The Good

An interesting film that just simply presents it's issues and themes.

The Bad

The soundtrack choices.

The sadly under the radar Hate Crime is an interesting tale set in a Dallas Suburb. Robbie and Trey are gay couple who have been together for some time and are about to get married. Their plans get shattered when Trey is beaten to death with a baseball bat, and Robbie is positive that it's his right wing, Christian neighbor, Chris Boyd. After doing some snooping of his own, Robbie finds out a few things about Chris that run very contrary to the image that he projects of himself. Eventually, Robbie finds out who the killer is and with Trey's mothers help they set about bringing said person to justice.

Features

Deleted Scenes

They have put 4 of these scenes on here. They have titles like "Before the Funeral" and "Robbie Looks for Fisher." Clocking in at 104 minutes, I think that this movie played fine as it was. These scenes added a few more shades to the characters, but ultimately I think this movie works best when it allows a certain degree of mystery. These look like deleted scenes in that the picture isn't that great and there's timecode on the top and bottom of the screen.

San Francisco Premiere

Making Of and Project Hate Crime

I grouped both of these together because quite honestly they probably should have been cut together to begin with. The Making Of is pretty standard stuff in that we hear from the director and some of the actors about the production, the story, and the subject matter. The Project Hate Crime featurette plays like a countdown of this movie's production. For those people not familiar with the filmmaking process, or, if you want to get more familiar with this film, I would say certainly give these a look.

Video

Aspect Ratio - 1.78:1. Enhanced for Widescreen TVs. Other than a few moments where it seemed that the lighting got lower than normal, I didn't notice this film looking any different than other films with bigger budgets. Director Tommy Stovall seems to have a very sure directorial hand, and he really kept his actors from being over the top, and he never beat us over the head with unnecessary images. I don't know what else he's done but I hope he continues to make interesting films.

Audio

Dolby Digital. 5.1 - Surround. 2.0. The audio in this film was solid. My only complaint is that the soundtrack music was little too low budget. Music can really make or break a piece, and some times I think a film would be better off without it if it takes too much attention away from the movie. Aside from those few audio missteps this movie played just fine.

Package

This cover features the main cast members with a bloody looking cross separating them. Initially, I thought this film had something to do with White Power so I guess this imagery is a bit misleading. The back contains some images from the movie and a bloody baseball bat. There is a description of what Hate Crime is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list, and system specs.

Final Word

What I liked the most about this film was that it isn't a "gay" film. By that, I mean that this story could be about anybody that is the victim of someone else's beliefs. Hate Crime works so well because it very matter of factly presents Trey and Robbie's relationship. It doesn't call attention to it, and in the moments when these two get intimate, it isn't done for shock value but rather to show honest emotions. The cast of this film all give very solid performances, and at no time did I feel that Hate Crime fell into the pratfalls that similar low budget films might have.

All in all, Hate Crime is one of the most thought provoking movies I have screened all year.

Hate Crime was released March 16, 2006.