Edward Furlong’s squinting sullen eyes flicker like a barely lit candle struggling harder to go out than to stay lit in director/actor Steve Buscemi’s ("Fargo") screen adaptation of ex-convict Edward Bunker’s prison novel "Animal Factory." Furlong plays Ron Decker, a 25 year-old inmate facing 10 years in a Pennsylvania State penitentiary for selling pot. The movie is a brutal indictment of an American judicial/prison system that incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world - thanks mainly to increasingly stiff drug legislature. "Animal Factory" shows in unflinching scenes of stabbings, race riots, drug use, attempted rape, and constantly boiling chaotic violence, how hardened criminals are formed by incessant molding inside American penitentiaries. "Animal Factory" is a directorial victory for Steve Buscemi (writer/director on "Trees Lounge"), whose visionary cinematic touch is felt in every stark frame of the movie.
Rated R. 95 mins. (A) (Five Stars)