Skin Flick


“Look who it is—Mr. Jigaboo!” is one of the first spittings from the mouth of David Lee (David Lee Wilson), an L.A. skinhead hitting the ceiling over his mother’s black boyfriend, and in no time flat you get a clear idea of how broadly painted and platitudinous Randolph Kret’s Pariah is. Kret opens the riot hose of neo-Nazi clichés; five minutes don’t go by without a beating, perpetrated either by the chrome-domes or upon them by the movie’s four black characters or a retaliatory posse of bat-wielding queers. The story is unoriginal and static—an interracial couple gets assaulted, and after the girl’s suicide, her boyfriend shaves his head and infiltrates the group with mayhem on his mind, flipping his Iron Cross-emblazoned lighter like an extra in Grease. The actors labor, but the dialogue sits like wads of old gum in their mouths: “I hate fags,” says one of the girlfriends casually. “They gave my brother AIDS.” During a rape, the punks even get to hum “The Ride of the Valkyries.” And the inclusion of a retarded skinhead is as inappropriate as the lifts from A Clockwork Orange. Kret clearly has his heart in the right place: Hate Is Bad. If only being right were all you needed.

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