Lucky (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is one weird-ass independent no-budget movie.

On the surface, it seems to be about this: a cartoon writer with writers' block is degenerating into an alcoholic hermit. One night, on a beer run, he runs over a dog. Since he is a lonely man, is perpetually drunk, and is riddled with guilt, he brings the dog home, hoping to nurse him to health. The dog is dead, but that doesn't stop the guy from keeping him around as a pet for a few weeks.

Finally, he decides to bury the dog, but it comes back from the dead, and starts to haunt him, gradually controlling him completely, dictating his every thought. The dog is a bloodthirsty little fella, and has soon turned the writer into a serial torturer and murderer. That's the bad news. The good news is that the dog is a much better writer than the man ever was, so his writers' block is soon cured, and the quality of his work takes a quantum leap upward.

Of course, as you may have guessed, the film may not really be about this. It may just be about a lonely, failed, insane writer who imagined all the events in the film, or it may include some real events embellished by his insane imagination. Frankly, I'm not sure what happened and what didn't. Some things were obviously imaginary, others not. 

It doesn't matter how you interpret it, because it's actually a fairly entertaining little black comedy. The lead actor, who is on screen virtually every minute, is quite competent, kind of a cross between Kevin Spacey and ol' Tony Soprano in the general category of soft-looking, soft-spoken guys who may be gentle for a while, then snap into violence, or who may just be completely loony. The writer is Stephen Sustaric, who has worked on some of the best comedy shows of the past 30 years, including cartoons. (Yipes! Is it autobiographical? Does he also have bodies buried in his back yard? Does he want to?).

Although production values are not lush, to say the least, it seems that one good writer and one good actor in a virtual soliloquy can produce a strangely engaging film, and this one has a really black sense of humor. I laughed out loud at some of the discussions between the writer and his (presumably imaginary) torture victims, and at the absurdity of some of the women he dated before he simply decided to get into that whole kidnap and torture thing.

A solid genre offering, at least for you guys who like something far from the beaten path. Unfortunately, the DVD quality is poor, with motion blur throughout.


Piper Cochrane showed her breasts in a lengthy scene, clearly, and in excellent light.

Maureen Davis showed her breasts very briefly, and partially obscured.

The Critics Vote ...

  • The only review online, film threat, called it 4/5. The reviewer did a very thorough job, and the review is well worth reading.

DVD info from Amazon

  • not a very good transfer

  • but there is a full-length commentary!

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.2/10. The relatively high score doesn't surprise me. It's a sleeper, for lovers of the outré.

Miscellaneous ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. A really fucked-up movie, but an amazingly good offbeat genre film, which accomplished quite a bit with a zero budget.

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