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Since my release from prison in 2003 I am 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?
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.
Being an ex-convict myself I thought it was fairly well written. Prison is rarely what you see on film my friend. Yes it can be brutal and that was displayed in this film fairly realistically however for a long time convict doing time IS MOST DEFINATELY A GAME.
A game of survival of the mind and body. William Dafoe's little gang was pretty well depicted. The mockery made here of other prison films is simply because unlike this one, most are a joke.
As for amazons editorial stating that the convict is obviously attracted to the youngster and that "sexual tension" runs throughout the movie, that writer clearly didn't pay any attention to the movie and I'd bet a dollar perhaps didn't watch it at all.
My bottom line,
Film was pretty damn realistic, very well written and acted. The characters were good to know and unlike most ridiculous prison movies which focus only on the violent side, this one actually shows people for who they were.
Well worth the time to watch. Enjoy
Steve Buscemi is best known as an actor, thanks in no small part to him being a staple in Quentin Tarantino films, but you know the old line-- everyone in Hollywood wants to direct. Buscemi has actually done his share of it, but the movies that result tend to be minor affairs that get little distribution outside the arthouse scene. That's kind of depressing, especially when it comes to a movie like Animal Factory, with a wealth of acting talent and a script to back it up.
Ron Decker (American History X's Edward Furlong) gets busted for selling dope, and under the strict new laws, is sent to prison for five years on a felony rap. Once in the joint, Decker gets to know Earl Copen (Willem Dafoe), a lifer who is, as Morgan Freeman's character calls himself in The Shawshank Redemption, "the guy who knows how to get things." Decker and Copen form an odd, complex relationship that's viewed by those outside the prison walls with some alarm.
Furlong, Dafoe, and Danny Trejo, who plays Dafoe's best friend, are only the tip of the acting iceberg in this movie; a host of other fine actors have parts ranging from supporting to bit, including Buscemi himself, Mickey Rourke, John Heard, Tom Arnold, Larry Fessenden, Seymour Cassel, and a host of others; were there not so much focus on Furlong and Dafoe, this would have easily been billable as an ensemble-cast movie, and to an extent it plays like that anyway; there's too much of a main story here for a straight ensemble film, though. (Rourke, especially, is notable here, in his best performance since Angel Heart.) Either way you look at it, this is a strong movie chock full of good performances; the subject matter, and the rather jaundiced way of looking at it, may make some squeamish, but the caliber of the performances here should be enough to overcome that. Animal Factory is a good'un. You want to see it. ****
Every actor, including Edward Bunker himself, did a fine job with Steve Buscemi as both actor and director. However, the revelation here is Mickey Rourke playing a transexual inmate. His portrayal of toughness and sadness, female in a very male body was absolutely superb. His voice, his mannerisms all were totally authentic. His scenes alone made this movie worth watching. As someone who has worked with convicts, addicts, and transexuals for many years I was astounded at the accuracy of the movie and of Rourke's portrayal in particular.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If this movie can hold your attention for longer than 15 minutes you may want to consider how you choose to waste timePublished 16 months ago by Liberty
Good movie overall. Dafoe, as always, is stunning and real with his character. It was a movie I would watch again.Published 16 months ago by Andrew Albertson
one of the best prison films ever made. brilliant acting, tense, taut down to the very end.Published 18 months ago by edgarallencrow
arrived well and in good shape won't be able to view for a while thoughPublished 18 months ago by Judy Neal
This movie is exceptional! I don't think it lasted more than days in the theatre, but it is a must see. Read morePublished 18 months ago by chris p