After being released from a mental institution for killing his mother and the town bully (who he caught having sex in the kitchen of his home) with a sling blade, Karl Childers (Thorton) finds himself in a small town working at a small engine repair shop. While walking through town, the mildly retarded Karl meets a young boy named Frank (Black) who lives with his mother and the two quickly become friends.
Turns out that all is not well in his home however, as his mother’s boyfriend Doyle (Yoakam) is an abusive drunk that has decided to move in with them. This is nothing new to Karl, as his parents were abusive to him, and he hates that Frank has to experience all this. Karl’s dilemma: stand by and do nothing, or interfere. The choice turns out to be simple for Karl.
This is a really good movie, almost classic worthy. In fact, if you catch me on the right day, I’ll probably tell you it is a classic. Oh what the hell, I’ll call it a classic, five stars.
It also has a few good quotes if you can imitate Karl’s voice…”I’ll have some of ‘em french fried taters.” Thorton does a great job as Karl, and Dwight Yoakam plays a great drunken asshole.
Interesting side note, Thorton and Lucas Black also worked together in Friday Night Lights, with Thorton as Coach Gaines and Black as the quarterback.
Give this movie a look if you haven’t already.