Alex Cox's 1984 punk comedy is set in a rotting Los Angeles, where a disaffected adolescent (Emilio Estevez) finds an outlet for his aggression and an answer to his boredom in an apprenticeship with a professional car repossessor (Harry Dean Stanton). Cox's style is a step beyond camp into a comedy of pure disgust; much of the film is churlishly unpleasant, but there's a core of genuine anger that gives the project an emotional validation lacking in the flabby American comedies of the early 80s. The narration seems deliberately crude and jerky, as if the nihilism of the tale had infected its telling, and there's an unfortunate late turn into science fiction spoofiness. But Stanton, strange and wonderful, bridges it all with his uncrackable conviction. With Tracey Walter.
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