Spun Review

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When his regular runs out of supplies, crystal methedrine addict Ross agrees to run chores for drug producer The Cook, starting a three-day binge that brings him closer to The Cook’s exhibitionist girlfriend, Cookie. And, er, that’s it…


Jonas Åkerlund's video for The Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up - a violent, hallucinatory first-person account of a coke-snorting lesbian's night on the town - should prepare you for his feature debut.

Shot in a whirlwind 22 days and featuring a record-breaking 5,345 edits, Spun aspires to be little more than a delirious drug comedy, revelling in its bleak, gutter humour and offering some of the strangest casting-against-type ever seen.

Admittedly, it takes some time to acclimatise to this foul and fetid place, but once you realise Åkerlund's deadpan agenda, it's easy to see past all the obvious button-pushing and enjoy this scattershot, scabrous film as a rancid custard pie in the face of good taste.

Inevitably, the youngest are most out of place, with the beetle-browed Schwartzman making an unlikely lead amid the degeneracy. This is Drugstore Cowboy without the chiselled features or the heroin chic, and so we find American Beauty's Mena Suvari looking feral and wasted, sitting constipated

on the toilet while her boyfriend (John Leguizamo) jacks off to a hard-core porn magazine in a locked bedroom.

The elder statesmen, however, fare much, much better. As The Cook, Mickey Rourke is the embodiment of counterculture cool, whether baking up narcotics in the kitchen sink or, more uproariously, pontificating on sex in a hard-core video store. And if you think that's enough cult kudos, Åkerlund rams home a double-whammy with an unforgettable cameo from a frighteningly coiffeured Eric Roberts

as a camp Mr. Big.

The ear-splitting score can be grinding at times, and a dubious subplot in which a stripper is repeatedly bound and gagged is alarming at best, but then Spun has something to offend everyone - perhaps its most endearing quality and its raison d'être, too.

Yes, it's offensive, stupid and loud, but its cartoonish, macabre wit should be evident to anyone with a brain in the first ten minutes. Whether it's funny or not, though, is another matter entirely. Approach with extreme caution - and/or rubber gloves.

Leave your conscience at the door and this amoral romp soon segues into a veritable <b>Star Wars</b> of political incorrectness.