Were you blown away the first time you watched RESERVIOR DOGS? Was the ultimate film of the 1990's PULP FICTION? Seen KILL BILL five times already? Well, if you're a believer in the Quentin Tarantino school of film, then you'll go absolutely wild for the rush of AMPHETAMINE.
In the decaying city of Middle America, drug lord Davis prepares to "make a deal with the devil" - his rival Malkira. Two buddies, Ray and Key, are hit men for Davis, and discuss the quality of life of an assassin as they dismember their latest victim. Afterwards, they meet fellow killers Jarrod and Mitch for some grub and the four bitch about life while drinking brew and cleaning the chainsaw. Jarrod has a plan; the four will double-cross Davis and make off with a million dollars in coke and cash. He has an entire ten-step program worked out to cover them and cause a gang war between Davis and Malkira, letting them get away scott free with the booty. Ray is skeptical, but as tempers flare, Jarrod's girl Kate arrives and Ray takes the opportunity to jet. Meanwhile, Malkira meets his lady Morgan and tells her his pending deal with Davis is "temporary." That night, the 'Four Stooges' go clubbing, drinking heavily and being 'guys.' When Ray returns to his place, there's a message on his machine - he owes somebody a lot of bread, and if he doesn't pay up, he's toast. Ray calls Jarrod and tells him he's in on the plan. What follows is a week of plotting, kidnapping, infidelity, double crosses and more drinking. And when the deal finally goes down, our boys discover that, as the song says, nothing ever goes as planned.
AMPHETAMINE is a film that certainly lives up to its title. The viewer is plunged straight away into the seedy world of Ray and the boys and is swept along as their carefully mapped out plans go awry. Made by a small group in St. Louis (check out the closing credits), AMPHEATMINE is very well produced and extremely well acted. The dialogue is natural and the performances are not 'stagy' or forced. There are some seriously funny scenes, as well as very intense sequences. The script finds the right balance between the two to keep the story always moving and interesting - you keep wondering what's next. The editing is also quite professional, with quick cuts and musical montages that add to the general frantic atmosphere of the film. The picture quality is somewhat uneven; some of the inserts look like they were shot on lower quality video and dropped into the film, because tone and color sometimes don't quite match. The overall quality is good. There are a few scenes with soft focus and lighting issues, but that's the exception, not the rule. Sound is pretty good as well, except there is some tape hiss evident throughout the movie. Fortunately, this doesn't interfere with the dialogue or music, although the audio mix buries the actor's voices in some scenes. The audio synch is very well done however, considering there were scenes with live music and crowds. The music, mostly rockabilly and blues, was well chosen as it adds to the gritty atmosphere of the picture.
AMPHETAMINE may be a low budget picture, but it has high quality impact. The cast and crew draw the viewer into the seedy world of guns, drugs and money and don't let go. Tarantino without the pretension, AMPHETAMINE is a high-octane, down and dirty modern film noir that reaffirms even the best-laid plans can go to Hell in a moment. Catch the rush of AMPHETAMINE - it's worth the ride.
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