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Doom Generation, The (1995, Jonathan Schaech, Rose McGowan)Doom Generation, The (1995, Jonathan Schaech, Rose McGowan)

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Doom Generation, The (1995, Jonathan Schaech, Rose McGowan)

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Praised by Variety as ‘a stunning film with superlative production values,’ this hallucinogenic, blood-splattered, comic road movie charts the intense relationship between a trio of hopelessly alienated teenagers to produce what the Financial Times called ‘an authentic glimpse of America as garish nightmare.’

Having picked up enigmatic drifter, Xavier Red (Jonathon Schaech), 17-year-old speed princess Amy Blue (Rose McGowan) and her bulimic boyfriend Jordan White (James Duval) are forced to embark on a bizarre road trip after their new friend inadvertently blows the head off a QuickieMart shop assistant.

Chased into the moral wasteland of America by the FBI and a clutch of news crews (à la Natural Born Killers), Red, White, and Blue are doomed to fuel their escape with junk food, gruesome violence and sweaty motel ménages à trois until their flight is literally cut short by homophobic neo-Nazis armed with a pair of garden shears.

With The Living End (1992) and Totally F***ed Up (1994), guerrilla film-maker Araki cemented his status as a hero of cinema’s Queer New Wave. And despite The Doom Generation (second in Araki’s ‘Teenage Apocalypse’ trilogy that includes Totally… and 1997’s Nowhere) being heralded in the opening credits as ‘A heterosexual movie by Gregg Araki’, this is, as Village Voice noted, ‘as queer as anything in the director’s oeuvre.’

Lingering on the budding relationship between Xavier and Jordan, the film is, as Variety mentioned, ‘overripe with homo-erotic overtones.’ It’s also heavily flavoured with a kitsch aesthetic and an exaggerated absurdity of violence (an arm is tossed from the trio’s car like a cigarette butt; the aforementioned severed head carries on talking as it flies through the air). Indeed, as Sight and Sound commented: ‘Much of the comedy comes from the sheer hyperbolic zest with which (Araki) tackles the material.’

production details
USA | 80 minutes | 1995

Director and Writer: Gregg Araki

cast
Margaret Cho as Clerk’s Wife
Nicky Katt as Carnoburger Cashier
Cress Williams as Peanut
Rose McGowan as Amy Blue
James Duval as Jordan White
Johnathon Schaech as Xavier Red
Dustin Nguyen as Quickiemart Clerk
Christopher Knight as TV Anchorman
Perry Farrell as Stop ‘n’ Go Clerk
Parker Posey as Brandi
Salvator Xuereb as Biker
Heidi Fleiss as Liquorstore Clerk
Lauren Tewes as TV Anchorwoman
Amanda Bearse as Barmaid

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