Pariah (1998 film)
|Directed by||Randolph Kret|
|Written by||Randolph Kret|
|Music by||Scott Grusin|
|Edited by||Bill DeRonde|
|Distributed by||Indican Pictures|
The gang-rape by a group of neo-Nazis of an African American woman, Sam (Elexa Williams), triggers her suicide. Her caucasian boyfriend Steve (Damon Jones) finds the legal system lacking, plots revenge, and decides to infiltrate the gang. As a member he gains insight into the factors behind the neo-Nazi movement, but he is eventually confronted with the choice of committing a murder to prove his loyalty or reveal his cover.
- Damon Jones as Steve
- Dave Oren Ward as Crew
- Davidlee Willson (as David Lee Wilson) as David Lee
- Aimee Chaffin as Sissy
- Angela Jones as Angela
- Anna Padgett as Lex
- Dan Weene as Joey
- Ann Russo (as Ann Zupa) as Babe
- Brandon Slater as Doughboy
- Jason Posey as Kevin
- Chris Jarecki as Tall Guy
- Terence Washington as Mario
- Orlando Estrada as Aaron
- Robert Hargett as Rob
- Tyrone Young as Ty
- Elexa Williams as Sam
- Tupelo Jereme as Rachel
- Ray Wadsworth as Bobby
- Kelly McCreary as Steve's Sister
- Joe Wood as Crew's Dad / Special Appearance
- Jean Rose as Grandma
- Clint Curtis as The Preacher
- Lynn Odell as David Lee's Mother
- Michael Turner as Ray - Stepfather
- Richard Bernard as Richard / Lavender Mob
- Raymond Kuhar as Ray / Lavender Mob
- Candy Ass as The Drag Queen
- JJ Snyder (as J.J. Snyder) as The Prostitute
- Dan Stanley as The Clerk
- Jane Riese (as Jane Reese) as Sam's Mother
- Tracy House as Tracy
- Bill Stevens as Bill
- Lisa Keller as Girl Assaulted (as Lisa Kellog)
- Catherine Taber (as Cat Tabor) as Her Friend
- Josef Snyder as Jewish Beating Victim
- Jay Giankabutuka (as J. Matthew Morton) as Party Victim
- Dylan Wood as Dylan
- Nils Erickson as Red Car Salesman
Randolph Kret wrote and directed the film which is based on an incident from the life of a friend. For most of the cast, this film was their only acting credit. The Scott Grusin score includes songs by anti-racist hardcore bands Minor Threat, Social Unrest, and the Wives, with additional music by Anthony St. Sinclair.
Reception and review
Roger Ebert wrote that "Godard said that one way to criticize a movie is to make another movie. Pariah, a raw and unblinking look at the skinhead subculture, is a movie I'd like to show to those admirers of Fight Club who have assured me of their movie's greatness." Ebert gave the film three out of four stars. The Los Angeles Times called the film "a volatile, edgy picture of strong visceral impact."TV Guide called it a "well-meaning but ridiculous revenge drama". Bill Gibron of DVD Talk rated it 3/5 stars and wrote that while the film is realistic, it may not entertain viewers. In a negative review, Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice wrote, "Kret clearly has his heart in the right place: Hate Is Bad. If only being right were all you needed." On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 47% from seventeen reviews.
The reviewer on the website Aboutfilm.com said the following about the actors, "Pariah's finest asset is its steadfast realism. It helps that small budgets and low production values always seem to connote authenticity, but the credit must go to the performers. All of them look and sound so much like real people that you won't believe there's an actor among them. Wilson, having honed his skill in playing rapists in Leaving Las Vegas, brings a psychotic intensity to the role of David Lee, who is so hateful that even the other skinheads don't like him. The supporting players are all solid." The review highlighted one performer, David Oren Ward, stating, "[He] is frighteningly effective as Crew, the most charismatic–sort of–member of the gang, and thus its informal leader."
New York Times reviewer A. O. Scott commented that the theme of an "ordinary, tolerant white person going undercover into a world of extreme race-hatred" was a promising one and adds that the movie opens with a voiceover of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warning that "racism is a sickness unto death". He compares Pariah to the 1988 Constantin Costa-Gravas film Betrayed starring Debra Winger and Tom Berenger which had a similar plot. He also wrote, "Racist extremism is a problem. We need movies that address it. Chances are you already agree with these propositions. All Pariah succeeds in doing is screaming them at you, at maximum volume, over and over and over."
- "Pariah (1998)". AboutFilm.com. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Pariah at the Internet Movie Database
- Pariah at Rotten Tomatoes
- Scott, A. O. (February 18, 2000). "Pariah (1998) FILM REVIEW; Entering The Ranks Of Racists". The New York Times.
- The Chicago-Sun Times
- The Los Angeles Times
- "Pariah". TV Guide. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- Gibron, Bill (May 21, 2008). "Pariah". DVD Talk. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
- Atkinson, Michael (February 15, 2000). "Skin Flick". The Village Voice. Retrieved December 28, 2014.