Wonderland

2003

Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

9
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 34% · 100 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 65% · 10K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.5/10 10 23587 23.6K

Director

Top cast

Michael Pitt as Gopher
Kate Bosworth as Dawn Schiller
Val Kilmer as John Holmes
Christina Applegate as Susan Launius
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
959.83 MB
1280*714
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 3
1.93 GB
1920*1072
English 5.1
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 44 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by cecil_idi 8 / 10

Kilmer proves he's bigger than most

Val Kilmer... Love or loath him, sometimes he gets under the skin of a character and pulls out a performance that makes you go 'Hey! This guy is a GREAT actor!' He did in the leather pants of Jim in The Doors and he's done it again in the leather underpants of John.

Revolving around the fall and fall of uber porn king John Holmes, Kilmer strutts to his knees as we unravel one of the biggest murder mysteries hollywood has never solved for over twenty years, with Holmes the key suspect to a brutal Manson-style slaughter.

What Kilmer does so effortlessly is exhude the low-life of the celebrity, the do anything to anyone craving that overwhelms anyone who had it and then lost it. Go see him, you'll know what I mean.

Reviewed by Lechuguilla 7 / 10

The Sultans Of Sleaze

A hard film to judge owing to its complexity, "Wonderland" tells the real-life story of the 1981 Wonderland murders in Los Angeles, which involved two sets of sleaze peddlers, linked by legendary porn star John Holmes (Val Kilmer). The film can be frustrating because the script is a mess. The story's chronology constantly jumps back and forth in time. And, although Holmes is a major character, other characters are just as important, but they are poorly identified, early on.

Even so, for viewers interested specifically in this case, the story is riveting. You have a two bedroom, split level condo, called Wonderland, that functions both as a party house and as a base of operations for illegal drug distribution. In the early morning hours of July 1, 1981, two or more people quietly invade the condo and, using lead pipes, kill four of the five sleeping occupants. Displayed violence and brutality are unnerving. The bodies are not discovered for twelve hours.

Who were the killers? Was Holmes involved? What was the motive for the murders? These kinds of questions appeal to true crime buffs.

With the exception of Holmes' wife, Sharon (Lisa Kudrow), none of the characters are remotely sympathetic; they're all hooked on drugs, including Holmes. As the plot progresses, we see that a drug-obsessed life can lead to a most horrible death.

The film neatly places the story in the proper cultural context. Cinematography trends dark and a little gimmicky. Sound effects and mixing are effectively sinister. The film's tone is quite sleazy. Most scenes are suitable only for adults. Pace alternates between slow and frenetic in the first half, but settles into a pleasant pace in the second. Acting runs the gamut from poor to good.

The main weakness of the film is its script, especially a convoluted plot structure. Yet to be fair, the real-life case was quite complex, which is not the fault of the screenwriters. Some casual viewers will find the film unappealing. But despite the film's problems, I liked "Wonderland" because of its gripping, true-life premise, and because of its cultural setting and built-in mystery.

Reviewed by NateWatchesCoolMovies 7 / 10

A cesspool of a film, expertly made though

I've always thought of this as the Oliver Stone Movie that the man never made. It has the sordid, excessive sleaziness of U Turn, and the studious inquisition into true crime and intriguing Americana that he showed us in JFK. Both films explore the violence and ugliness that peppers American history in different ways, the brash and the academic which often exist in opposite poles colliding in Wonderland, a wholeheartedly nasty account of a stomach churning multiple murder involving one of the most infamous porn stars who ever lived, John Holmes (Val Kilmer). I don't know what the real Holmes was like (besides tell rumours of his anaconda cock), but the version we see here is a sniveling, unrepentant scumbag who is very hard to empathize with unless you flip the nihilism switch on in your brain and lose yourself in it. The film follows his association with a group of fellow undesirables, interested only in furthering their own drug habits by any means necessary, legal or otherwise. John is late in bis career and on the cusp of being a washout, his underage girlfriend (Kate Bosworth) pretty much the only friend he has in the world. He spends his days getting involved in all kinds of smutty business, along with a crew of fellow junkies led by loose cannon Josh Lucas, grim biker Dylan McDermott and timid Tim Blake Nelson. When they collectively catch wind of the wealth of one of John's acquaintances, a dangerous club owning mobster (Eric Bogosian in full psycho mode), the dollar signs swirl in their already dilated pupils. After an ill advised robbery, Bogosian reacts with all the wrath of the Israeli mafia, fuelled by his personal vendetta, brutally slaughtering each and every one of John's gang, letting him live as a branded snitch. The film is based on notoriously grisly crime scene photos which can be seen online, laying speculation on Holmes's part in the killings, and spinning a sinfully chaotic, noisy web of pulpy hijinks surrounding the case. The film is told from two different perspectives, a fractured narrative laid down by Kilmer and McDermott in respective and very different summaries of the event. Ted Levine and Franky G. play the two detectives who take it all in and work the case, and the excellent M.C. Gainey plays a veteran ex cop who they bring simply because he's the only familiar face which skittish Holmes will open up to. This is an ugly, nasty film and I won't pretend it doesn't get very gratuitous both in dialogue and action. It goes the extra mile of obscenity and then some in its efforts to make us squirm, but every time I pondered the necessity of such sustained atrocities, I reminded myself that in real life there's even more of such stuff, and the film is just trying to hit the themes of decay home hard, albeit with a sledgehammer, not a whiffle ball bat in this case. Kilmer is fidgety brilliance as Holmes, a severely damaged dude who hangs onto the last strand of our sympathy by the wounded dog whine in his voice alone. The only time I felt anything for the dude is when he visits his estranged ex wife (a flat out fantastic Lisa Kudrow, cast against type and nailing it) and we see flickers of a dignity in him that's long since been consumed by darkness. One of his best roles for sure. Watch for further work from Michael Pitt, Louis Lombardi, Janeane Garofalo, Scoot Mcnairy, Christina Applegate, Faizon Love, Chris Ellis, Paris Hilton and Natasha Gregson Warner too. This one is like Boogie Nights, Rashomon and Natural Born Killers tossed in together on spin dry. It's a wicked concoction, but you'll need to bring a strong stomach and the foreknowledge that you're going to be spending two hours with some of the most deplorable human beings this planet has to offer. The silver lining is you get to see it all play out in killer style, smoky and evocative 1970's cinematography and dedicated thespians branding each scene with their own lunacy. Tough to swallow, but great stuff.

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