Roy gets cut from his high school football team just days after his estranged father dies. For him, football is more than a proving ground; it is a promised escape from his lonely rural existence and salvation from the paralyzing passivity that dominates his life. Enter Gideon, a loner living on the roughneck fringe who is looking for gamers--kids who scrap hard--to play on his six-man football squad. Roy joins the Renegades, and he and Gideon enter into tenuous friendship that pushes the limits of male bonding. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Some of the songs referenced by Gid and/or Floyd throughout the movie include
"Ragged But Right" by Riley Puckett 1934
"Nothing But Trouble" by Lonnie Johnson 1929
"Cash On The Barrelhead" by The Louvin Brothers 1954
"Rank Stranger" by Albert E. Brumley 1954
"Will Jesus Wash The Bloodstains From Your Hands?" by Hazel Dickens 1964
"Straighten Up And Fly Right" by The Nat King Cole Trio 1949
"Wayfaring Pilgrim" by Almeda Riddle 1932
Gid also references "Drifting Too Far From The Shore" and "Going Back To Jericho" during the ice fishing scene but he doesn't state an artist or year. There is a deleted scene in which Floyd references "I Ain't Drunk, I Am Just Drinkng" by Jimmy Liggins but Gid interrupts him before he can state the year. See more »
I don't usually find movies first by their soundtrack, but I first heard of "The Slaughter Rule" because Jay Farrar, of the late Uncle Tupelo, did the score and song selections, including by Vic Chestnutt, the Flatlanders, and the Pernice Brothers. So I was intrigued when I saw it was on Sundance Channel as it hadn't appeared on screens in New York.
The debut jointly written/directed feature of twin brothers Andrew and Alex Smith, the film has a lot of similarity to Tom Cruise's early "All the Right Moves," even down to charismatic young star Ryan Gosling clearly being a movie star hunk of the future.
Set in the brothers' home area of rugged (and very desolate) Montana in the fall, this film takes its working class football frame of athlete seeking father figure and coach conflict much further in examining maleness and the implications of the homo-eroticism of such sports much further.
It bravely (particularly by David Morse in a touchingly agonized performance) goes into the breach of what much discussion of current scandals has avoided, at the confused nexus of pedophilia and sexual identity, particularly for teen-age boys.
There's also a dollop of racial issues via the very realistically portrayed poverty of the Native Americans.
The women are mostly helpless within this overwhelmingly male environment, and their best choice for survival is just to leave, as unromantically satisfying as that is.
This ranks in the gritty tradition of sports movies as a setting to demonstrate social tensions like "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" than more popular fare.
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