This film follows the trend of recent drug movies by using the camera-work to visually imitate the perception of the drug-addled mind. Most famously accomplished in Requiem for a Dream, the director (Jonas Åkerlund) here is able to capture the frenetic and often frenzied perception of the tweaker. This can be a bit unsettling for the sober viewer, but that is likely the intended effect. Of course, making a slice of film mimic a speedy perception isn't too much of a stetch for a music video director.
While this may have not been the most stellar viewing experience, or even the best drug movie out there, it contained a number of semi-unique entertainment factors.
The cast in this movie, while not allstar, was notable for the assembly of memorable actors you see in other movies and character roles. The juxtaposition of the memory of those characters along side their current "spun" out roles is very cool.
Remember William (Patrick Fugit), the main character from Almost Famous? OK, now mesh that wholesome innocent boy character with a dirty whitetrash tweaker kid that is so spun that he hallucinates on a regular basis. And yes, he does get shot in the balls by the end of the movie.
And then there's the main character from Rushmore (Jason Schwartzman), who also provides a lead of sorts in this movie. Personally, I think he does a great job of giving the audience that semi-normal character that is an invitation for them to identify with the movie. Of course, he does also chain his naked girlfriend to the bed while he goes on a drug run for a few hours, so I guess "normal" is relative, as always.
Brittany Murphy and John Leguizamo round out the cast, but they provide no such juxtaposition. Such offbeat roles are these actor's bread and butter.
Quickly and succinctly, the story starts off with Ross attempting to score some shit from a local dealer, Spider Mike. When Spider Mike is too twisted to remember where he left is shit, Ross is compelled to follow fellow drugee Nikki to her boyfriend/dealer's pad. What follows is three days of mayhem while Ross drives around the Cook (Mickey Rourke) to help him accomplish his necessary duties as a methamphetamine dealer. If that sounds boring, rest assured that there is plenty or drugs, sex, and rock and roll along the way.
All in all I wouldn't critically hail this as the movie of the year, but I did find it entertaining, mostly perhaps because of my twisted sense of humor. I mean, c'mon, stoners and tweakers are battling it out for the title of 'easiest stereotype to laugh at.' While you may be a stoner or a tweaker, movies like this portray such characters as so over the top that you can't help but externalize their plight, rendering most forms of empathy non-existent. Hilarity ensues.
I've included the trivia section from IMDB for pure entertainment value. If you wish to read about the cast, director, etc., head on over to the source.
- 'Spun' was originally intended to be a documentary, entitled 'The Cook', about Methamphetamine cooks (makers of the drug), and its dealers and abusers. Instead, the project became a screenplay based on three days in the life of 'Spun' creator/writer/co-producer, Will De Los Santos, as he drove a Methamphetamine cook around Eugene, Oregon for three days in the Winter of 1995.
- 'Spun' Producer Danny Vinik's arm is used in the scene where John Leguizamo's character 'Spider Mike', shoots-up Methamphetamine.
- First, pop-superstar Madonna, then legendary porn-star Ginger Lynn Allen were originally cast as "The Neighbor", ultimately played by Deborah Harry. Madonna backed-out because of scheduling conflicts with her 2001 North American tour. Ginger Lynn, then was cast as "The Neighbor", but for unknown reasons was finally replaced by Deborah Harry.
- The Spun script is based on interviews with several admitted methamphetamine addicts from Eugene Oregon, including some tales by co-writer Will Hilbert, a.k.a. Will Santos, who was born in Fontana, California, not Hawaii.
- On the outside of Spider Mikes house the words Phantom Planet can be read, in spray paint. This is Jason Swartzman's band. Also in one scene in the car with the cook, a Phantom Planet song is being played on the radio.
- One of the characters is watching a video by Norwegian black metal band Satyricon. The song is called "Mother North". The group agreed to Jonas Åkerlund using the video under the terms, that he directed their next video clip "Fuel for Hatred". He fulfilled that deal, when shooting the video in 2003.
- The wrestling video playing in Mickey Rourke's room is the Insane Clown Posse's Juggalo Championshit Wrestling (JCW).
- The doctor who says, "That's gotta hurt," to Frisbee after he is shot is played by Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumnpkins fame, who also wrote some of the songs for the movie.
- The initials "D.H." painted on the house are for co-producer David Hillary.
- Director Cameo: Jonas Åkerlund Hippie bumming a quarter at the bus station.