A tale of murder in small-town Kansas. When Jimmy is lured away from his abusive family by a traveling sideshow carnival, he encounters Sandra, one of the main attractions. The happiness ... See full summary »
A tale of murder in small-town Kansas. When Jimmy is lured away from his abusive family by a traveling sideshow carnival, he encounters Sandra, one of the main attractions. The happiness they find together causes them to confront the darkness in their lives. Written by
Abused young man falls Oedipally--and histrionically-- in love with abused sideshow attraction.
I forced myself to sit through the entire DVD, so it couldn't have been the very worst film I've ever seen. Still, I can't think of one that's worse.
I began to wonder if was a parody: one of those arcane, in-crowd extended jokes whose humor failed to penetrate my too-serious mind, but after reading the awards (!) and reviews, I have abandoned that theory. If it is a film-maker's joke, it has taken in a huge number of viewers.
Firecracker lacks even a shred of nuance. Every emotion is troweled on the screen melodramatically; every line emoted more on the nose than any soap opera utterance; every facial expression bulging over the top like a beer belly.
The characters and their motives are trite and utterly predictable. The fact that the story is based on real events does not excuse the miserable screenplay.
Performances range from amateurish to atrocious, excepting Susan Traylor's and Paul Sizemore's. Karen Black channels Gloria Swanson at her Sunset Boulevardian worst. Jak Kendall is all over the place, and not in a good way, particularly when he tries to portray nervousness: you will have seen many a seventh-grader act more convincingly.
The cinematography is bearable, though as overblown as the script and acting--which is to say, laughably inflated. The direction and editing give us excruciatingly long scenes that say nothing, but were evidently included because they satisfied some directorial fetish or clause in an actor's contract.
Altogether, this is a bloated, high camp, reprehensible waste of film and 112 tortured minutes of my time. I still can't quite believe it is meant to be taken seriously. What is serious, however, is this: If you haven't seen it, don't.
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