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Zebrahead
     

Zebrahead

4.0 1
Director: Anthony Drazan

Cast: N'Bushe Wright, Paul Butler, DeShonn Castle

 

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An interracial romance sparks social upheaval in this indie drama from first-time writer/director Anthony Drazan. Jewish high school student Zack Glass (Michael Rapaport) lives with his widowed, womanizing father (Ray Sharkey) in one of the nicer areas of Detroit. His pop and grandfather own a pair of vintage record stores full of everything from swing and jazz to

Overview

An interracial romance sparks social upheaval in this indie drama from first-time writer/director Anthony Drazan. Jewish high school student Zack Glass (Michael Rapaport) lives with his widowed, womanizing father (Ray Sharkey) in one of the nicer areas of Detroit. His pop and grandfather own a pair of vintage record stores full of everything from swing and jazz to soul and disco; Zack carries on the vinyl-centric family tradition by selling hip-hop mix tapes out of his locker and mixing fiddles and Puccini into his DJ sets at local parties. One day at school, beautiful New Jersey transfer student Nikki (N'Bushe Wright) witnesses Zack's girlfriend unceremoniously dumping him; when it turns out that Zack's best friend, Dee Wimms (DeShonn Castle), is Nikki's cousin, the stage is set for romance -- the first interracial pairing for each teen. Dee is happy to play matchmaker, but members of the Wimms clan aren't as pleased with the romance. Nikki's mother, Marlene (Candy Ann Brown), asks Zack point-blank if he's curious about black women -- or just slumming it. Such mild disapproval is nothing compared to the rage felt by Nut (Ron Johnson), a young troublemaker who wants to romance Nikki himself. When Nikki overhears Zack making a racially insensitive comment about her to his pals at a party, she questions the viability of their relationship; the next day, she finds herself making time with Nut, who displays an unexpected tender streak. When Zack shows up at the local skating rink to talk to Nikki and sees Nut pestering her, things spiral out of control. Soon, the lines are drawn in a community-wide debate about interracial dating and urban violence. Zebrahead earned a Filmmaker's Trophy for Drazan at Sundance in 1992 and launched the successful careers of Rapaport and Wright. Indie fans will notice Kevin Corrigan in an elliptical subplot involving the industrial disintegration of the Motor City.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This urban love story-cum-sociological drama packs some fine performances, choice dialogue, and keen insight before it takes a sharp left turn and sinks in muddy political waters. Michael Rapaport deserves every job he ever landed on the strength of his performance here. Playing a cultural chameleon with a wry sense of humor, Barry White-bedroom moves, and a lot of paternal resentment, Rapaport lets his character's many layers creep into focus only when necessary. The pent-up conflicts between Zack and his slothful, sex-obsessed father give Rapaport and Ray Sharkey plenty of sharply written little scenes. Drazan also includes all sorts of small details about Zack's family and about Detroit itself that lend the character an air of authenticity and give the story a subtle depth. Unfortunately, the screenplay doesn't devote as much detail to N'Bushe Wright's Nikki, who's pretty much defined by her relationships to Zack and her family. Still, the actress does what she can with an underwritten role, and there are some nice scenes between Nikki and her fierce mother, played superbly by Candy Ann Brown. The rest of the principals prove uniformly fine, from DeShonn Castle's affable, wisecracking Dee to Ron Johnson's thuggish but charismatic Nut. If Drazan simply allowed these characters to act as they would in real life, Zebrahead would be a better film. Instead, the director throws in overwrought plot developments and lots of debates in which minor characters espouse philosophical viewpoints with all the naturalism of sock puppets. Thankfully, most of this nonsense occurs in the film's final reel, making most of Zebrahead a pleasure to watch.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/06/2015
UPC:
0043396456723
Original Release:
1992
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Sales rank:
45,530

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
N'Bushe Wright Nikki
Paul Butler Otis Wimms
DeShonn Castle Dee Wimms
Candy Ann Brown Marlene
Dan Ziskie Mr. Cimino
Kevin Corrigan Dominic
Michael Rapaport Zack Glass
Lois Bendler Dominic's Mother
Luke Reilly Mr. Modell
Martin Priest Saul
Ron Johnson Nut
Ray Sharkey Richard Glass
Helen Shaver Diane
Lz Granderson Larry
William Ozier Reverend
Shula Van Buren Michelle
Marsha Florence Mrs. Wilson
Glenn Dossin Waiter
Shirley Benyas Helen
Jason Willinger Bobby
Jon Seda Vinnie
Jade Marisa Thomas Kathy
Bobby Joe Travis Angel
Liana Pai Connie
Idina Harris Nadine
Taunesha Butler Brenda
Tycie Person Sophie
Abdul Hassan Sharif Al
Londie Jermain Fuller Jasmine
Yvette Hawkins Margaret
Diane Jones Mrs. Jones
Harold Hogan Marlene's Boyfriend
Alberta Watson Phyliss
Lara Kramer Robin
Andrew Berlin Jake

Technical Credits
Anthony Drazan Director,Screenwriter
Maryse Alberti Cinematographer
Penny Barrett Set Decoration/Design
Matthew Coppola Associate Producer
Charles Darby Production Manager
Jeff Dowd Producer
Elizabeth Kling Editor
Taj Mahal Score Composer
Charles Mitchell Producer
Carol Oditz Costumes/Costume Designer
Oliver Stone Executive Producer
MC Serch Musical Direction/Supervision
Naomi Shohan Production Designer
Dan Whifler Art Director
Don Wilkerson Asst. Director
William F. Willett Producer
Stan Wlodkowski Producer
Janet Yang Producer

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Zebrahead 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Zebrahead is a movie that's realistic when it comes to dealing with life situations when you are a teenager.It gives you an idea on a new kid who is a diffrent race trying to fit in.While at the same time trying to not forget where he came from and falling in love.It is a pretty much all a round movie for anyone who like good dramas set back in a time that everyone can relate to.