By Chris Gore | January 26, 2000

Steve Buscemi returns to Sundance with his second directing effort “Animal Factory,” the story of a young boy’s challenge to survive the hard life in prison. The story is based on the book by legendary author Edward Bunker who also wrote the screenplay. Eddie Furlong plays Ron Decker, a young and attractive boy sent to prison for six months on a drug charge. He is soon eyed by every h***y prisoner in the joint as new meat. Furlong is quickly befriended by Earl Copen played by Willem DaFoe who helps him survive the prison ordeal.
Buscemi, writer Bunker and all of the lead actors were in attendance at this impossible to attend event. (“Animal Factory” only screens once at Sundance as part of a special event.) Eddie Furlong was shy as he just stammered through a quick question admitting to just being himself. Buscemi beamed at the positive response from the audience and answered questions about his recent directing stint on the cable prison drama “Oz”. “I did (Oz) as a job. I was there to serve the producers. The two projects did not intersect.” Buscemi was handed a copy of the script for “Animal Factory” while working on the action film “Con-Air” by Mexican bad boy Danny Trejo who ended up serving as the film’s executive producer. Buscemi was immediately taken with the brutal reality in the screenplay which makes sense because its author Bunker is an ex-con.

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