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Film: Buffalo '66

Buffalo '66 is a 1998 indie movie starring Vincent Gallo, who also wrote and directed the movie, and Christina Ricci. Billy Brown has just been released from prison and the first thing he plans to do is introduce his wife to his parents. The problem with that plan is he doesn't have a wife, so he kidnaps a ballerina named Layla (Ricci). After a brief struggle and a very awkward dinner, Layla decides to stay with him for a night of bowling and "spanning time". She soon learns that Billy plans on getting even with the football player who was indirectly responsible for his imprisonment. What follows is a dark comedy about depression, revenge, and finding love.


Contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Billy Brown.
  • All Just a Dream: The climax in the strip club where Billy shoots and kills Scott Woods, then turns the gun on himself.
  • And Your Little Dog Too: The bookie (played by Mickey Rourke) threatens Billy after he gets in debt with the mob and then briefly mentions his family as well to drive the point home that he means business.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Billy's threat to Layla:
    "I'm asking you to come there and make me look good. Alright? And if you make a fool out of me, I swear to God, I'll kill you right there. Boom! Right in front of Mommy and Daddy. And I'll tell you something else, you make me look bad... I will never ever talk to you again, ever. But if you do a good job, well, then you can be my best friend. My best friend that I've ever had. You hear me?"
  • Bathtub Bonding: A rare, non-sexual scene of a man and woman sharing the same tub. Although Billy tells her to get out eventually.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: In the beginning sequence, when Billy is desperately trying to find a bathroom, a man looks over from the stall beside him and reacts with awe at the size of Billy's member. Gallo actually showed it off in his next film, The Brown Bunny.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Browns. They can't even have a peaceful dinner without Billy's father accusing Billy of attempted murder.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • Billy is constantly telling obvious lies, such as that he works for the CIA, drives luxury cars, has had lots of girlfriends and knows martial arts. In reality, he's an unemployed and dateless loser who has very low self-esteem and is always trying to impress people. No one even bothers to contradict him.
    • It seems to run in the family as well since Billy's father claims to be a singer to the point where he lip-syncs to a record while pretending he is actually singing.
  • Bullet Time: A similar effect to The Matrix, which it preceded. The violent climax is shown in a series of still images, which the camera pans around as if still hand-held.
  • Butt Monkey: Billy's friend Goon.
    Goon: What, you think I'm retarded?
  • The Cameo: Mickey Rourke as the bookie and Rosanna Arquette as an old crush.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Billy drops a lot of `im as evident by some of the dialogue shown here.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Billy went to prison to cover up a huge gambling debt. The gambling debt happened due to Scott Woods missing a field goal kick, resulting in the Bills losing the Super Bowl. Because of this, Billy decides to kill Woods.
  • Driven to Suicide: Billy, but he gets better.
  • Driving Stick: Billy comandeers Layla's vehicle, but needs her to drive it. With disdain, he says he doesn't drive "shifter cars" because he drives fancy cars like Cadillacs, which "shift themselves." Of course, Billy is a pathological liar.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The last shot is of Layla and Billy in each others' arms, smiling.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Aside from the occaisional Flash Back, the entire movie takes place within 24 hours.
  • Hates Being Touched: Billy hates being touched... even if it's by Christina Ricci.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Billy claims that he could have had girlfriends in the past but chose not to since he believes all women are decietful. He warms up to Layla anyway.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Billy's dad ignored him and his mother was too concerned with Buffalo Bills' games to ever pay attention to him (his date of birth is a particular sore spot to her). They only have a single picture of their son, in which he's crying because he had an allergic reaction. It's also implied that Billy's dog was killed by his father.
  • Humiliation Conga: Even before the events of the movie, Billy had an abusive childhood, was teased at school, lost a lot of money to gamblers on a one-in-a-million field goal kick, and spent five years in prison. When he gets out, his parents aren't impressed by the fabricated life, and love his hot "wife" far more than they care for him.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • A bored Layla tap dancing in the bowling alley. Suddenly, she is literally in the spotlight while a King Crimson song plays in the background.
    • The climactic murder turns out to be Billy's imagination. He decides against going through with it.
  • Jiggle Show: Not-so-subtly done with Layla's introduction; the camera Male Gazes its way over to her chest to follow Billy into the building.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: Billy at the beginning of the movie.
  • Kick the Dog: Billy's dad didn't kick the dog, but it seems he actually killed it.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: According to Word of God, the events in the movie were not what "really" happened but is Billy's perception of his own actions. Considering his low self-esteem, it makes sense.
  • Male Gaze: Billy's father hugs Layla when they meet and he shakes her back and forth in an obvious attempt to watch her breasts bounce around (she's still wearing her ballerina uniform).
  • Man Child: Billy, very much so. He makes ridiculous lies to get people to like him, doesn't like physical affection, alternates between acting tough and trying to make friends, often within the same sentence.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: It is heavily implied that Billy is a virgin since he claims to have never had a girlfriend.
  • A Match Made in Stockholm: A possible explanation for Layla warming up to Billy, although he only kidnaps her for a few hours and obviously does not have a weapon. She chooses to stay after that.
  • Meaningful Name: An in-universe example. It's likely that Billy's mother gave him that name due to her intense love of the Buffalo Bills.
    • Also, there is this monologue explaining Goon's name:
    Billy: You know why they call you Goon? Because you're retarded. And you're ugly. You're an ugly retard. And they call you Goon because you're ugly and retarded. And you'll always be Goon... Goon, Goon, Goon. And that's what I'm gonna call you for the rest of your life, is Goon. Goon, Goon, Goon, Goon, okay? So fuck you.
  • Never My Fault: Billy is on a vendetta against a player whose fumble lost him a bet, sending him to jail. The fact that its Billy's fault he gambled to begin with doesn't occur to him.
  • New York State: Takes place in Buffalo.
  • Nice Shoes: Layla wears a pair of silver sparkling tap shoes throughout the film that wouldn't have looked out of place in The Wizard of Oz.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Billy plans to kill a football player named Scott Woods because he missed a goal kick during the Super Bowl, which resulted in him acquiring a huge gambling debt. This is in reference to former Buffalo Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, who missed the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants in 1991.
  • No Name Given: The only other name Goon goes by is Rocky, likely another nickname. We never learn his real name.
  • Pet the Dog: Billy will insult or threaten Layla or Goon one moment and then apologize and say something sweet the next. In the end, Billy is overcome with optimism and love for Layla. He buys her a heart-shaped cookie, confirming that it is for his girlfriend, then buys one for a complete stranger's girlfriend as well. This all confirms that Billy has overcome his Jerk Ass facade.
  • Potty Emergency: When Billy is released from prison, he suddenly has to use the restroom. He tries to go back inside the prison to use the facilities but they don't let him back in. He spends the next 10 minutes or so trying to find a restroom, which is how he eventually meets Layla.
  • Shrinking Violet: We learn almost nothing about Layla's own background, family or home life. Judging by the way Christina Ricci portrays her, Layla is both very compassionate and very lonely.
  • Taking You with Me: Billy's original plan for Wood.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Whether or not you find Vincent Gallo ugly, Billy is clearly a loser. Whether or not you find Christina Ricci attractive, Layla is lusted after at least by Billy's father and wears a fetish-tastic dancing outfit.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Billy hates his parents but still wants their approval.


The Blues BrothersFilms of the 1990sA Bug's Life

alternative title(s): Buffalo66; Buffalo 66
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