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Poster for Cult 101: Freeway (1996)
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Cult 101: Freeway (1996)

Opens on July 14

Director: Matthew Bright Run Time: 102 min. Rating: R Release Year: 1996

Starring: Amanda Plummer, Dan Hedaya, Kiefer Sutherland, Reese Witherspoon, Wolfgang Bodison

Country: United States
Language: English

Presented as part of the 2023 edition of Cult 101.

About the film:

In this modern take on Little Red Riding Hood, Kiefer Sutherland plays the not subtly named Bob Wolverton, a serial killer who meets his match in Vanessa, played by Reese Witherspoon in one of her most underrated roles.

“Rude in the way the truth is rude — only funnier. The movie seduces with its humor, all the while presenting a realized vision of a harsh, absurd world.”

—Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Vanessa is a fifteen year old on her way to her grandmother’s after her parents are both arrested. Bob picks her up hitchhiking, gains her trust and then reveals himself – but Vanessa is sharp and quick, shooting him and leaving him for dead. Trouble is, he doesn’t die. Instead, she finds herself on trial. Can this bad behaving juvenile delinquent win against a well-respected school counselor? You better believe she won’t go down without a fight!

Freeway (1996) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. For her performance, Witherspoon won Best Actress at the 1997 Sitges – Catalonian International Film Festival.

About the filmmaker:

Matthew Bright is an American film director, writer, producer, and actor. He was an original member of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, a theatrical band founded by Danny Elfman and his brother Richard Elfman in late 1972. With other members of the group, the trio made their first feature film, the absurdist musical fantasy comedy film Forbidden Zone (1982) based on their stage performances. Among other projects, Bright wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed drama Guncrazy (1992) and wrote and directed feature films Freeway (1996) and Ted Bundy (2002). His controversial final feature Tiptoes (2003) was based on a script the director wrote at age 18.

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