R (violence, sexual material, graphic nudity, pervasive language and drug use); 112 min.
A redneck Pulp Fiction is such a natural idea for a grindhouse movie that its shocking that it took almost 20 years for somebody to come up with Pawn Shop Chronicles.
Its got pick-em-up trucks and huntin bows, meth heads and an Elvis impersonator. Matt Dillon goes nuts hunting whoever kidnapped his wife years before, Paul Walker attempts a Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern drawl and Brendan Fraser puts on an Elvis suit and tries to get a haircut fit for the King.
But stringing all that together is easier said than done. And for sheer ugliness, youd be hard-pressed to top the torture-porn sequence that actor-turned-writer Adam Minarovich and once-promising director Wayne ( The Cooler) Kramer shove in, stopping their violent yahoo comedy dead in its tracks.
Vincent DOnofrio and Chi McBride are resident sages in the General Lee Pawn Shop.
Vernon (Lukas Haas) shows up to pawn his shotgun. But it turns out Vernon and his highly-strung/strung-out pals (Walker and Norman Reedus) need that gun to rob their favorite methamphetamine cook. Newlywed Dillon sees his late wifes custom-made ring in the pawnshop. He ditches his new bride and tears through this village of Greater Irwin to find out who had it and what happened to her.
And then the down-on-his-luck Elvis impersonator (Fraser) tumbles into the towns blood feud over barbershops.
Pawn Shop Chronicles has plenty of random riffs and cameos. Its coherent enough, but entirely too long and unpleasant when it could have been one brutishly edgy hoot after another. Somebody should attempt a smarter take on this idea, because this version isnt worth getting out of hock.
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Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service