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Mysterious Skin
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Mysterious Skin (2004) More at IMDbPro »

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Mysterious Skin -- In 1981, in Hutchinson, Kansas, the eight years old boy Neil McCormick is sexually abused by his pedophile baseball coach and his deranged and promiscuous mother does not pay attention. Meanwhile, the also eight years Brian Lackey awakes from a brief amnesia of four hours with a bleeding nose, but his negligent father does not pay attention to the event. Brian grows-up believing he had been abducted by aliens. The gay Neil grows-up as a hustler. When Brian is eighteen years old, he looks for and meets Neil, who discloses dark innermost secrets of their past.
Mysterious Skin -- A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth.


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Popularity: ?
Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gregg Araki (screenplay)
Scott Heim (novel)
View company contact information for Mysterious Skin on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 June 2005 (USA) See more »
Two boys. One can't remember. The other can't forget.
A teenage hustler and a young man obsessed with alien abductions cross paths, together discovering a horrible, liberating truth. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Rise Like Two Angels In The Night... And Disappear See more (246 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Chase Ellison ... Neil (age 8)
George Webster ... Brian (age 8)
Rachael Nastassja Kraft ... Deborah (age 12) (as Rachael Kraft)

Lisa Long ... Mrs. Lackey

Chris Mulkey ... Mr. Lackey

Elisabeth Shue ... Mrs. McCormick

David Lee Smith ... Alfred

Bill Sage ... Coach
Riley McGuire ... Wendy (age 11)
Ryan Stenzel ... Stephen Zepherelli

Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Neil

Richard Riehle ... Charlie

Michelle Trachtenberg ... Wendy

Brady Corbet ... Brian
Larry Marko ... Old man with scar

Mary Lynn Rajskub ... Avalyn Friesen
Clover ... Patches

Jeffrey Licon ... Eric (as Jeff Licon)

Bruno Alexander ... Redneck Hick
Forrest Fountain ... Jackson

Zane Huett ... Jackson's Son
Reedy Gibbs ... Receptionist

David Alan Graf ... Gay Lumberjack
John Ganun ... NYC John

Billy Drago ... Zeke

Kelly Kruger ... Deborah

Pete Kasper ... Sedan Driver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Joan Blair ... Customer in Yogurt Shop (uncredited)

Trieste Kelly Dunn ... Date in "Blood Prom" (uncredited)
Gwenne Hudson ... Baseball Mom (uncredited)

Directed by
Gregg Araki 
Writing credits
Gregg Araki (screenplay)

Scott Heim (novel)

Produced by
Gregg Araki .... producer
Wouter Barendrecht .... executive producer
Beau J. Genot .... associate producer
Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte .... producer (as Jeffrey Levy-Hinte)
Chris Larsen .... associate producer
Hans Ritter .... co-producer (as Hans C. Ritter)
Hans Ritter .... line producer (as Hans C. Ritter)
Mary Jane Skalski .... producer
Michael J. Werner .... executive producer
Joshua Zeman .... co-producer
Original Music by
Harold Budd 
Robin Guthrie 
Cinematography by
Steve Gainer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Gregg Araki 
Casting by
Shannon Makhanian 
Production Design by
Devorah Herbert 
Art Direction by
Morgan Blackledge  (as Morgan C. Blackledge)
Set Decoration by
Erin Smith  (as Erin K. Smith)
Costume Design by
Alix Hester 
Makeup Department
Michelle Rene Elam .... key hair stylist (as Michelle Elam Torres)
Nicole Le Bris .... hair stylist: New York
Nicole Le Bris .... makeup artist: New York
Fleur Morell .... makeup department head
Eleanor Sabaduquia .... assistant makeup artist
Alexis Walker .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Beau J. Genot .... post-production supervisor
Petra Hoebel .... production manager: New York
Lisa Looney .... production supervisor
Per Melita .... production manager: New York
Hans Ritter .... unit production manager (as Hans Christian Ritter)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Heather I. Denton .... second assistant director
Jordan Brendan Finnegan .... second second assistant director (as Jordan Finnegan)
Gavin Kleintop .... second second assistant director
W. Alex Korp .... first assistant director (as Ale Korp)
Art Department
Treven Bedwell .... property master
Erin Cabeen .... art department intern
Shannon Cabeen .... art department intern
Jonathan Dortch .... assistant property master
Sally Geier .... art department intern
Rob Henning .... leadman
Stacy L. Henning .... swing
Jennifer Ireland .... art department intern (as Jen Ireland)
Mathew Klickstein .... on-set dresser
Scott Schutzki .... swing
Pete Steinke .... swing
Andrew 'Pinky' Swartsel .... swing (as A. Corey Swartsel)
Sound Department
Bryan Arenas .... sound consultant: Dolby
Steven Avila .... sound effects editor (as Steve Avila)
James Bailey .... foley artist
Trip Brock .... supervising sound editor
Bob Fisher .... boom operator
Heather Fox .... sound coordinator: post-production
Michael J. Fox .... adr supervisor (as Mike Fox)
Michael J. Fox .... foley editor (as Mike Fox)
Eric Hoeschen .... foley artist
Peter D. Lago .... first assistant sound editor (as Peter Lago)
Coleman Metts .... production sound mixer
Peter Oreckinto .... optical soundtrack: DJ Audio
Jackie Rodman .... dialogue editor (as Jackie Oster)
Mark A. Rozett .... sound re-recording mixer (as Mark Rozett)
Elana Saviolis .... sound coordinator: post-production
Geordy Sincavage .... foley mixer
Geordy Sincavage .... sound effects editor
Melissa Strater .... sound coordinator: post-production (as Melissa Strater-Brock)
Kelly Vandever .... sound re-recording mixer
Randolph Saucedo .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
David Waine .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Mark S. Driscoll .... visual effects supervisor: Look Effects
Henrik Fett .... visual effects supervisor: Look Effects
Chad Buehler .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Eddie Matthews .... stunt driver (as Eddie Mathews)
Lou Simon .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Sebastián Almeida .... first assistant camera: New ork (as Sebastian Almeida)
Todd Barron .... director of photography: second unit
Craig Bauer .... camera loader
Bernard Cistrunk .... electrician
Josh Daneshgar .... grip intern
Matthew Deetsch .... additional electrician
Mark Evans .... grip (as Mark E. Evans)
Eric Forand .... additional grip
Ben Gamble .... gaffer
Jerry Gregoricka .... electrician (as Jerry C. Gregoricka)
Joshua Harper .... additional electrician
Jarrod Heath .... electrician
Trevor Houghton .... best boy electric
Milan Janicin .... second assistant camera (as Milan 'Miki' Janicin)
Todd Kirschner .... key grip
Jaime R. Mejia .... additional electrician
Patrick Okamura .... camera intern
Hernan Otaño .... director of photography: New York (as Michael Otano)
Omar Pena .... grip
Marcos V. Perez .... grip (as Marcos V. Pérez)
Ryan Purvis .... additional grip
Rocky Romines .... grip (as Rocky 'Rockman' Romines)
Shereen Saleh .... first assistant camera
Lacey Terrell .... still photographer
Victoria Tidmarch .... additional camera loader
William Todd .... additional electrician
Carlos Verón .... gaffer: New York
Bradford Whitaker .... electrician
Steve Gainer .... camera operator (uncredited)
Mark McIntire .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jennifer Goldstein .... casting assistant
Katya Lidsky .... casting assistant (as Katja Lidsky)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Carla Haupt .... costume intern
Prudence Stein .... costume intern
Pamela Walt .... costumer
Editorial Department
Alex Blatt .... post-production coordinator
Alana Greenfield .... negative cutter: Viv Kim Negative Cutting
Terry Haggar .... color timer
Vivian Hengsteler .... negative cutter: Viv Kim Negative Cutting
Eden Williams .... negative cutter: Viv Kim Negative Cutting
David Block .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Jenée DeAngelis .... music coordinator (as Jenee Clark)
Bradford Ellis .... score engineer
Bradford Ellis .... score programmer
Howard Paar .... music supervisor
Ronald J. Webb .... music editor (as Ron Webb)
Tracy McKnight .... executive soundtrack producer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Jaime Chapparo .... additional driver (as Jaime Chaparro)
Mac 'Buck' Cook .... driver
Guy Johnson .... transportation captain (as Guy 'Bone' Johnson)
Eli Lozano .... driver (as Eli James Lozano)
Sandra Ninham .... additional driver
Stephen 'Stevo' Pate .... transportation coordinator
Marco Ruiz .... additional driver (as Marco A. Ruiz)
Bobby Weaver .... driver
Alexander Yurchikov .... additional driver
Other crew
Jodi Andrade .... craft service
Nicolas Barclift .... office production assistant
Luis Brito .... chef
Carly Brown .... production coordinator
Louis Caric .... set production assistant (as Louis A. Caric)
Dave Carlson .... set production assistant
Martine Charnow .... production intern
Diana Cheng .... production intern
James Debbs .... assistant: Mary Jane Skalski
Rex Dominguez .... set production assistant
Jonathan Dortch .... location scout
Colin Elliott .... production intern
John B. Finn .... post-production accountant: JFA Inc. (as John Finn)
Debra Fontenot .... location scout
Susan Gabbay .... location scout: New York
Jonny Gillette .... location assistant
Matthew I. Goldberg .... assistant location manager (as Matthew Goldberg)
Jonathan Gray .... production counsel: Spinak & Gray
Todd Hall .... title designer: F-Stop
Janet Harold .... location scout
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
Katherine Hensley .... accounting intern
Tony Hill .... medic
Teresa L. Humphreys .... payroll services: Axium/Avalon (as Teresa Humphreys)
Jennifer Kennedy .... location scout
James R. Kerrigan .... title designer: F-Stop (as Jim Kerrigan)
Maria Kerrigan .... title designer: F-Stop
Mathew Klickstein .... location scout
Chris Lum .... medic
Michael Masarof .... production assistant: New York
Joe McGraw .... location scout
Jan McWilliams .... script supervisor
Ross Miller .... insurance: DR Reiff & Associates
Naomi Motohashi .... location manager (as N. Motohashi)
Steve Pawera .... production accountant
Guillermo Pena-Tapia .... production assistant: New York (as Guillermo Pena Tapia)
Anthony Pizzarelli .... medic
Lynn Raines .... welfare worker
Roy A. Ruiz Jr. .... security: Independent Security Co. (as Roy Ruiz Jr.)
Robert Spinak .... production counsel: Spinak & Hray (as Rob Spinak)
Susan J. Spohr .... customer satisfaction: CFI (as Susan Spohr)
David Witten .... production intern
Fei Wong .... additional set production assistant
Ian M. Stratford .... production counsel (uncredited)
Lynn Auerbach .... special thanks: Sundance Institute
Fenton Bailey .... special thanks: World of Wonder Productions
Randy Barbato .... special thanks: World of Wonder Productions
Chris Baugh .... special thanks
Jonathan Bell .... special thanks
Andrew Bentler .... special thanks
Peter Billingsley .... special thanks
Bill Bishop .... special thanks
M.B. Boissonault .... special thanks (as MB Boissonault)
Tom Bronson .... special thanks: Walt Disney Costumes
Erin Cabeen .... special thanks
Shannon Cabeen .... special thanks
Andrew Cannava .... special thanks
Shirley Clark .... special thanks
John Cooper .... special thanks
Mary Corbet .... extra special thanks
Kathy Doherty .... special thanks
Cindy Ellison .... extra special thanks
Patrick Falk .... special thanks
Neil Fenn .... special thanks
Tal Fiala .... special thanks: Keep Me Posted
Hadiya Finley .... special thanks
Eric Fried .... special thanks: Technicolor
Dag Gabrielsen .... special thanks
Alberto Garcia .... special thanks
Cindi Goretski .... special thanks (as Cyndi Goretski)
Rachel Goswell .... special thanks
Zach Grace .... special thanks: Mean Red Music
Toni Halliday .... special thanks
Neil Halstead .... special thanks
Robert Harvey .... special thanks (as Bob Harvey)
Paulette Hawkins .... special thanks
Charles Herzfeld .... special thanks: Technicolor
Amy Hillman .... extra special thanks
Takeo Hori .... special thanks
Millie Hsyu .... special thanks
Marcus Hu .... special thanks
Melanie Johnson .... special thanks
Tim Kelly .... special thanks: Keep Me Posted
Keya Khayatian .... special thanks
Eunice Lee .... special thanks
Cookie Lopez .... special thanks
Tom Lopinski .... special thanks
Pat Lucas .... special thanks
Jim Lyons .... special thanks
Alexander Mayo Williams .... special thanks
Alec McKinlay .... special thanks
Tracy McKnight .... special thanks
Robert Messinger .... special thanks
David Millman .... special thanks
Guido Moretti .... special thanks: Telecine Films
Luz Moretti .... special thanks: Telecine Films
Suzanne Moss .... special thanks
Joy Murphy .... special thanks
Dave Newton .... special thanks
Michel Papadaki .... special thanks: CFI (as Mike Papadaki)
Tonya Puerto .... special thanks
Karyn Rachtman .... special thanks
Simon Raymonde .... special thanks
Joe Robbins .... special thanks
Michelle Satter .... special thanks: Sundance Institute
Ben Schoen .... special thanks: Scarlet Letters
Burt Severy .... special thanks
Sigur Rós .... special thanks (as Sigur Ros)
Kai Simmons .... special thanks
Suicidal Tendencies .... special thanks
Shelly Surpin .... special thanks (as Shelley Surpin)
Garrard Whatley .... special thanks: Rocketworks
Warren Zavala .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
105 min | USA:107 min (Sundance Channel Library Print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:R | Brazil:18 | Canada:R (Alberta/British Columbia) | Canada:18A (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:16+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (TV rating) (2007) (self applied) | France:-16 | Germany:18 | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 | Portugal:M/18 (Qualidade) | Singapore:R21 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:16 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:16 (canton of Vaud) | UK:18 | USA:NC-17 | USA:Unrated (DVD rating)

Did You Know?

To prepare for his role, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt spent a week visiting cities and towns in Kansas where the book is set. Scott Heim, author of the original novel, guided him around the locations and had him meet the actual people on whom the characters are based.See more »
Anachronisms: When Neil looks in his fridge in 1991, cans of Diet Coke and Sprite are visible which are of post-1991 designs.See more »
[first lines]
Brian:[narration voice-over] The summer I was 8 years old, five hours disappeared from my life. Five hours. Lost. Gone without a trace.
Brian:[narration voice-over] Last thing I remember I was sitting on the bench at my Little League game. It started to rain. What happened after that remains a pitch black void.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003)See more »
Golden HairSee more »


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46 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
Rise Like Two Angels In The Night... And Disappear, 30 August 2005
Author: Mappyman ( from Atlanta, United States

Araki's newest film takes on a much more subtle note. The darkness of his other films is again apparent and gone are the many bizarre comic reliefs. The movie goes deep deep into story, even to tackle a really hard to watch subject about love and sex between men and little boys.

The story revolves around Niel, how he grew up and had his first climax from seeing another man get off. This lead to a deep interest in the older man, the little league coach and how he seemed to be everything young Niel wanted. Cut to the other main role, Brain, a geeky kid who for some reason, seemed to have had a blackout one day and was believed to have been abducted by space aliens(again an Araki tradition in movies.). his story revolves around his obsession with aliens and how and why and who abducted him in the dark time he's forgotten. Niel found his soul mate Wendy very young and she's since moved to New York to find more to life than living in Kansas with no goal in life. Niel wants to follow her as well since his prostitution to local Joe's at the park has run sour. What he finds about new york however is that with a bigger city, he will have more problems and issues with his Kansas style. Niel's and Brian's path intertwine eventually over something perhaps both of them would like to forget, but should get through it so they can move on with their lives.

The acting in this is Very real, and while at times Niel comes off as cocky, its said by Wendy as "Where normal people have a heart, Niel McCormick has a bottomless black hole. And if you don't watch out you can fall in and get lost forever". There's a few select scenes that seem to go over the top with lewd and violent expressions so try and take heed before watching this. The music was simply amazing. It reminded me some of Endless Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, with very deep and sad music all through it. The movie is very dark and some parts are very depressing, but its worth watching to have everything explained in the end.

Personal bias: I've seen four of Araki's films so far, with Nowhere being my favorite. Araki seems to be able to get some pretty huge stars and put them in roles you wouldn't exactly picture them fitting well in but this really tested main character Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I viewed it alone and with a complete open mind, as its most times required to really soak in the mood of such films. It took me in and really got to me. This style film is definitely meant to look deeper into relationships, and why people are the way they are. The meaning in the end reminded me a lot of Nowhere's with the wish that people could just go to another world like angels, or aliens. Do not look for comedy here but instead a deep meaningful story with some really controversial scenes, but also an amazing musical score, and superb acting.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (246 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mysterious Skin (2004)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Sexual abuse is not sexy Gracelovesmovies
so why did his nose bleed....? *spoilers shawnmichael15
What did Brian's dad know? jaf-14
Will Neil molest boys too? erina1
5 films you cant stop thinking about.... miawallace888
was 'the rape' truly rape? -Comments welcome missdestinyjade
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