By Eric Campos | June 28, 2002

What Harmony Korine did for white trash in Gummo, Brent Sims and John Taylor do for wanna-be thug-life in “Becoming Vex”.
Three twenty-something friends, Trust, Johnny One Eye and Lefty, stalk the suburbs of Louisiana, brandishing a venomous hate towards anyone that crosses their path while they’re out robbing, beating and even murdering people. Johnny One Eye does it because it’s in his blood, a*****e by nature, and Lefty does it just because he needs a thrill, but Trust has a bigger motive. His suit and tie office job has smartened him to the ways of the American system. He believes that it’s the American system that has turned him into such a misanthropic beast, so it’s the American system that he plans to take down in a barrage of violence.
We join these three friends as Johnny One Eye is fresh out of prison. Prison life hasn’t been a humbling experience for Johnny and they’re spree of violence and womanizing continues. We follow these three unsavory characters as they strive to become the big-time thugs that they’ve been acting like their entire lives.
On this tense ride, the filmmakers drag us into the seedy recesses of suburban society as we witness prostitutes being pimped out of a fast food drive-thru, a private kickboxing match, the ugly nature of adrenalin charged frat boys out on a spree of violence and other situations that will make you cringe just to think that they may be happening right in front of your home.
“Becoming Vex” doesn’t paint a pretty picture. When the hate-filled dregs of society aren’t being paraded before the camera, the filmmakers bombard us with fantastical images, all from the mind of Trust. Some of these images are interesting, while others are a little too pretentious for my tastes. And complimenting these hateful images and characters is a wealthy supply of bloody violence and nudity.
Most of the performances are passable, but it’s Jason Buuck as Johnny One Eye who provides the bulk of the film’s tension. If you didn’t already feel uneasy around your fellow man, his character alone will make sure that you do from now on.
Playing like a live-action version of Jim Goad’s magazine “Answer Me,” this shot on digital video feature is an uncompromising look at our misanthropic society with a message that clearly rings – Hate the system, hate the media and hate someone else before someone else hates you!

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