Little Boy Blue

on May 29, 1998 by Cathy Thompson-Georges
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   Ugh. An apparent attempt to out-nasty "Blue Velvet" and "Seven" combined, but without a tenth of those movies' style and artistry, "Little Boy Blue" is a grueling experience. John Savage does his best Dennis Hopper imitation as a sicko Vietnam vet (writer Michael Boston seems to take it for granted that participation in that war is sufficient to explain any amount of aberration) who terrorizes his whinily compliant bottle-blond wife (Nastassja Kinski) and three sons. Things just go downhill from there, into a stew of murder, kidnapping, forced incest and other fun family activities.
   Incredibly, none of these over-the-top goings-on are played for lurid laughs. Everyone proceeds as though "Little Boy Blue" were a television movie soberly exposing some social evil; apparently, director Antonio Tibaldi believes that those crazy Americans are up to all kinds of ill behavior in their double-wide trailers. A sensitive performance by Ryan Phillippe as the oldest son is utterly wasted.    Starring John Savage and Nastassja Kinski. Directed by Antonio Tibaldi. Written by Michael Boston. Produced by Amedeo Ursini. A Castle Hill release. Suspense. Rated R for some strong sexuality, violence and language. Running time: 107 min.
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