review for Guncrazy on AllMovie

Guncrazy (1992)
by Fred Beldin review

As Drew Barrymore was transitioning from troubled child star to mainstream starlet, there were plenty of exploitative roles along the way that threatened to typecast her as a big-screen bad girl, but this effective low-key thriller isn't one of them. Guncrazy is surely titillating enough, but never sleazy, and Barrymore brings Anita to life, obviously understanding her misunderstood character. She's daft but sincere throughout, and she and co-star James LeGros manage to remain sympathetic even when they're shooting cops and burying teenage corpses. There are still chilling moments, however; Barrymore freezes the blood when she whispers, "Just think about Jesus," to a doomed young hoodlum. Nothing is retained from Guncrazy's 1949 namesake aside for the leads' obsession with firearms, but both films are low-budget potboilers that outshine their small ambitions with energy and personality. Director Tamra Davis assembled a great cast of cult actors as support for Barrymore and LeGros, all of whom take their one-dimensional characters as far as possible. Joe Dallesandro doesn't have much time to be anything more than sleazy, but Billy Drago is unforgettable as a snake-handling car mechanic and part-time preacher, playing the part with just the right combination of huckster con artist and hardcore Holy Roller.