White Lightnin' review

The dark and depressing life of an American tap dancing legend

Funded by trendy mag publishers Vice Films, Dominic Murphy’s feature debut is based on the true story of hard-living, Appalachian tap dance legend Jesco White.

We first encounter Jesco (played by British actor Edward Hogg) as a vomit-soaked 10-year-old clutching a can of lighter fluid. Thus begins a psychedelic, sepia-toned horror show, touring the dark corners of his mind and those of the white trash world in which he lives.

It’s a grubby, hillbilly take on Walk The Line, punctuated by moments of nightmarish violence which put even Johnny Cash’s tribulations to shame. The love of a good woman can’t save the troubled entertainer – even though his missus is Princess Leia (aka Carrie Fisher) – and nor does he seem particularly attached to his art.

So that just leaves religion… Jesco’s final redemption is such a jaw-dropping perversion of rock biopic clichés (not to mention Christianity) that it’s a wonder to behold.

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