Crave Review – Bizarrely Interesting In Moderation

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“Crave,” from Another Green World Productions and Phase4Films, presents a psychotic thriller, a pulp fiction fantasy ride into the mean crime filled streets of Detroit, deviling deep into the actions that arise from suppressed addictions.

“Crave” stars Josh Lawson, Emma Lung, Edward Furlong and Ron Perlman and is directed by Charles de Lauzirika. “Crave” was written by Robert Lawton and de lauirika.

“Crave” opens at a crime scene, a brutal bloody, graphic murder in the streets of Detroit with voice over from a crime scene photographer, which is how we meet our dysfunctional crime scene addict Aiden played by Josh Lawson.

Aiden is a man on the edge, drawn to grisly crime scenes, as it is his work, and as with most photographers he is a bit voyeuristic.  Aiden doesn’t leave the work at the proverbial office as the images, of sprawled, gory, mutilated, murdered, innocent stolen lives lay splattered in random patterns pasted on the walls of his home, creating a gothic homage to death and dying.

The pictures propelled his imaginations into deeper wanderings. He, a non-confrontational, non-violent, mild mannered photographer, who captures crime through the lens and wants to be a superhero, a modern day Robin Hood, Detroit, his Sherwood Forest, the young punks that believe they own the streets now very easily subdued as Aiden is newly knighted hero is the purveyor of justice ending the reign of street violence.

We also meet Pete played by Ron Perlman a familiar face that draws the viewer into his world as “Crave” opens. A tough homicide cop hardened by years on the Detroit police force. Rarely does a crime scene throw him; He has seen it all, ex-junkie murders, every kind of brutality, murder, violence, that one can imagine.

Pete and Aiden are men of addictions: Recovering alcoholics that now both substitute other vices for the bottle.

We meet Virginia, played by Emma Lung, a 20 something performance artist that lives for the moment in the elevator as she an Aiden meet and like a injection of cocaine go for the instant gratification, unadulterated, zero to sixty in six seconds, immediately satisfying a primal urge.

Her addiction is also easy to spot as she looking for right now and Aiden, her neighbor, is looking for Ms. Right, someone who will rescue him from his life, and stop the voices in his mind, and hopefully someone who will change the gruesome wall paper.

“Crave” is bizarre. This, in reality, says the talent did their job. They created characters that portrayed behaviors that were strange, peculiar, out of the ordinary, and off the wall odd and the work translated. The talent did very well. Each of the actors became the characters. You murmur, Aiden you are seriously in need of mental help. And to Virginia, the performance artist wanting to see how low you can go before life really kicks in and futures have to be decided is so over. And money does matter.

I didn’t see “Crave” as a passion crime film; although it could be; it is more on the restrained psychotic level.

There are scenes where Aiden is tortured by sexual fantasies and rage moving into brutal “Pulp Fiction” style murders that are played out on screen leaving the viewer to pause before the character breaks the fourth wall with affirmation of denial of reality.

“Crave” is not the master manipulation game.  “Crave” can be reduced to a single word: Addiction. Either the characters all seem to be in recovery for or substituting predilections, vices, habits and even full blown addictions, from sugar overload to poor choices in men to alcohol, the ponies, and sex addictions.

This is not a family friendly film. There are many scenes of varying degrees of violence, blood, drug use and sexual scenes along with dialogue that can be offensive.

A winner of three festival awards “Crave” took the Jury prize in the Fant-Asia Film Festival. “Crave” won Best Editing and Best Title Sequence from the Toronto After Dark Film festival.

“Crave” opens Friday, December 6 in select cities and on VOD. Check your local listings.


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