Sonny Boy

1989

Action / Drama / Thriller

2
IMDb Rating 5.6 10 584

Synopsis


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1hr 36 min
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English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by shawnblackman 5 / 10

Bizarre

This was a bizarre film, is one way of putting it. A con artist, played by Brad Dourif, kills a couple then steals their car taking it to his friend who deals in stolen items. The car ends up having a baby in the back of which the man wants to get rid of but his wife played by David Carradine (who wears make-up and several dresses throughout) wants to keep the baby. If that's not weird enough they keep him in a box and on his sixth birthday the man cuts the boys tongue off! He calls it getting the gift of silence. The depravity doesn't end there. As he grows up he is dragged behind cars and just constantly abused. The father wants to groom him to be his secret weapon. He later takes his son (now a man) to kill people he needs killed.

Definitely a weird and dark film. You hear a cobbled version of the deliverance theme so as not to infringe on copyrights all the way through the film. The ending gets dull but entertaining until then.

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 7 / 10

Has "cult movie" written all over it.

"Sonny Boy" is not for the faint of heart, or the easily offended. It's a mind blowing, shocking, trashy melodrama that the cast performs for everything that they're worth. It may not be to very many tastes, but this twisted, darkly comic allegory is striking enough and compelling enough to make it a memorably weird viewing. Yet it does manage the feat of being somewhat poignant, even in the face of its depravity.

In 1970 New Mexico, a young couple is murdered, their car stolen, and baby unknowingly abducted - by quirky lowlife Weasel (who else but the great Brad Dourif). Weasel takes the prize(s) back to his boss, small time crime kingpin Slue (Paul L. Smith of "Popeye" and "Pieces"). Slue lives with a "wife", Pearl (David Carradine, who plays the role in full drag) who takes an instant shine to the kid. Slue wants nothing to do with a child until he realizes that he now has innocent life that he can corrupt as he sees fit, and turn into a feral attack dog. The much abused "Sonny Boy" (Michael Boston) makes his presence known to the outside world, eventually, leading to predictable circumstances.

"Sonny Boy" will turn some viewers off and intrigue others. At least it does seem to have the courage of its convictions. While on the one hand it depicts a pretty sleazy little world, it's decently shot in widescreen by Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli and vividly designed by Mario Molli. The music by Carlo Maria Cordio is nice, and there's a similarly appealing, wistful ditty composed and sung by Carradine called "Maybe It Ain't".

Carradine is truly something to see as the desert moll. Smith, who didn't want to do the movie but changed his tune when he saw who else had been signed up, is typically amusing as the loathsome father figure. Dourif and his "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" co-star Sydney Lassick are reunited as they cheerfully play their slimy parts. Conrad Janis is solid as a drunken doctor teased by his fellow citizens. And Alexandra Powers is appealing as Rose, the young lady who is moved by Sonny Boy and tries to reach out to him.

Worth a look see for the more adventurous among B movie enthusiasts.

Seven out of 10.

Reviewed by wes-connors 4 / 10

Bad Parenting Can Lead to Trouble in Life

It's 1970 in a small New Mexico town. Dressed for the 1980s, a young couple checks into a motel room and squirrelly Brad Dourif (as Weasel) steals their reddish orange Lincoln Continental and some other stuff. He brings the booty to aggressive Paul L. Smith (as Slue) and his transvestite lover David Carradine (as Pearl). They don't like the black-and-white TV much, but discover a baby in the back seat of the car. After beating up the delivery man, Mr. Smith decides to feed the baby to his hogs. Threatening to leave him if he does, Ms. Carradine wants to keep the baby. They raise him as a son, but cut out his tongue as a precaution against too much crying, whining and backtalk. The kid grows up to be handsome Michael Griffin aka Michael Boston (as Sonny Boy)...

Mainly, the story involves Mr. Griffin's problems adjusting. Given his upbringing, it's not surprising Griffin has issues. We get skylines, ceilings and lingering close-ups from director Robert Martin Carroll and his crew. One of Mr. Carroll's more interesting and effective segments has Griffin symbolically accepting Jesus Christ, "the blood of a good man," as his savior. Shortly after this, he starts acting like a doggie chimp. The dog-play is short-lived and the story proceeds as if no religious meaning was intended. Occasional narration and old TV movie-type soundtrack does not enlighten. The characters are memorable, but they don't tell us anything we don't already know. With time taking away this film's power to shock, there isn't much left.

**** Sonny Boy (3/22/89) Robert Martin Carroll ~ Michael Boston, Paul L. Smith, David Carradine, Brad Dourif

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