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Speedway Junky (2002)

Jesse Bradford , Jordan Brower , Nickolas Perry  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jesse Bradford, Jordan Brower, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Daryl Hannah, Tiffani Thiessen
  • Directors: Nickolas Perry
  • Writers: Nickolas Perry
  • Producers: Chris Smith, Effie Brown, George Furla, Gus Van Sant, Jeff Rice
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 11, 2002
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000065U4B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,476 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Speedway Junky" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This compelling portrait of Las Vegas subculture stars Jesse Bradford (Bring It On, Clockstoppers) as Johnny, a teenager who aspires to be a racecar driver but gets stuck hustling on the Vegas strip. Speedway Junky centers around Johnny's friendship with Eric (Jordon Brower, Texas Rangers), a gay hustler who's in love with Johnny, even though he knows Johnny is straight. But the movie also captures snapshots of various fringe dwellers and people whose lives seem to be hitting a dead end, deftly drawn portraits that mix hope and despair in equal measures. The well-written script and strong performances from an eclectic cast--including appearances by Daryl Hannah, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, all of whom are excellent--make Speedway Junky more than a voyeuristic walk through the Vegas gutter. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Every dream has its price... From Executive Producer Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester) comes another compelling story of a teenage dreamer. Johnny (Jesse Bradford, Clockstoppers) has run away from home to pursue his fantasy to race cars--but he runs into trouble and out of money in Las Vegas. Gay street hustler Eric (Jordan Brower, Teen Angel) befriends Johnny and introduces him to his gang, including brash Steven (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Home Improvement) and charming Wilma (Tiffani Thiessen, Beverly Hills 90210). Johnny also meets Eric's surrogate mom Veronica (Daryl Hannah, Splash). As the two boys become close, they are confronted with a life-threatening situation involving drugs, money, and betrayal, and Johnny must decide if he has what it takes to follow his dream.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling if imperfect character study June 18, 2002
By A Customer
This film provides an interesting combination of "name" actors in an independent venture telling an off-beat story of friendship and love. Jesse Bradford (Johnny), Jordan Brower (Eric), and Darryl Hannah (Veronica) give strong performances, while Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Steve) delivers a good performance that is perhaps just a bit too studied to be completely believable.
This is JTT's second film dealing with a gay theme (he was previously in Showtime's "Common Ground", playing a gay high-school athlete.) It is certainly enjoyable to see him again playing against type -- in this case taking a hit off a hash pipe and brandishing a cigarette while tossing around the f-word -- but for me there was something missing in his portrait of a streetwise bisexual hustler. Since his character Steve is a supporting player rather than a lead, whatever weaknesses lurk in JTT's work don't affect the overall quality of the film too much. I still like it enough to award it 4 stars. There is much sincerity and craft here.
Indeed, this movie is for the most part excellent. Brower has the most opportunity to show his range as an actor and he takes good advantage of it. His character Eric is gay and in love with the straight Johnny played by Jesse Bradford. Eric knows that his attraction to Johnny is doomed to remain one-sided, and Brower communicates Eric's emotional turmoil about this very effectively. This is especially true in a crucial scene where he finally expresses his feelings to Johnny.
My one quibble is with some clunkiness in the script. There are convenient coincidences that jolt the viewer with their unlikelihood, as when an older man is driving Johnny around town and Johnny finally figures out what the man is after.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Viva Lost Vegas February 4, 2005
Some have said this movie isn't "real" enough . . . but it needn't be. What it is, is a film with a lot of heart and if one approaches it as a fable, you'll find it works. It's a heartbreaker of a movie with strong, committed performances by everyone involved. Dreams of NASCAR collide with male prostitution, shattered dreams and street life in Vegas for a gripping, sometimes unsettling, beautiful little movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING PERFORMANCE FOR SUCH A YOUNG CAST... April 10, 2003
In a word...WOW! Speedway Junkie is quite possibly one of the best movies I have ever viewed. As an avid movie buff, I watch movies from many different perspectives. I look for movies that entertain, educate, cover a broad scale of emotions and leave me wanting more from the performance. Rarely do I see a movie that does all of this...Speedway Junkie does!
Covering the topic of young hustlers in Las Vegas, Speedway Junkie focuses on the emotional toll this type of lifestyle has on its young victims versus that actual work they are doing. Mixed in is the usual cast of supporting characters that live this life and the newcomer struggling to fit in. Additionally, you have the older veteran who has given up the life and shares past wisdom as they struggle to move on. With a dynamic young cast, Speedway Junkie shines as one of Director, Gus Van Sant's films.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas delivers a strong performance that makes it nearly impossible to remember the "Home Improvement" days. His role is so different from that of the middle child, that it is almost hard to believe it's the same person.
Daryl Hannah also delivers a strong performance as a strung out dancer (Veronica) who is serving in a maternal role for her friends widowed child. She is believable and displays a wide range of emotion in her role.
Jesse Bradford's role as the naive newcomer is the glue that holds the plot together. His portrayal of the innocent "Johnny" truly grabs you from the beginning and makes you want to see him succeed in his mission of getting to N.C.
The star of the film is Jordan Brower in the role of "Eric". By the conclusion of the film, I was so emotionally bought into his character that I actually felt he was someone I needed to help.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch it with the director's commentary "on" October 2, 2004
I've never recommended a DVD solely for the director's commentary before, but I'm doing just that with Nickolas Perry's "Speedway Junky" (1999). The film itself is a totally predictable, sanitized view of Las Vegas street hustlers that contains two very good performances (one by someone you'd never expect), one terrible performance by a badly miscast former child star and a dual ending that is both misguided and, in the case of the tacked-on "happy" ending, insulting to the audience's intelligence. In all, "Speedway Junky" is a definite mixed bag; however, the DVD version is redeemed by an excellent director's commentary in which writer/director Perry provides an honest critique of his own work and gives an invaluable lesson on the process of making an independent film in today's Hollywood.

Jesse Bradford, who as a child gave one of 1992's best performances in Steven Soderberg's forgotten gem "King of the Hill," stars as Johnny, a teenage drifter who is hitchhiking from Los Angeles to Daytona Beach to join the Nascar circuit as a pit crew worker. To fund his journey, he takes a detour to Las Vegas, hoping to parlay his meager assets into enough money to complete his trip and then live on until he finds work. Unfortunately, within minutes of his arrival in town, he loses his money and all his possessions. His circumstances look bleak until he catches the eye of Eric (Jordan Brower), a gay teenage street hustler who falls in love with him at first sight and takes him in. Eric also initiates him into his seedy world and extended family, including his adopted "mother," an ex-showgirl and junky wonderfully played by Daryl Hannah, and various friends and "associates," including a shady fellow hustler named Steven (Jonathan Taylor Thomas).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars rated a 5
I rate this movie a 5. It is axactly what I have heard abouyt it. I would recommend it to anyone.
Published 18 months ago by T.H
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome movie
best gay movie with our love johnathon taylor thomas about being gay however not every one in the gay community is a whore or all about money
Published on April 9, 2012 by James D. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Love always has a price
I very much enjoyed "Speedway Junkie" Being a Jessie Bradford fan already it was cool to see him in this gritty realistic drama. Read more
Published on August 11, 2009 by Dayna Newman
3.0 out of 5 stars if u get this 4 jtt...DONT
Published on July 5, 2009 by Brian Anderson
3.0 out of 5 stars why
this is what you think it is not you have a movie that just makes you want to shut it off every five seconds
Published on July 7, 2007 by Jonathan W. Lafleur
5.0 out of 5 stars A street-smart love story with a hot edge
"Speedway Junky" is a street-smart love story with a gritty, queer edge.

Executive Producer Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Tarnation, Good

Will Hunting,... Read more
Published on November 17, 2005 by queer movie lover
2.0 out of 5 stars Misses it's mark by a longshot.......
This movie is not that good. There are plenty of reviews that describe perfectly where this movie fails and where it succeeds. Read more
Published on October 25, 2005 by Boggman!
5.0 out of 5 stars Objective/Non-Objective
This Movie took me by suprise actually. Even if it may be hard to believe the speed of progression of the events in the Movie, it does overshadow the less observed emotional... Read more
Published on March 10, 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Cliche and depressing
So this movie really has little going for it unless you count the features of the male leads. Seriously, most of the situtations and plot points are totally cliche and the ending... Read more
Published on October 29, 2003 by S. Berman
3.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Being a big fan of Jonathan,I was kind of dissapointed to see so little of him in this movie. But it was cool seeing him as "a not so nice guy" Probably helps being gay when you... Read more
Published on September 25, 2003
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