An autobiographical account of Henry Chinaski – a booze-soaked poet-writer (Charles Bukowski wrote the screenplay based on his experiences) with Mickey Rourke in the title role.
This film is no “Lost Weekend” saga; Rourke’s messy character seems buoyant and even satisfied with his grungy lifestyle, but the squalid atmosphere and Rourke’s whiny delivery of his lines become irritating.
Nearly 100 minutes of drinking, screaming, fighting and more drinking weave a sporadic fascination.
Occasional, refreshing blasts of black comedy fail to relieve an overall, un-redeeming ugliness tinged uncomfortably with a screwball sort of sentimentality.
Faye Dunaway co-stars as Wanda, the drunk’s crazy lover and comrade in alcohol abuse.
J C Quinn