Where They Put the Human Waste (by raegan_butcher)
Pay no attention to these other reviews; the people who wrote them don't know what they're talking about: In 1996 I was convicted of armed robbery and sent to prison in Washington state for eight years of which I did seven and I'm here to tell you that ANIMAL FACTORY is the real deal; I was a lot like the character played by Edward Furlong and I was lucky enough to meet men like the character played by Wilem Dafoe, guys who didn't want to rape me, guys who didn't want to kill me, guys who acted decently amidst all of the indecency.Since my release from prison in 2003 I am <more>
invariably asked the two big questions when it comes to incarceration in this country: A did I get raped? and B is prison really like you see on OZ? Well, luckily, I didn't get raped and I've never seen OZ but anyone who wants to see what prison is like should get a gander at ANIMAL FACTORY. The entire film drips with authenticity. Within 2 minutes I felt that old queasy feeling in my stomach--exactly as if I were back there myself, all over again.For those of you out there who might think there is still a bit of rebellious glamour left in going to prison, watch ANIMAL FACTORY and take it from me: being locked up is not cool and its not fun and it is not something that anyone should aspire to.
Sometimes disturbing and always interesting, this film really comes through in the entertainment department. What really carries the show, besides the excellent direction of Steve Buscemi, are the great performances by all of the actors involved. Willam DeFoe is brilliant as usual, what a tremendous actor. He plays the mentor to a very young and naive inmate, played by Edward Furlong. DeFoe's character seeks to protect Furlong as he enters the jungle of prison life, something that nobody bothered to do for him when he was a young convict. The two actors work very well together, but it is <more>
DeFoe that carries the movie. Danny Trejo and Seymour Cassell are very good in their roles as well. Realistic and unique, this is an eye opening look at life behind prison walls. It is not the cartoon that was "Oz," it is all too real.
prison movies have never been my thing. i only watched this one because a friend rented it. i have to say i really loved it. the movie was so great!! Dafoe and Furlong were awesome! everyone should see this movie. i give it a well deserved 10!
Not your average prison movie (by scoobz_93)
Baby faced 21 year old Ron lands in jail on drugs charges. A few weeks into his time he approaches a prison veteran of 18 years named Earl. For some reason Ron brings out parental instincts in Earl and they become inseparable. This isn't your average prison movie. Don't go into this expecting a lot of bloody fights or riots because that's fair from what you'll get. You'll get a few guys trying to unsuccessfully rape Ron thanks to the interference of earl. And maybe even a shower stabbing or two. But what you'll get is a story of friendship and understanding. Although I <more>
wish certain parts of the film where explored a lot more like learning about earls past I feel like it's a solid, well thought out and executed script with great characters, shout out to JAN Ron's cell mate.For me it's a 9/10
An excellent and underrated prison drama (by Woodyanders)
Naive young first-time felon Ron Decker a fine and credible performance by Edward Furlong gets sent to a rough penitentiary to serve a two year sentence. While incarcerated Ron meets and gets taken under the protective wing of cagey top con Earl Copen superbly played with conviction and subtlety by Willem Dafoe . Director Steve Buscemi, working from a gripping and hard-hitting script by John Steppling and Edward Bunker the latter not only adapts his novel, but also appears in a small part as venerable felon Buzzard , astutely nails the drab workaday reality of life in prison: strained <more>
racial relationships, sudden outbursts of brutal violence said violence is handled with admirable taste and restraint , the horrific possibility of anal rape, the widespread availability of hard drugs, the struggle to retain one's humanity in a place where savagery reigns supreme, and the general tedium one experiences while sweating it out behind bars. Moreover, Buscemi warrants additional praise for emphasizing stark realism over cheap sentiment and lurid sensationalism -- the father/son bond that develops between Earl and Ron is genuinely touching without ever becoming too corny or sappy -- and utilizing a convincingly straightforward no-frills style throughout. Kudos are also in order for the sterling acting from a uniformly bang-up cast: Dafoe and Furlong both do ace work in their roles, with commendable support from Danny Trejo, Mark Boone Junior, and Chris Bauer as members of Earl's gang; Mickey Rourke, who's very funny as Ron's flamboyant transvestite cell mate Jan the Actress, Seymour Cassel as amiable chief guard Lt. Seeman, and, in a truly surprising turn, Tom Arnold as foul, vicious, and predatory chickenhawk Buck Rowan. John Lurie's spare bluesy score and Phil Parmet's plain cinematography further enhance the overall gritty plausibility. An absolute powerhouse.
Another one of those fantastic prison dramas. no spoilers (by thir13enthghost)
I loved this film, the acting was excellent, the story was excellent, the whole thing was brilliant! I want to see it again and again.Loved it!Although, like most of the films based in American prisons, it has a the same sort of story as similar films. This however, does not change how good this film is, my eyes were glued to the TV from start to finish.Absolutely fantastic, 2 thumbs up!
Watchable, but ludicrous (by RJC-4)
Buscemi's prison flick is oddly upbeat and shallow for the writer-director of the much better "Trees Lounge." We have a young drug war convict thrown to the wolves, but where is he thrown? This is prison as a place where, if he slinks off whenever trouble starts, a con can avoid most of the worst and shoot up with his pals regularly -- sometimes, courtesy of a kindly prison official! It's the joint as a center of homosexual rape, unless you happen to be doe-eyed, red-lipped 21-year old Edward Furlong, in which case you'll receive all the chaste fatherly ministrations of <more>
the skinhead hardass who happens to run your block and desires not your ass but the preservation of your dignity an intellectual too, he'll even take an interest in your reading, steering you clear of an author who is a known "police state bitch" . These Speilbergian dimensions sit uneasily, to say the least, with the movie's cultivation of a hard edge and undermine what might have been a more honest, less sentimental view of survival.Verité aside, this wish-fulfillment stuff is watchable for Willem Defoe's determined attempt to wrench more depth from his character than the script can provide. We never find out why such a feared badass is suddenly so caring, and what we witness isn't enough to go on to supply our own convincing answer. Then there is the complete lack of chemistry between the principals; Edward Furlong's rather bland, disaffected character hardly seems compelling enough to risk Defoe's rep or life over. We're hammered thematically with the message that caring means vulnerability, but even teen love stories can tell us that. What's more critical to this context, yet never addressed, is: why bother?Then there's the real crime. At this moment in U.S. history our prisons are run by private companies who profit blithely from the violence boiling within; outside these pens, the drug war consumes billions of dollars in a fruitless quest. Although it is his premise, Buscemi has nothing to say about this; nothing. In fact, he has less than nothing to say, since his film's impossible sentimentality mocks the reality of the real-life Furlongs thrown daily to real-life wolves.Yes, it's all beautifully art directed, the cellblocks washed out in harsh institutional light. Mickey Rourke's minor role as a drag queen is weirdly moving, and Tom Arnold's brief appearance as a sexual psychopath has some punch. The soundtrack by John Lurie is edgy and interesting. Just don't come looking for any narrative sense, believable motivation, or much social awareness.
Although the DVD cover draws attention to another great prison movie The ShawShank Redemtion , 'Animal Factory' is actually closer in style and content the equally good 'Midnight Express'. Without revealing the plot, Edward Furlong finds himself in deep trouble and is sent to prison for what emerges to be longer than his crime should permit. Here he meets and is befriended by Willem Defoe's character, the prison gang leader of sorts. Furlong, young, alone and vulnerable finds himself taken under the wing of Defoe, which amongst other benefits's, offers him some <more>
security against buggery. All the acting is first class, and the direction is snappy enough to keep the viewer entertained until the films climax. Keep a look out for Mickey Rourke's fantastic cameo, had he been given more screen time he would have stolen the show. A must see.
Probably the first prison movie I have seen that in no way glorifies prison life. This movie makes it very clear that prison is a dark place and the only people that dwell their are losers not winners forget the rap music and OZ . There is no good and bad in this prison just those who will make it and those who won't.The movie follows Edward Furlong; a young drug dealer who is small, skinny and is eyed by every inmate but one Willem Defoe as an easy target for rape. I genuinely feared for him and I still shudder to this day over the thought of entering an American prison. However the <more>
film does get slow towards the end and it loses its atmosphere once your safe in the knowledge that Edward Furlongs character is well protected by his new friends.It has to be said though, Mickey Rourke stole the show as a drag queen. One of his best performances. A must see.