Spun is a 2002 independent movie directed by Jonas Åkerlund. This is Åkerlund's début as a film director after being better known for his work on music videos. The film was shot in 22 days.
The film’s title is a reference to the slang term for the way users feel after going multiple days without sleep while on a methamphetamine binge.
Ross (Jason Schwartzman) is a customer of Spider Mike (John Leguizamo), a methamphetamine dealer. Spider Mike and his girlfriend Cookie (Mena Suvari) are constantly arguing, and Ross strikes up a friendship with Nikki (Brittany Murphy), a fellow addict. Nikki takes Ross to "The Cook" (Mickey Rourke), who supplies Spider Mike with drugs from a meth lab he has set up in a motel room. The Cook gives a small amount of meth to Ross in exchange for bringing Nikki (his girlfriend) home, and says that he will get in touch with Ross if he needs a driver.
Back at his apartment, Ross gets messages from his mother and his former girlfriend Amy, wishing him a happy birthday; Amy is also demanding that he pay back the money he owes her. Ross, assuming she still loves him, calls her and leaves a message. He then goes to the local strip club while high, leading to an intense pornographic hallucination. He takes one of the dancers, April, home and has sex with her after handcuffing and tying her to the bed. As they finish, the Cook calls with an emergency regarding Nikki's dog. Ross, still high, duct-tapes April's eyes and mouth shut to keep her quiet and leaves without releasing her.
While Ross and Nikki take the dog to the veterinarian, policemen and a TV crew raid the trailer where Frisbee, another one of Spider Mike's customers, lives, falsely believing that a meth lab is located there. They take Frisbee and his overweight mother into custody, where they threaten him into cooperation in a drug bust.
The same day, Ross and the Cook stop by a local gas station to pick up a case of ephedrine- pills and a soda. Next they go to a liquor store to purchase a six-pack of beer. They then visit an adult film store, where the Cook preaches about the values of pornography in America. Ross calls Amy's house again, but to no avail. He drops the Cook off at his place and rushes home to April, who is still tied to the bed. She appears to forgive him, and they proceed to have more sex.
In the Cook's motel room, he and Nikki have a fight after a prostitute arrives. Nikki ends their relationship, and calls Ross and asks him to take her to a bus station so she can go back to Las Vegas. Ross leaves April again, who is still tied to the bed; she is subsequently rescued by Ross' lesbian neighbor (Debbie Harry).
While Ross and Nikki are out, Frisbee is coerced by the cops to wear a wire and make a deal with Spider Mike so they can arrest him. When he enters, Cookie attempts to make love to him, her revenge on Spider Mike for his usage of a phone sex line. She finds the wire, and the cops rush in to make the drug bust. Spider Mike, furious at Frisbee's betrayal, shoots him in the testicles, and Spider Mike and Cookie are arrested.
While this is happening, the Cook's meth lab catches fire and destroys the motel room. He takes off to the adult film store, where he is arrested after the owner (Rob Halford) calls the police. Once the Cook makes bail, he calls Ross asking for a ride to another dealer's house in the city after he drops Nikki off at the station. Ross learns of everyone else's arrests, and agrees to drive him there, as well as visit Amy, who also lives in the city.
The dealer (Eric Roberts) provides the Cook with cash, some meth, and the equipment to start a new meth lab. Ross calls Amy again, and leaves a message asking to see her and that he has her money with him. The Cook promises six months' worth of meth to Ross in exchange for being his chauffeur; he agrees on the condition that he can see Amy first. Amy, who has gotten her life together and found work in the city, leaves him in the park after seeing that he is still an addict. He gives her $100 of the money he owes her, and leaves with the Cook.
Finally, after several days of nonstop activity fueled by drug use, the main characters all go to sleep except for the Cook. As Ross naps in his car, the Cook starts up a new lab in an old trailer, but blows it and himself up in the process.
The film got mixed reactions, with some analysts remarking that the film added nothing new to the genre of drug movies. Time Out London was particularly harsh, accusing the film of "smug amoralism", and claiming that Åkerlund simply re-uses other people's ideas and techniques.
Roger Ebert was more empathetic in his review, where he described the film as having "effortless wickedness." His main appraisal is the fact that the film in no way attempts to romanticise any of the characters. He does, however, explicitly mention the similarities between this and the earlier Requiem for a Dream. This comparison may not have been lost on the filmmakers. The title on a pornographic tape purchased by a character reads "Rectum For A Dream," and the scenes which show consumption of the drug also show it's constricting effect on the pupils in fast cutscenes.
The original music for Spun was written by Billy Corgan. The soundtrack to the film features songs by artists such as Iron Maiden (performed by The Djali Zwan), Ozzy Osbourne, Mötley Crüe, Blues Traveler, Bathory (for whom Åkerlund played drums for early on), Richie Havens, Phantom Planet (with which Jason Schwartzman played drums at the time), Paola, and Satyricon, whose video for the song "Mother North" appears in the movie.
Jason Schwartzman as Ross
Mickey Rourke as The Cook
Brittany Murphy as Nikki
John Leguizamo as Spider Mike
Patrick Fugit as Frisbee
Mena Suvari as Cookie
Peter Stormare and Alexis Arquette as The cops
Chloe Hunter as April Love
Debbie Harry as The "Neighbor"
Eric Roberts as The Man
Rob Halford as Porn clerk
Billy Corgan as the doctor examining Frisbee's injury
China Chow as the prostitute ordered by the Cook
Tony Kaye as the announcer in the strip-bar
Ron Jeremy as the bartender
Josh Peck as Fat Boy
Timothy Wayne Peternel
Mark Boone Junior
1.^ "Spun film review". http://www.timeout.com/film/75198.html. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
2.^ "Spun Review". http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20030404/REVIEWS/304040305/1023. Retrieved 2007-03-27.