This ain't the old Dakota Fanning rape movie they showed at Sundance nearly two years ago to a rain of critical revulsion. This is the re-edited Dakota Fanning rape movie that re-emerges as an even riper piece of cheese. Fanning, then 12, plays Lewellen, toughing it out in 1950s Alabama with her nut-case daddy (David Morse) and religious-zealot grammie (Piper Laurie) but finding solace in her worship of Elvis. The rape, barely glimpsed, happens when Lewellen does a dance for a local boy who promises her a ticket to the King's concert. If there's a Southern-gothic cliché (oh, those snakes!) that writer-director Deborah Kampmeier misses, I don't know it. What I can't figure is why anyone would want to release this tripe in theaters just when Fanning has nearly lived it down. They ain't no friends of mine, or any other moviegoer.
From The Archives Issue 418: March 29, 1984