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Robert De Niro,
I love this movie, which, dare I say, with some well deserved luck, could be the "Blair Witch" of comedy. "Natural Selection" is a movie within a movie about a good ole boy gone very very bad in a small Texas town. Willie Dickenson is a fugitive serial killer who's body count stands at eight. A documentary filmmaker interviews the cops, the neighbors, the family, the groupies, and the victims' parents and attempts to solve the riddle of Willie, i.e., "what makes a time bomb tick?"
"Natural Selection" is an original, hilarious satire that never plays it safe. It skewers our perverse obsession with twisted hero worship. After all, in this country we don't know what to make of the notorious, so we just make them celebrities. There's so much to like about this indie underdog: the look-- eye candy way beyond the budget; the sensibility-- yes, Virginia, a movie about a cold-blooded killer can actually be at its heart warm and homespun; the soundtrack-- featuring welcome contributions from the greatly underappreciated Texas rocker Charlie Sexton; and especially the inspired performances from a tremendously eclectic cast.
Michael Bowen, as Willie, gives a complex and unbelievably delicate performance. As a father-to-be, he is a man who is capable of tenderness, but is driven by his demons to cold-blooded murder. Here's a man who mails his victims heads, yet we feel a measure of sympathy for him. That's acting. David Carradine delivers a wonderful, comic performance unlike any you've ever seen as a wacko FBI agent on Willie's trail. NewsRadio's Stephen Root is as funny as he's ever been--and that's damn funny--as a victim's father, and proves once again that in comedy, monkeys are always hilarious. And veteran character actor Bob Balaban is a riot as a crackpot psychiatrist with an ego bigger than Texas. And just trust me about Willie's cousins. You can't go wrong with rednecks, beer and shotguns either.
"Natural Selection" is a wonderful surprise. Scene after scene, it's like you're scooping up another unexpected gem.
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