, however, "Kalifornia" is an entertaining film, thanks to a clever concept, great scenery, especially in the second half, good cinematography, great dialogue, and that wonderful performance by Juliette Lewis.


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