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100 Proof (1997)

 -  Drama  -  26 September 1997 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 4 critic

Filmed in Kentucky and drawing on the true story of a Lexington killing spree by LaFonda Fay Foster and Tina Hickey Powell... See full synopsis »

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Title: 100 Proof (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rae
Tara Bellando ...
J.S. Johnson ...
Larry Brown ...
Eddie
Minnie Bates Yancy ...
Kevin Hardesty ...
...
Loren Crawford ...
Joe Ventura ...
Ted
...
Jeff Lycan ...
Bobby Simmons ...
Peter Smith ...
Buck Finley ...
Joe Gatton ...
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Filmed in Kentucky and drawing on the true story of a Lexington killing spree by LaFonda Fay Foster and Tina Hickey Powell... See full synopsis »

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Genres:

Drama

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Unrated
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26 September 1997 (USA)  »

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$140,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

Thelma & Louise as a COPS Episode
7 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

At the outset we're informed that this movie was inspired by an actual series of events in Lexington, Kentucky in 1986. I've never been sure what's the point of giving us this kind of information. If it's not a documentary, then we're getting a story that needs to stand or fall on it's own merits. It almost seems a way for neophyte indie filmmakers like Jeremy Horton to tell us "Hey look, I know I didn't have a big budget or any name actors except one and a lot of this may seem amateurish or not very dramatically compelling, but hey, I borrowed a lot from real life so cut me some slack." Okay, fine, but if it's not going to be "Thelma & Louise," i.e. capital-H Hollywood with all the Production Values, and if it's not going to be "COPS" or "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol" or some such, then it'd better be a pretty damn interesting little tale in it's own right.

At first it seems it could be. The camera wanders around inside an unprepossessing living room while some psychotic old man babbles about his bad arm and other topics. Eventually we see the old babbler getting a bath from a woman who vaguely resembles Jamie Lee Curtis. Her relationship to him, like most of the relationships in the movie, is never particularly clear, but apparently she looks after him to some extent. Her name is Rae and she has a friend named Carla who also has some connection to the old man and also an old woman whose house this seems to be. Rae and Carla appear to have one goal in life, i.e. substance abuse. When they're not smoking and/or drinking, they're contriving to visit a guy named Eddie who lives miles away and sells drugs on the side. (Why they couldn't find a closer source of dope is also never clear.) During one of their drug binges Rae and Carla indicate they may have latent lesbian inclinations, but like other plot threads, this is never pursued to any great extent.

Rae also has a nasty father, played by the late Jim Varney in a superb and way too short cameo role. Varney owns the movie while onscreen and his scene is the only one with any real dramatic sizzle. Yet after he's done slamming her head down onto a bar and taking her money, I found myself wondering why she would ever go near him in the first place. She seems too smart to be a masochist, or maybe that's just in comparison to all the other characters.

Eventually most of the characters to whom we've been introduced pile into a big ol' gas guzzler and start driving around aimlessly. After a lot more drinking, smoking and doping, violence starts occurring. I won't "spoil" anything for those who haven't seen it but I will say Mr. Horton does a nice job capuring that often reported phenomenon along the lines of "Well, now that I've gone this far anyway, may as well finish it." The ending doesn't resolve anything in particular, but maybe it isn't meant to. Personally I would've preferred a closing shot of Rae and Carla in a prison cell in which they finally get to explore their latent lesbianism, but that's just me.....

So is this one worth a look on video or DVD? Well, there are a lot of amusing moments, some of them possibly unintentional. But this is ground most of us have seen covered before in some form or other, whether "real life" or otherwise. Ultimately, if you didn't know it was inspired by real events, I can't vouch that you should care what happens to the characters. You'll probably see more compelling stories on cable TV's "Discovery" et al. Just because something really happened doesn't ipso facto make it interesting, even if there's violence involved. "If it bleeds, it leads" may work for the evening news but even so, there's a limit. Now if Rae or Carla had each killed her own kids or something, that would've been a whole other story....


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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