Slapdash but strangely likeable low-budgeter "Stryker" must at least be the first gangbangers-and-trannies movie to be set in the northern Canuck town of Winnipeg, a burg not hitherto widely known for its urban violence or genderbending. Out-there Canadian helmer Noam Gonick's follow-up to "Hey, Happy!" may be a tough sell even to camp-friendly gay auds, but Native Americans may get a kick out of seeing fellow citizens kicking butt and behaving badly.

Slapdash but strangely likeable low-budgeter “Stryker” must at least be the first gangbangers-and-trannies movie to be set in the northern Canuck town of Winnipeg, a burg not hitherto widely known for its urban violence or genderbending. Out-there Canadian helmer Noam Gonick’s follow-up to “Hey, Happy!” may be a tough sell even to camp-friendly gay auds, but Native Americans may get a kick out of seeing fellow citizens kicking butt and behaving badly.

Fourteen-year-old Stryker (Kyle Henry) legs it from his reservation after burning down a church and ends up on the wrong side of Winnipeg’s tracks. There, he dithers between joining either the Asian Bomb Squad, a mostly Filipino gang headed by part-Native Omar (Ryan Black), or the Indian Posse, topped by bad-ass lesbian Mama Ceece (Deena Fontaine), who trash-talks like a refugee from “Swithchblade Sisters.” Gonick also stirs into the mix dignified trannie prostitute Daisy (Joseph Mesiano), whom Omar abuses. Perfs by mostly non-pro cast are often embarrassingly bad, but in an endearing, early John Waters-movie way. Shot by ace lenser Ed Lachman (“Far From Heaven”), pic at least looks good.

Stryker

Canada

Production

A Wild Boars of Manitoba production, in association with Telefilm Canada. (International sales: Telefilm, Montreal.) Produced by Ryan Black, Noam Gonick. Executive producer, Juliette Hagopian. Directed by Noam Gonick. Screenplay, Gonick, David MacIntosh.

Crew

Camera (color), Ed Lachman; editor, Bruce Little; music, Hellnback, Karmen Omeosoos; production designer, Mark Gebel; art director, Rick Gilbert; costume designer, Billy Martin. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 10, 2004. English, Tagalog dialogue. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

With: Kyle Henry, Deena Fontaine, Ryan Black, Joseph Mesiano, Nick Oullette, Nancy Sanderson, Dominique Remy-Root, Dylan Mowatt, Devon Kilmury.
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