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The second film to draw on the ‘unfilmable’ writings of US enfant terrible Chuck Palahniuk (after 1999’s massively overrated ‘Fight Club’), ‘Choke’ never manages to be as edgy, amusing, insightful or plain messy as you’d hope it would be, especially considering its ‘naughty’ promotional poster and the distribution of anal beads as a marketing device. Sam Rockwell is likeable in the central role of Victor Mancini, a sex-addicted slacker working as an actor in an historical theme park. His mother (Anjelica Huston) is suffering from dementia in a care home which he pays for by pretending to choke in restaurants then befriending whoever gives him the Heimlich manoeuvre. All the while, a friendly staff nurse (Kelly Macdonald) leads him to believe that he was conceived by a sperm sample from the recently discovered foreskin of Christ. There are lots of these absurd touches that director-screenwriter Clark Gregg directly lifts from the source novel, but his choice to film the material as a down-the-line bawdy comedy instead of something a little more refined means they never coalesce into a satisfying whole.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday November 21 2008
Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Clark Gregg
Screenwriter: Clark Gregg
Cast: Sam Rockwell
Anjelica Huston
Kelly MacDonald
Brad William Henke
Kathryn Alexander
Heather Burns
Joel Grey
Paz de la Huerta

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

Some very funny moments in the bawdy movie. Rockwell and Houston are excellent. Quite an off beat movie, but well worth seeing.


indecently funny at times but lacking the visual edginess and punchy script of fight club. sam rockwell manages to make his character more likeable than he feasibly should be. safe to say this is not a 'first date' kind of movie. one to watch when you are the mood for some good old sordid nihilism.