5.7/10
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Strays (1997)

R | | Drama | 18 January 1997 (USA)
A macho cruiser comes of age. Frustrated by the repetitious grind of one night stands and aimless hustling, study drug dealer Rick is looking for meaning and intimacy in his life. Like his ... See full summary »

Director:

Vin Diesel

Writer:

Vin Diesel
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vin Diesel ... Rick
Joey Dedio ... Fred
T.K. Kirkland T.K. Kirkland ... Rodney
Mike Epps ... Mike
F. Valentino Morales ... Tony
Suzanne Lanza Suzanne Lanza ... Heather
Darnell Williams Darnell Williams ... Keith
Mihaela Kolich Mihaela Kolich ... Danielle (as Mihaela Tudorof)
Eugene Osborne Smith Eugene Osborne Smith ... Willie
Temple Brooks Temple Brooks ... Amy
Loni Sabrina Stuart Loni Sabrina Stuart ... Nicole
DeAngela Parrish DeAngela Parrish ... Suzanne
Marko Kalfa Marko Kalfa ... Chris
Joey Iovino Joey Iovino ... Kenny
Louis Albert Von Steidl Louis Albert Von Steidl ... Jerry Saperstein
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Storyline

A macho cruiser comes of age. Frustrated by the repetitious grind of one night stands and aimless hustling, study drug dealer Rick is looking for meaning and intimacy in his life. Like his testosterone-tweaked buddies, Rick is a "stray" # lacking a traditional family structure and wrestling subconsciously with the psychological bruises inflicted by his father's absence. Shielding any vulnerability under the toughened cloak of detachment, Rich has administered his life with deliberate effort to avoid reliance on anyone or anything. But things are about to change. When Rick meets Heather, a corn-fed walking talking "girl next door," he suddenly perceives a new avenue and an opportunity for an open, committed relationship. Though the chemistry between the couple is immediately charged, Rick's street cheek and volatile aggression flare, threatening to extinguish their relationship before it begins. Trying to assimilate into Heather's world, Rick takes heat from his perpetually adolescent ... Written by Rebecca Yeldham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, some sexual content and drug material | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Instinto Assassino See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

One Race Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Strays (1997) is' Vin Diesel's directorial, writing, producing and lead acting debut. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heather: Are you alright?
Rick: Are your parents still together?
Heather: Yeah, why?
Rick: My mother used to see this guy, Frank. He's was an illustrator, not that he had done anything. But he used to bring me these books, children's books, as gifts. He eventually uh, left my mom - most of them did. Anyway, he bought me this, this one book, and it was the only book that I begged my mom to read to me. It was called Ferdinand, Ferdinand the Bull. And he wrote on the inside, To a very special kid. And then, Life's...
See more »

Crazy Credits

On the DVD release, the end credits feature an MMVII (2007) copyright date, which reflects the date the DVD was published. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Vin Diesel Moments (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Come To You
Written by Shani Rigsbee
Performed by Shani Rigsbee
Publishing by Cherokee Charm Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Cherokee Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Pacifier had more soul than this.
9 May 2010 | by theholywhoreSee all my reviews

Long ago, in the days when the Fast and the Furious was still just an old Roger Corman B-Movie, and nobody thought a franchise could be spun out with a title as limp as The Chronicles of Riddick, Vin Diesel was just another struggling actor, earning his crust selling light bulbs as a telemarketer. With admirable verve, the shiny headed one set out going his own way - writing, producing, directing and starring in his own pet project. The resultant work was selected for Sundance in 1997, and, whilst hardly causing a sensation, was obviously seen by enough of the right kind of people to set its maker off on his path to stardom. Little seen in the intervening years, the film, Strays, is finally finding a wider audience on DVD.

The film follows Rick (Diesel) a part-time dope dealer and general lay- about wishing to transcend his social status and become… well, that isn't entirely clear. But something.  Surrounded by friends even more gormless than himself it is little wonder Rick sees himself as something special. Tired of the daily bump 'n grind, he looks for true love with the middle class girl next door, but his innate dimwittedness always seems to get the better of him. Strays examines the lives of the buff, rather brutish, none too sharp yet somehow vaguely existential young male. Pasolini made a couple of masterpieces with such material, Scorsese got some pretty decent mileage too. Diesel, sadly, offers up a tepid, plodding insult to intelligence.

The first half of the film actually holds some interest with its ham- fisted dissection of male narcissism and the pleasing attendant whiff of homoeroticism. Disappointingly Diesel rejects this fruitful avenue for a remarkably inane progression into soppy romance, with the Pantene-fresh Heather (Lanza) falling for Rick's dubious charms (he likes mint choc chip ice cream and - shockingly - all the words to the Tin Man song from the Wizard of Oz.) Diesel's acting range is showcased in all its glory: witness the occasions in which his character will offer some pithy advice to his no-good friends first in a low voice, AND THEN SHOUTING IT AS LOAD AS HE CAN. Rick has mother issues, which apparently excuses his all-round prickishness. And anyway, IF EVERYONE WOULD JUST LISTEN TO WHAT HE IS SAYING VERY LOADLY things would probably be OK. The improvisational style aims for Cassavettes but hits some way wide of the mark. The Pacifier had more soul than this.


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