New York Times - 10/20/2000
"...As a director Steve Buscemi inspires actors to do some of their most finely shaded work....Willem Dafoe steals the picture with his comic timing..."
Box Office - 04/01/2000
"...Furlong and Dafoe work well together, and they are joined by a strong and, in some cases, surprising supporting cast....It is this cast that lends integrity to such sensitive material..."
Los Angeles Times - 11/10/2000
"...Buscemi's ANIMAL FACTORY is distinguished from top to bottom with actors as intensely committed as he is....Maintained throughout is an almost eerie atmosphere of tension barely contained by stoicism, even a kind of grace..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/02/2003
"...Buscemi displays a pinpoint humanity, reminiscent of Jonathan Demme, that lays bare the inner turmoil of everyone on screen..."
Total Film - 08/01/2003
"...Gripping....Buscemi honours Bunker's tale by lensing with an assured, unfussy touch..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2003
"...Buscemi's bravely ambitious film scores high on integrity and earnest complexity....ANIMAL FACTORY is a film of memorable moments..."
For his second film as a director, actor Steve Buscemi (TREES LOUNGE) brings ex-convict Edward Bunker's poignant jail drama to the screen. Trapped with a long-term prison sentence in a Pennsylvania state penitentiary, 21-year-old Ron Decker (Edward Furlong) feels like a terrified fish-out-of-water. His cellmate, Jan the Actress (an impressively unrecognizable Mickey Rourke), is a cross-dresser who won't stop talking. Enter Earl Copen (Willem Dafoe), an aging convict who has been in prison so long that he runs the show. Earl takes Ron under his wing, and a strange and intense relationship develops between them. However, the relationship offers Ron the protection he needs and gives Earl the feeling that he is a father figure. After Ron's appeal is denied, ensuring his place in the penitentiary for five more years, Earl thinks up a dangerous plan of escape that will either set them free or cost them their lives in the process. Buscemi's drama successfully balances the brutality of prison life with the touching, intimate relationship between Ron and Earl, providing ANIMAL FACTORY with a sensitivity that most prison films rarely contain. The movie features an atmospheric score by actor-musician John Lurie.
Cable Original |
CABLE ORIGINAL: JULY 30, 2000 (CINEMAX)
RELEASES THEATRICALLY: OCTOBER 13, 2000 (NY & LA)
Filmed on location in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Edward Bunker, who wrote the novel that inspired the screenplay, is himself an ex-convict. He has appeared over fifteen motion pictures, including Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS (as "Mr. Blue").
After traveling the festival circuit, the film first aired on Cinemax July 30th before garnering its limited theatrical release in the fall of 2000.