FREEWAY II: CONFESSIONS OF A TRICKBABY
The fairy-tale in question this time around is Hansel and Gretel. Of course, in Matthew Brights unique outlook, this is a version where Hansel and Gretel are two female escapees from juvenile hall on the run across the Mexican border (who naturally get to engage in a lesbian sex scene); where instead of laying a trail of bread crumbs they lay a trail of crack crystals; and instead of a witch who wants to cook the children, we get an overacting Vincent Gallo as a drag nun who is a cannibal/child molester/snuff-movie maker. Everywhere else, Matthew Bright throws in hilariously trashy effects everything from juvenile armed robbery and cop shooting, to bulimia purging parties, projectile vomiting, clients jerking their lawyers off while waiting for their court session, and teens driving cross-country in a stolen car while under the influence of beer and inhaled paint fumes.
Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby is also a considerably better film than Freeway. Matthew Bright juggles essentially the same elements but coheses them into a much more character-driven story. Natasha Lyonne (who also takes an associate producer role) is good as the bulimic, armed-robbing, crack-dealing lead, but the show is stolen by Maria Celedonio as her schizophrenic, lesbian grrl, serial killer cohort on the road. Celdonios performance is frequently hysterical, especially her frequent come-ons to Lyonne: Can I eat your pussy? Can I shoot you up? Shooting girls up makes me hot.
Matthew Brights uniquely creative spin is, once he has gotten the two girls on the run, to then throw in a shock scene that shows Maria Celedonio riding the corpses of two geriatrics while getting off with a vibrator. The ensuing scene where Natasha Lyonne tries to get Maria Celedonio to calm down and take her medication hits a unique note between being incredibly funny and disturbing. To fully appreciate what Matthew Bright is doing here, you should contrast Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby with any other serial killer movie even the first Freeway. Such a scene with Maria Celedonio riding two corpses would probably be intended as a big shock moment in any other film. However, in Matthew Brights inversion of values, the very next scene becomes the other girls moment of defining responsibility. Rather than a film about the hunt for a serial killer, Freeway II becomes a film about two friends on the run where Natasha Lyonnes plight is how to keep her deranged (but not at all unsympathetic) friends impulses under check. The moral inversions and divides that Matthew Bright creates here are intensely captivating.
This is a superb film. The ending alone is remarkably audacious in its surprise tying together of the various strands throughout the film. Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby is a daring, fiercely original work that heralds the emergence of Matthew Bright as a major new talent.
The same year offered another intriguing variation of the Hansel and Gretel story in Francois Ozons Criminal Lovers (1999).
Matthew Bright next went onto to direct the equally impressive Ted Bundy (2002), a biography of the notorious serial killer. Elsewhere, he has written the scripts for several Richard Elfman films, Forbidden Zone (1982), Shrunken Heads (1994) and Modern Vampires (1998), plus Dark Angel: The Ascent (1994).
Full film available online in several parts beginning here:-