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Southland Tales (2006)

2:29 | Trailer
During a three day heat wave just before a huge 4th of July celebration, an action star stricken with amnesia meets up with a porn star who is developing her own reality TV project, and a policeman who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.


Richard Kelly


Richard Kelly
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos Amezcua Carlos Amezcua ... Himself
Curtis Armstrong ... Dr. Soberin Exx
Robert Benz Robert Benz ... Tab Taverner
Todd Berger ... Bing Zinneman
Joe Campana ... Brandt Huntington
Chris Andrew Ciulla ... UPU 4 Officer 3 (as Chris Ciulla)
Rebekah Del Rio ... Vanessa Vera Cruz
Aaron Dillar Aaron Dillar ... Jimmy Hermosa
Nora Dunn ... Cyndi Pinziki
Shari Dunn Shari Dunn ... USI Dent Reporter
Michele Durrett Michele Durrett ... Starla Von Luft
Jon Falcone Jon Falcone ... Soldier Falcon
Leila Feinstein Leila Feinstein ... Herself
Jaret Gardiner Jaret Gardiner ... Shane Laverne
Janeane Garofalo ... General Teena MacArthur


Southland Tales is an ensemble piece set in the futuristic landscape of Los Angeles on July 4, 2008, as it stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental disaster. Boxer Santaros is an action star who's stricken with amnesia. His life intertwines with Krysta Now, an adult film star developing her own reality television project, and Ronald Taverner, a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. Written by TheGuyInThePj's

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Warning: you are entering a domain of chaos. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

DVD site [Japan] | MySpace page


France | Germany | USA



Release Date:

7 December 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A káosz birodalma See more »

Filming Locations:

Hermosa Beach, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$117,000, 18 November 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


At 1:48:52, when Jericho is in the Elevator and swipes and ID card, the screen distorts and flashes to white on blue Alphanumeric characters. During the first flash at the bottom of the screen set apart from the rest of the characters by spaces is the name Priscilla Elliott. In Southland Tales Priscilla Elliott is the Assistant Art Director, later working with the director Richard Kelly once more as Art Director in the movie "The Box". See more »


In the introductory titles, as Pilot Abilene narrates, there is a white map of the United States that implodes towards the screen as he says "Interstate travel visas were required for each state." Right before the map implodes, you can see that the state of Wisconsin is unaligned. See more »


[first lines]
Private Pilot Abilene: [narration] In the aftermath of nuclear attacks in Texas, America found itself on the brink of anarchy.
[overlapping news reports]
Private Pilot Abilene: World War III had begun.
Private Pilot Abilene: The accelerated conflict in the Middle East placed significant restrictions on American access to oil. Alternative fuel sources became a lucrative commodity. Americans were transfixed by the terrorist's threat, and were willing to prevent another attack by any means necessary. Military checkpoints were erected at each State line. ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, a logo appears of a thumbprint over an American flag with the words: "DON'T TOUCH ME" See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally running for 160 minutes, Southland Tales premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2006 to a disastrous reception. Because of this, it was re-edited and shortened in length as part of the distribution deal. Since the shortened version was shown theatrically and released on DVD, the Cannes cut has been shown on Cable TV and DVD releases in Europe. Some of the changes between the theatrical cut and the Cannes cut are as follows:
  • Opens the same as theatrical cut, with home video in Abilene, except with music ('Water Pistol' by Moby) and runs longer. Video is also shown in its original aspect ratio, instead of cropped for 2.35:1.
  • Doomsday Scenario Interface is not present in the original cut, it was added to provide background information present in the graphic novels. Instead we have narration from Pilot Abilene explaining the present situation and Treer Corporation.
  • The meeting between the Baron and Hideo Takehashi takes place much earlier in the film, Pilot explains the Baron dislikes Takehashi.
  • The character of General Teena MacArthur is more fleshed out in original cut, she mainly communicates with General Simon Theory and the Baron.
  • Many scenes with dialog between main characters have been extended i.e. scenes with Boxer & Roland, Krysta & Cyndi, Boxer & Starla, Cyndi & Vaughn Smallhouse etc.
  • Pilot explains that Bart Bookman is an 'angry man' with a willingness to die.
  • Some events that take place are better explained in original cut e.g. Boxer ringing Fortunio before meeting him, Serpentine explaining her actions at the end.
  • Features additional effects of the blimp not in theatrical version.
  • Features music by Moby not present in theatrical version i.e. 'Ceanograph' is heard in scene giving information on the rift, 'Hotel Intro' is heard as characters visit different sections on the blimp.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Dwayne Johnson/Ray LaMontagne (2009) See more »


Boogie Piano
(From the United Artists Motion Picture Kiss Me Deadly (1955))
Written and Performed by Frank De Vol
Courtesy of MGM Music Inc.
Under license from Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Tales that hardly fit in your mind!
24 May 2006 | by HiddenVoiceSee all my reviews

This film has one of the most offbeat ideas I've ever come across.They are so unique in a way that they make Donnie Darko look cheap.But it has the same problems like any other film with outstanding ideas.It lacks a definite focus.

I got a chance to get a look at the film at the Cannes festival where it was premiering to a bunch of critics who pretty much didn't like it.And there's no surprise to that.Although,you have to admire Kelly's attempt on something way out of anyones imagination.The film is given a very different approach and it will go down in history as the most offbeat/outstanding failures.He has it all,a mind blowing story,that we hardly get, watching the film the first time, great characters,excellent writing,sets,music,cinematography and perhaps a decent directing.

Kelly surpasses any one's expectation when you go into details about this film.But he leaves a chilling disappointment when you actually watch the entire film ,which is longer than it needs to be.He misses his audience from the very beginning.It seems like he is lost in a cloud of ideas and never gave a hard thought on how to put them on screen,and most importantly ,how will people interpret those issues he is trying to depict.

The story,I don't know how to put it,is kind of out of my reach.It requires repeated viewing to fully understand the plot,but if you do get it, it could turn out to be a cult classic.The sad thing is that I didn't quite get it.Okay,here goes....The film is set in the year 2008,about the downfall of the American society,the economy,and major environmental disaster which is taking place.The whole world is at the brink of destruction,war ,poverty and all those issues are getting more and more serious,and in between these events, a number of Characters are having problems of their own.A Boxer is an action star who seems to be amnesiac and somehow he meets this porn star Krysta ,who is starting her own reality show.David Clark ,who is a police officer with a secret to a conspiracy within the government.And all their stories intervene and chaos begins and confusion reigns.

Trust me ,I didn't get what was going on the first 30 minutes,then it kind of made sense and I knew what Kelly's intentions were.He was trying his ass out to bring us something new but loses everything and never achieves what he could achieve.

I would say this film had massive expectations from audiences ,me personally.Donnie Darko was a film unlike anything I've seen before and it was unique in a number of ways.Here he tried but fails miserably,and in total embarrassment.Kelly somehow may have been affected by the failure of Domino ,which he wrote.But I have to say, you guys should check this film out.For his first film's sake.I mean there is a lot to watch here,the sets are highly creative and a splendid Cinematography in aid.There are some wonderful comic moments and a number of interesting dramatic and exciting moments,even when ideas were floating all over the film.The films main problem is that it doesn't decide what to do.How to present it's story,it's full of confusion and hardly will there be a positive reaction to Kelly's execution.I really found the film somewhat frustrating at time and also somewhat astonishing.It had its moments but it never tries to be the next big thing.For one thing,the characters were underdeveloped,and I had no idea what Kelly was trying to prove.There are hardly any explanations,but I believe if you watch it several times,there is a great chance that you might actually get it.And then you can call it classic.

Performances are okay.The Rock underplays his part,Gellar is fine as a porn star turned reality TV host.And as usual Sean Willaim Scott ain't funny.And the rest of the cast is quite comme si comme sa!

Overall,a film that should join "I heart Huckabees",or "Life Aquatic" as being different and unique on the surface but from the inside it's all shallow and bland.And yes utterly confusing.An interesting disappointment ,I guess.


Maybe because it was only half complete and everything was jumbled,and mismashed.That's why I didn't get it.Or maybe something else.

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