Doom Generation [1995]

Director: Gregg Araki
Stars: James Duval, Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, Cress Williams, Skinny Puppy
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rating: NC-17
Runtime: 83 minutes

Superior to both Kids and Natural Born Killers, Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation is a snarling satire that has the emotional range to prompt rage, fear, laughter, and grief in a viewer. Three L.A.-based, almost-twentysomethings--an incredibly foul-mouthed Valley Girl (Rose McGowan), her puppyish boyfriend (James Duval), and a sexy bad boy (Johnathon Schaech)--take to the road after a series of comic collisions with skinheads and gun-toting convenience-store clerks. While secret lawmen and voyeuristic TV cameras follow their movements, the fugitives gradually warm up to a three-way sexual relationship that wraps them in a profound, renewing innocence--an innocence then stolen by a wrathful America. Araki skewers the usual villains: the media, homophobes, gun nuts, Gen-X stereotypes. But there is so much more at stake here than meets the eye, an extraordinary anger and fear about predatory intolerance and purposelessness about the young. The DVD release includes the original theatrical trailer and production notes. --Tom Keogh

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