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Life Is Hot in Cracktown (2009)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  26 June 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 1,431 users   Metascore: 36/100
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Various stories of how crack cocaine has infiltrated the inner-city streets. Based on Buddy Giovinazzo's novel "Life is Hot in Cracktown".


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephanie Lugo ...
Maurice Blake ...
Omar Regan ...
Betty McBain
Gavin and Noah Enriquez ...
Elena Franklin ...
Melody Amber
Marci Canipe ...
Melody's Mom
Terrance (as Quddus Philippe)


Various stories of how crack cocaine has infiltrated the inner-city streets. Based on Buddy Giovinazzo's novel "Life is Hot in Cracktown".

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


Be cool. You're so cool. Life is cool in Cracktown.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, rape, drug content throughout, graphic sexuality, nudity and pervasive language

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 June 2009 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?


The dude that robs Manny the first time is Carmine Giovinazzo (Detective Danny Messer from CSI: NY (2004)), cousin of the director, Buddy Giovinazzo. See more »


Benny: Marybeth, I know what I am. Don't think for a second that I don't, 'cus I do. Like when I hear you and Ridley talking to some of the other girls, things yous able to talk about
Benny: you're smart, you got schooling, you know things. Me, what do I know... I know that being with me must be like being with a retard. I look in the mirror sometimes, I wonder what you're doin with me. I know you do, too. When the day comes, you find somebody better, 'cus one day that will happen, I ain't gonna give...
See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Episode #1.18 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The REAL Reality...
2 July 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With this being the FIRST movie review i've done, i couldn't have picked a harder movie to summarize.. If you've seen Buddy Giovinazzo's 1986 street slime suicide epic "Combat Shock", than you'll know what to expect.. A perfectly made film thats downbeat and depressing, a Drama that can pass for horror And characters that you are supposed to hate, but can't.. The only difference here is that instead of the gritty 80's look this film has a nice pop-polished feel (and more characters to feel bad for)

The movie basically follows four groups of characters in their day to day struggles in a drug/hooker infested neighborhood (Not unlike Hollywood). There's Marybeth (Kerry Washington) and Benny (Desmond Harrington) who roam the streets looking for johns. Marybeth is a Transsexual who's trying to save money for her sex change by giving head to old filthy tricks and at the same time supporting her loser boyfriends (bennys) drug habit. Benny's trade is a burglar, but his drug problem and age has made it difficult to pull anything off without F**king it up. Then There's Willy (Ridge Canipe) A pre-teen who, like all kids in these neighborhoods has no future. He wakes up to cockroachs running across his face, hangs out with the Junkie outside his welfare building (Brandon Routh), Has a crush on a local hooker named "Melody" (Elena Franklin) who's roughly the same age as he is.. He also has to watch after his little sister while his Mom (Illeana Douglas) and her abusive boyfriend smoke rock.. Romeo (Evan Ross) is the neighborhood punk who roams the streets terrorizing people, extorting and brutally beating down the elderly for their welfare checks, raping, robbing, killing.. People may think his character is an exaggeration of a street punk, but there are HUNDREDS of "Romeos" in every city.. The kids that were number one on the football team 2 years ago, now sell crack and aspire to live out the "Scarface" life. Then There's the people in the neighborhood who are trying to make a life for themselves, but they are too naive to realise that it will NEVER happen.. Manny (Victor Rasuk) works two jobs.. A Day job at the local Liquor Store and a Security job at the welfare apartments (were Willy Resides). He and his wife Concetta (Shannyn Sossamon) live in squalor and have a newborn son who NEVER STOPS CRYING (Kinda reminiscent of Frankies 'Agent Orange" Baby in "Combat Shock"). Of all the people in the neighborhood (that we see) he is the only one trying to make a better life for himself and his family, but in the end not even THREE jobs can help. (you just have to LEAVE!!)

Of the four of us that went to the film i think i was the only one who really loved it.. My Girlfriend (who's favorite film is "Bloodsucking Freaks")said that it was too dark. My two other friends liked it, and one friend actually sparked his stem about half way through.. The truth is, we all grew up in a neighborhood just like the one shown in the film. Its hard to watch "Hollywood" almost Glorify and Exploit this reality for rich snobby dick heads to watch and try to analyze.. (Its basically Hollywood Exploiting ITSELF!) I've been in willy's shoes and the reality is that no matter how innocent he seems in the film, eventually he will grow up to be a junkie, thief or dealer (or all three) Some people finally realise that it would be easier to just LEAVE the neighborhood and move to the suburbs. You'd still have to struggle, BUT after everything you've already dealt with, moving would be a walk in the park. HOPEFULLY some Crackheads out there will see this film and realise that they should NEVER have kids! Maybe they will see that this life is a vicious cycle that they will pass on to their kids and they'll grow up to be our future addicts and hookers OR WORSE, They'll become the future "Romeos". Too many kids in the city end up like him. In a neighborhood full of druggies you realise that the only REAL job out there is to actually supply these drugs to these losers. When your Mom and Dad cant pay the rent and your able to hustle $1000 A DAY selling crack and heroin you feel like a success. Thats the trap. Only 1 in 10 will be able to stay off the drugs they sell, and only 1 in 10 will save that money and move to Riverside and get a job selling DVD's and VHS tapes on Amazon :) Anyways, this is my first movie review to a movie that still doesn't have a review. (now i'll try to sound like everyone else) The movie had GREAT direction, excellent acting from an excellent ensemble cast and it will give you a realistic look into the streets! I heard somebody say this film was like "Short Cuts on Drugs". That sums it up nice, except there isn't some stupid earthquake. Unlike "Short Cuts" this movie has a realistic ending. Good job Buddy G!! Hopefully you'll adapt some of your other books to film. Then you'll have my SECOND review ever!

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