5.2/10
282
7 user 4 critic

Animal Room (1995)

R | | Drama, Thriller
Cynical and intelligent Arnold Mosk, a known drug user, is put into a disciplinary program at his high school meant for the seriously disturbed where he becomes the main target of the psychopathic Doug Van Housen and his gang.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan Payne Bell ...
Pink
Dechen Thurman ...
Hinge
Eddie Malavarca ...
Porky
...
Doug Van Housen
...
Shelly
...
Eddie LeMaster (as Brian Vincent)
...
Arnold Mosk
Stephen Pearlman ...
Principal Jones
...
Dr. Rankin
Pamela Kramer ...
Teacher 1
John Digaletos ...
Teacher 2
Madison Arnold ...
Older Guard
Paula Stevens ...
Teacher 3
...
Gary Trancer
Scott MacCann ...
Gary's Friend
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Storyline

Exasperated over their lack of viable solutions to problem students and growing school violence, teachers and school administrators institute a trial program whereby they can lock away those kids who "don't fit into the mainstream profile." Brainy malcontent Arnold Mosk - despite strenuous objections from his school counselor - is labeled a trouble student and herded into the program for dropping acid to escape his problems, both those at school and at home. While old friend Gary Trancer tries to reconnect with and support Arnold, sociopath Doug Van Housen takes cruel delight in leading his gang of violent school thugs to torment and bully those around him, especially Arnold, leading to tragedy. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Echoing Alarms of Clockwork Orange

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, strong language, sexual content and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Misfits make a cameo in this film as themselves although Singer Michale Graves is lip synching to a Kryst The Conquerer song with vocals by Jeff Scott Soto. See more »

Quotes

Gary Trancer: Listen, I wanna talk to you about something... later. Maybe I could stop by... after practice or something?
Arnold Mosk: Why not? We'll have milk and cookies.
Gary Trancer: [missing the sarcasm, or ignoring it] Okay. Great.
See more »

Connections

References Gulliver's Travels (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Dr. Phibes Rides Again
Performed by The Misfits
Courtesy of Cyclopean Music and The Misfits
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Stylish, great performances -- worth a viewing
8 September 2001 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

As many others who have written reviews of this film, I had never heard of it, but stumbled upon it on a video shelf. Though I've found some of the greatest films I've ever seen that way, more often than not if you haven't heard of it, avoid it. This doesn't fall into the greatest category, but I didn't dislike it enough to trash it. The comparisons to "A Clockwork Orange" on the box are dead-on, though this film doesn't come close to being the masterpiece of the Malcolm McDowall film.

The acting in "Animal Room" is very solid and the characters are interesting, but the story is confusing and uneven at times. It feels like there's probably a bunch of other scenes that are sitting on the cutting-room floor. The cinematography is very stylish and mesmorizing for such a low-budget film -- particularly in the hallucination sequences. At points the dialogue is so witty that you have to laugh, though other times it seems like they're trying to cram far too much into it. Which is why it's sad that as the film progresses it really starts to lose steam, leaving the ending somewhat confusing, disturbing, and contrived.

Neil Patrick Harris proves that he can play something other than "Doogie Howser" (though I learned that when I got hooked on the short-lived "Stark Raving Mad). His performance in this film is enduring and disturbing all at once -- at times you can wholeheartedly agree with his character, but you still have pity on him. Matthew Lillard also gives a strong performance, but they've gone out of their way to make him an evil scumbag -- so even during the scenes where you should pity his character you just can't. But I always say if someone is convincing enough in a role that you hate them, that person really can act.

One other thing that I noticed -- both from the back of the box and other reviewers on IMDb, I was expecting one of the most graphically violent films in history. Far from it. While the violence is excessive and sometimes uncalled for, Rambo and any film with Van Damme is far more graphic than this film ever thought about being.

Bottom line: While not everyone's taste, this film deserves a chance by anyone that likes films of this genre. Too bad that none of those people have ever heard of it.


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