Based on real events, Ryan Colucci and Dragan Roganovic’s Suburban Cowboy is a dark, gritty journey into the underworld of drug deals and desperation. It stars Frank Raducz, Jr. as Jay, a drug dealer who finds himself in trouble when one of his associates robs a connection to the Serbian mob. He soon finds that he is forced to repay that $150,000 debt within seven days or he and his girlfriend, Victoria (a sultry Alandrea Martin), will certainly die.
This forces Jay to deal with Vuk (Zoran Radanovich), a grizzled, intimidating Serbian gangster who is less interested in the money than in squeezing Jay for his own amusement. Jay’s odyssey through his own small time crime world as he scrambles to get the money is the meat of the film, and there are sections that bristle with menace and sharp writing. An offbeat exchange at a tanning salon is particularly memorable.
The film is bolstered by an excellent supporting cast, including Louie Iaccarino as Ray’s wise-cracking Petey and Radanovich as the intense, ice cold Vuk. The more desperate Jay becomes, the darker Suburban Cowboy starts to feel. Even the way the film is lit becomes darker. On the negative side, there are sections however, that suffer from a very slow pace and stilted dialogue.
While Suburban Cowboy suffers from slower sections, it’s anchored by a brilliant soundtrack, expert editing, and deft cinematography. There is a wonderful dreamy, hazy quality to the section where Jay and Victoria experience a genuine moment of joy and hope. There are many scenes, including an interesting monologue where Jay compares himself to a werewolf and another associate to a vampire, where only Jay’s face is lit and the rest of the screen is black. The effect is startling and haunting. For all its flaws, Suburban Cowboy is worth the watch.