Buck Naked Arson

If John Hughes had attempted a remake of "Rashomon" around the time of "Sixteen Candles" and "The Breakfast Club," the result might have resembled "Buck Naked Arson." Except that Hughes' version likely would have been funnier, better acted and more tonally consistent. Here's the naked truth: Amy Snow's indie comedy-drama will be lucky to get lost in the woods of latenight cable.

With:
With: Azura Skye, Christine Lakin, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Rider Strong, Shiloh Strong, William Russ.

If John Hughes had attempted a remake of “Rashomon” around the time of “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club,” the result might have resembled “Buck Naked Arson.” Except that Hughes’ version likely would have been funnier, better acted and more tonally consistent. Here’s the naked truth: Amy Snow’s indie comedy-drama will be lucky to get lost in the woods of latenight cable.

On the night of their high school graduation, two couples are apprehended in a woodland area after a minor fire. Forest ranger (William Russ) grills Grant (Shiloh Strong), a straight-arrow type bound for a military academy; Becca (Christine Lakin), his would-be actress girlfriend; Janey (Azura Skye), a smart-mouth who’s really a vulnerable virgin; and Willy (Rider Strong), the sort of hyperactive geek that Anthony Michael Hall used to play. Snow switches points of view from one interrogation to the next, but that does little to generate interest in thinly written characters, and almost nothing to enhance the trite and predictable story. Gabriel Fitzpatrick appears briefly, but annoyingly, as the ranger’s dumb-bunny assistant. Tech values are no better than absolutely necessary.

Buck Naked Arson

Production: A Redwood Shire production. Produced by Shiloh Strong, Rider Strong. Executive producers, Lin Warner Strong, King A. Strong. Directed, written by Amy Snow.

Crew: Camera (color), Brian Baugh; editor, Steve Herring; music, Ragnar Rosinkranz. Reviewed on videocassette, Houston, April 7, 2001. (In WorldFest/Houston Film Festival.) Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Azura Skye, Christine Lakin, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Rider Strong, Shiloh Strong, William Russ.

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