This World, Then the Fireworks

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This World, Then the Fireworks ★★½ 1997 (R)

Long on style but short on substance, overwrought neonoir tells the tragic tale of traumatized twins living a totally debauched life. After seeing their father murdered in a romantic triangle, which left their mother (McClanahan) with physical and emotional scars, brother Marty (Zane) and sister Carol (Gershon) cling to each other as they grow up and engage in an implied incestuous relationship. The duo winds up grifters, murdering and pillaging their way through a small coastal town in the 1950s. Lee plays a messed-up cop who, tragically, becomes an easy mark for Marty. Based on a 1955 short story by Jim Thompson, director Oblowitz's debut gets too caught up in the excesses of pulp and focuses on slick visuals and dramatic score over a coherent story. Well-cast-performances are universally solid and engaging. 100m/C VHS . Billy Zane, Gina Gershon, Sheryl Lee, Rue McClanahan, Seymour Cassel, Will Patton, Richard Edson, William Hootkins; D: Michael Oblowitz; W: Larry Gross; C: Tom Priestley; M: Pete Rugolo.