Special Classic IFFR KINO

IFFR KINO #40: Red Rock West (1993)

Hoezo in KINO

Next up in season 7 of IFFR KINO is Red Rock West (1993): an American neo-noir thriller film from the 90s, directed by John Dahl and starring Nicolas Cage. This April will see the release of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, a film in which Nicolas Cage plays an actor named Nicolas Cage… fans will know what they’re up for. As for us, that means the time is right to dig up a gem from the actor’s massive – and still rapidly expanding – filmography, a film that initially went somewhat unnoticed. No distributor wanted to touch it, and the film couldn’t get confirmed for IFFR 1993 until after the catalogue had already been printed.


John Dahl
Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Lara Flynn Boyle, J. T. Walsh
thriller, misdaad
98 minuten


We won’t tell you anything about the over-the-top plot, not in the least because it is so deliciously fun and inimitable. The viewer will find particular joy in how John Dahl’s directorial debut toys with noir and western cliches, that at times will remind one of work by David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, or Quentin Tarantino – all the more amusing for its being a little more superficial and self-satisfied. Cage uses his young Elvis-esque charm in his portrayal of the (sort of) honest drifter who arrives in a dusty town in Wyoming, Red Rock West – only to be mistaken for the hitman hired by bar owner J.T. Walsh to kill his beautiful young wife (Lara Flynn Boyle). But that, of course, is Dennis Hopper, who arrives moments later. Sorry, we did tell you something about the plot here after all… the first ten minutes that is.