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A man heading to Vegas to pay off his gambling debt before the Russian mafia kills him, is forced to stop in an Arizona town where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.



(screenplay), (book)
4,371 ( 715)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Biker #1
Richard Rutowski ...
Biker #2
Aida Linares ...
Boy in Grocery Store
Sergi (as Ilia Volokh)
Valeriy Nikolaev ...
Mr. Arkady (as Valery Nikolaev)
Flo (as Julie Haggerty)


When Bobby's car breaks down in the desert while on the run from some of the bookies who have already taken two of his fingers, he becomes trapped in the nearby small town where the people are stranger than anyone he's encountered. After becoming involved with a (unbeknownst to him) young married woman, her husband hires Bobby to kill her. Later, she hires Bobby to kill the husband. Written by Jason Ihle <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sex. Murder. Betrayal. Everything that makes life worth living. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stray Dogs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,730,440 (USA) (3 October 1997)


$6,633,400 (USA) (31 October 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The script for the film, based on an earlier treatment by the author John Ridley, was adapted by Oliver Stone and Richard Rutowski. However, because WGA rules state that a writer must contribute at least 60% new material in order to justify an on-screen credit, their names were ultimately left off the picture. See more »


When Grace lands the axe in Jake's back, there is no blood. See more »


Jake McKenna: [walks in on Bobby and Grace kissing] Grace!
Grace: Jake! I thought you were in Phoenix.
Jake McKenna: Who the hell is this?
Bobby: Who the hell are you?
Jake McKenna: I'm her husband!
Bobby: Husband?
See more »


Features Rumble in the Bronx (1995) See more »


Your Cheatin' Heart
Written by Hank Williams, Sr.
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Black humour of a kind rarely seen in mainstream Hollywood
11 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As usual before adding my two ha'porth-worth of comment, I looked at other comments (including Roger Ebert). And, although I didn't read all of them (there are very many), I was surprised that none I read seemed to pick up what was perfectly obvious to me: this is a very funny film, but done in a deadpan style. So deadpan, in fact, that I'm not surprised that might be news to many. I have, coincidentally, recently been buying up on DVD quite a few classic film noir (Build My Gallows High, The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers) and like everyone else thought that the era of film noir had come and gone and that such films were no longer being produced. Well, blow me if I'm not very wrong: this is quintessential film noir (though done in colour and with the proviso that most film noir is not intended to be funny). It would be pointless to recount the plot, but if you liked all those classic Mitchum/Bogart/Van Helin/Edwrad g Robinson etc films, you will love this. Sean Penn never disappoints. By the way the very final twist in the plot had me laughing out loud. Go for it: you won't be disappointed.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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