Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jonas Åkerlund|
|Produced by||Chris Hanley
Timothy Wayne Peternel
|Screenplay by||William De Los Santos
|Music by||Billy Corgan|
|Edited by||Jonas Åkerlund|
Silver Nitrate Films
|Distributed by||Newmarket Capital Group|
Spun is a 2002 American crime dark comedy-drama directed by Jonas Åkerlund from an original screenplay by William De Los Santos and Creighton Vero, based on 3 days of De Los Santos' life in the Eugene, Oregon drug subculture and stars Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Mena Suvari, Patrick Fugit, Peter Stormare, Alexis Arquette, Deborah Harry, Eric Roberts, Chloe Hunter, Nicholas Gonzalez, Brittany Murphy and Mickey Rourke.
It is Åkerlund's debut as a feature film director, having already become known for his work in music videos. The film was shot in 22 days, and centers on various people involved in a methamphetamine drug ring. The film blends elements of dark comedy and drama in its storytelling. Its title is a reference to the slang term for the way users feel after going multiple days without sleep while on a methamphetamine binge. The characters take a combined total of 23 "hits" during the course of the movie.
Ross (Jason Schwartzman) is a customer of Spider Mike (John Leguizamo), a methamphetamine dealer. Spider Mike and his girlfriend Cookie (Mena Suvari) are constantly arguing, and Ross strikes up a friendship with Nikki (Brittany Murphy), a fellow addict. Nikki takes Ross to meet her boyfriend, "The Cook" (Mickey Rourke), who supplies Spider Mike with drugs from a meth lab he has set up in a motel room. The Cook gives a small amount of meth to Ross in exchange for bringing Nikki home, and says that he will get in touch with Ross if he needs a driver.
Back at his apartment, Ross gets messages from his mother and his former girlfriend, Amy, wishing him a happy birthday; Amy is also demanding that he pay back $450 that he owes her. Ross, assuming she still loves him, calls her and leaves a message. He then goes to the local strip club while high, leading to an intense pornographic hallucination. He takes one of the dancers, April (Chloe Hunter), home and has sex with her in a variety of positions, the last of which leaves her tied to the bed naked. As they finish, the Cook calls with an emergency regarding Nikki's dog. April tells him to untie her but Ross, still high, duct-tapes April's eyes and mouth shut to keep her quiet and leaves without releasing her, playing music to cover her gagged screams. While Ross and Nikki take the dog to the veterinarian, policemen and a TV crew raid the trailer where Frisbee (Patrick Fugit), another one of Spider Mike's customers, lives, falsely believing that a meth lab is located there. They take Frisbee and his overweight mother into custody, where they threaten him into cooperation in a drug bust.
The same day, Ross and the Cook stop by a local gas station to pick up a case of ephedrine pills and a soda. Next they go to a liquor store to purchase beer; here the Cook beats up a customer for disrespecting the two female clerks. They then visit an adult film store, where the Cook preaches about the values of pornography in America. Ross calls Amy's house again, but to no avail. He then calls to check on April saying he's coming soon hanging up as she squeals and struggles. He drops the Cook off at his place and rushes home to April, who is still gagged and tied naked to the bed. He untapes her but when she starts to scream, he quickly regags her to keep his neighbor from finding her. In the Cook's motel room, he and Nikki have a fight after a prostitute arrives in response to the Cook's call. Nikki ends their relationship, and calls Ross (who is making out with the bound and gagged April) and asks him to take her to a bus station so she can go back to Las Vegas. Ross regags and leaves April (after she asks to be untied) again, who is still tied to the bed, and still naked. She is subsequently rescued by Ross's lesbian neighbor (Deborah Harry), who beats up the same liquor store customer when he disrespects the clerks again.
While Ross and Nikki are out, Frisbee is coerced by the cops to wear a wire and buy some meth from Spider Mike so they can arrest him. When he enters, Cookie attempts to make love to him, her revenge on Spider Mike for his use of a phone sex line. She finds the wire, and the cops rush in to make the drug bust. Spider Mike, furious at Frisbee's betrayal, shoots him in the testicles, and Spider Mike and Cookie are arrested. Meanwhile, the Cook's meth lab catches fire and destroys the motel room. He takes off to the adult film store, where he is arrested after the owner (Rob Halford) calls the police. Once the Cook makes bail, he calls Ross asking for a ride to another dealer's house in the city after he drops Nikki off at the station. Ross learns of everyone else's arrests, and agrees to drive him there, as well as visit Amy, who also lives in the city.
The dealer (Eric Roberts) provides the Cook with cash, some meth, and the equipment to start a new lab. Ross calls Amy again, and leaves a message asking to see her and that he has her money with him. The Cook promises six months' worth of meth to Ross in exchange for being his chauffeur; he agrees on the condition that he can see Amy first. Amy, who has gotten her life together and found work in the city, leaves him in the park after seeing that he is still using drugs. He gives her $100 of the money he owes her, and leaves with the Cook. Finally, after several days of nonstop activity fueled by drug use, the main characters all go to sleep except for the Cook. As Ross naps in his car, the Cook starts up a new lab in an old trailer, but blows it and himself up in the process.
- Jason Schwartzman as Ross
- John Leguizamo as Spider Mike
- Mena Suvari as Cookie
- Patrick Fugit as Frisbee
- Peter Stormare as Mullet Cop
- Alexis Arquette as Moustache Cop
- Deborah Harry as The "Neighbor"
- Eric Roberts as The Man
- Chloe Hunter as April Love
- Nicholas Gonzalez as Angel
- Brittany Murphy as Nikki
- Mickey Rourke as The Cook
- Charlotte Ayanna as Amy
- Larry Drake as Dr. K
- Billy Corgan as the doctor examining Frisbee's injury
- China Chow as the prostitute ordered by the Cook
- Rob Halford as the clerk in the sex shop
- Tony Kaye as the announcer in the strip-bar
- Ron Jeremy as the bartender
- Josh Peck as Fat Boy
The film received mixed reactions, with some analysts remarking that the film added nothing new to the genre of drug movies. Time Out London was particularly harsh, accusing the film of "smug amoralism", and claiming that Åkerlund simply re-uses other people's ideas and techniques.
Roger Ebert was more sympathetic in his review, where he described the film as having "effortless wickedness". His main appraisal is the fact that the film in no way attempts to romanticise any of the characters. He does, however, explicitly mention the similarities between this and the earlier Requiem for a Dream. This comparison may not have been lost on the filmmakers. The title on a pornographic tape purchased by a character reads "Rectum for a Dream", and the scenes which show consumption of the drug also show its constricting effect on the pupils in fast cutscenes.
The original music for Spun was written by Billy Corgan. The soundtrack to the film features songs by artists such as Iron Maiden and UFO (performed by The Djali Zwan), Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Blues Traveler, Bathory (for whom Åkerlund played drums for early on), Richie Havens, Phantom Planet (with which Jason Schwartzman played drums at the time), Per Gessle (male half of Roxette), Paola, and Satyricon, whose video for the song "Mother North" appears in the movie.
- "Jonas Akerlund's Spun - Filmmaker Magazine - Summer 2001". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-14.
- "Spun film review". Retrieved 2007-03-27.
- "Spun Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
- Official website, which automatically launches the film's IMDb page
- Spun at the Internet Movie Database
- Spun at AllMovie
- Spun at Box Office Mojo
- Spun at Rotten Tomatoes
- Metroactive Movie Review
- Film Freak Movie Review