Distributor: Lodestar Entertainment
Director: Buddy Giovinazzo
Producers: William Fisch, Larry Ratner, Ten Travis
Cinematographer: Kathryn Westergaard
Screenwiter: Buddy Giovinazzo, based on his novel by the same name.
Cast: Kerry Washington, Shannyn Sossamon, Victor Rasuk, Evan Ross, Rza, Brandon Routh, Lara Flynn Boyle, Ten Travis, Ridge Canipe, Illeana Douglas, Edoardo Ballerini, Ariel Winter, Desmond Harrington, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Mark Webber and Tony Plana.
Synopsis: Life is Hot it Cracktown delves into the infiltration of crack cocaine in urban America and shows the gritty realities of street life, as well as the struggling, proud people who attempt to survive them everyday.
Highlighting four stories that come together in a climax of violence, depravity and salvation, Giovinazzo's Life is Hot in Cracktown may elevate itself to the ranks of Robert Altman's Short Cuts and Paul Haggis' Crash. The film captures a realistic depiction of a modern day social epidemic- drug use and poverty.
Manny (Victor Rasuk) works the late shift in an all night bodega. He’s surrounded by young junkies, drug dealers and prostitutes who come in during the late hours. At home his wife, Concetta (Shannyn Sassomon), takes care of his sick infant son and makes their grimy rundown apartment as much of a home as she can. Manny sleeps for three hours then wakes up and goes to his second job as a security guard in a Welfare hotel.
Willy (Ridge Canipe), ten years old, lives with his sister in the Welfare hotel with their mother (Illeana Douglas) and her violent boyfriend (Edoardo Ballerini). Willy begs on the street so he and Susie can buy some fast food to eat. When Mommy eventually comes home she has nothing for them, then tells Willy to beg for more money.
Marybeth (Kerry Washington) is a pre-op transsexual working as a prostitute and living with her lover, Benny (Desmond Harrington), a small time burglar. In spite of their lines of work, they live a somewhat normal life as a married couple. However, on these streets they’re always under attack for being freaks. Benny insists that he’s not a freak, but that the woman he’s in love with was inadvertently born with a penis. Marybeth works the streets in the hope of saving enough money for her final sex change operation, then she and Benny can be married.
Romeo (Evan Ross), a street tough, roams the streets with his gang. Upset over the murder of his younger brother, and feeling partially responsible for not being there during the shooting, he terrorizes anyone who comes in his path.
Boyle plays Betty McBain, a cruel whore who leads a man off to find a missing girl. Nicholas plays a rookie cop who relies on a street-toughened vet (Curtis-Hall) to show him the ropes. Webber plays a transvestite prostitute, while Plana (best known as the father on "Ugly Betty") plays an alcoholic. Routh plays Sizemore, a crackhead, and The Rza plays Samy, a gang leader.