Starring: Val Kimer,
Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Goldberg, Luis Guzmán, Doug Hutchison,
Anthony LaPaglia, Glenn Plummer, Peter Sarsgaard ,Deborah Unger,
Chandra West and B.D. Wong
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
speaking? The Salton Sea is positively one of the most
clever films made. It's not for everyone. But, film lovers will
love this. As intense as it is thrilling the seedy characters
grab you throw you into your theater seat and demand your
are escorted by Danny (Val Kilmer) into a dark nasty world of
drugs, betrayal and low-life's. He takes us into places one could
only face if on some sort of mind-altering drug
aka Tom Van Allen is on these drugs. And he's fallen off
life's straight and narrow track into a land filled with of false
friendships and cunning companions of convenience. He finds himself
adrift in a sea of drawn out tweaker festivals and four-day gacker
gatherings. He's hit the bottom. Poor
Danny is addicted to Methamphetamine, the drug's key syllable
being "amp." He's spiraled down into that dark hole
filled with human misfits.
as if the addiction and rancid personal company issues were not
enough, he's also dug himself into a death sentence by becoming
a police informant. At first look Danny boy seems all self-destructive
and a lost cause, but, he's got a mission behind those beautiful
glazed over baby blues.
he had a personal tragedy, back when he still called himself Tom
Van Allen, that was so incomprehensible and mind shattering that
this world is his purgatory. Danny's own personal hell on Earth
that he's chosen for redemption. His way of killing himself without
actually putting a gun right to his head. These pits may also
hold the key to finding the men who took his wife's life. He is
convinced they are somewhere in this world of phony friends
and make believe lives.
as he is, he's still an addict. And to support his addictions
he has mock-befriended a couple of Los Angeles narcotics agents
of the force. He sells them dealers
he's an informant; a
rat. And before he gets a chance to execute his revenge plan on
the killers his police buddies let him know one of the gang members
he helped lock up is getting out.
warned they pretty much know it was him
and there's probably
a hit order on him. Danny's
inner self defense mechanism clicks on and he scurries to save
himself. He's got to make a big score and use his cut on the deal
to skadattle outta Dodge.
sets up a meeting with Poo-Bear (Vincent D'Onofrio) the big time
Meth dealer. Poo-Bear is also a big time psycho that makes legendary
horror star, Leather Face look like a Boston Etiquette School
graduate. Poo-Bear has no nose and a slight anger management
with psychotic tendencies problem. Kinetic anger types are never
good to do business with and they are especially a big old business
partner faux pas when you're trying to cut a large drug deal.
life just keeps getting' better by the minute.
script by Tony Gayton is wonderfully visual and provides an excellent
drawing board for director D.J. Caruso's darkly painted scenes.
Kudos to cinematographer Amir Mokri for really catching the feel
of the downtrodden slum pits these poor souls gather in to blow
their brains away with hazardous happy time drugs.
Kilmer doesn't always pick the best work
this time he has
simply hit gold. Volleying between roles as the clean-cut trumpet
player "Tom" and the spike haired tattooed sleazy Danny,
Val shows, or rather reminds us, he's one helluva actor.
He's also one handsome dude. I'd give him fifty bucks to walk
around in Jim Morrison pants, shirtless, with a boa around his
neck while I sketched him in Lite-Brite pegs anytime
D' Onofrio costars in a role that just may out-creep his Cell
role! How could Salton Sea's Poo-Bear character possibly
top that you beg? The shear reality of the madman he plays. What's
worse than a redneck drug dealer from the desert? A redneck drug
dealer from the desert that shoots his own product - which happens
to be Meth! Poo-Bear's
hobbies include "reenacting" the assassination of JFK
with pigeons that are sadistically strapped in a remote control
car. Vinnie D'Onofrio is (as always) a pure cinematic delight.
was nice to see manlyberry yumtini Peter Sarsgaard in a strong
role as Danny/Tom's only real friend. Keep your eye out for this
guy-and remember he doesn't really have a mullet girls. Purr.
cast is sprinkled with faces and talents you'll instantly recognize.
I will let you discover them when you find this film. Enjoy!
recommendation: Scrambled eggs and brain