SONNY BOY seems to be inspired by ideas from Kipling’s “Mowglie the Wolf Boy” and the film RAISING ARIZONA, but grossly distorts and inverts those themes.
Set in Harmony, New Mexico, the movie opens with some shoddy aerial footage of a young couple in a new, 1970 Lincoln convertible. They make their way to a dismal, nearby motel where Weasel, a psychopathic looney, forces them into a room and kills them.
Weasel then steals the car and drives it to Slew and Pearl’s run-down ranch. Weasel gives the car to his boss, Slew, but then realizes there is a baby in the back seat who turns out to be Sonny Boy. Slew and Pearl raise Sonny Boy, and he thinks of them as his parents.
The rest of the picture deals with Sonny Boy’s “growth and development” — a crash course in Abnormal Psychology in which his adopted father, Slew, teaches him to steal and kill. Sonny Boy becomes like an animal, never learning to walk upright and eating raw flesh — both animal and human. Sonny Boy remarks after a stealing, killing foray, “I have tasted blood, I have pleased my father.”
After much bloodshed and violence, the townspeople burn down Slew and Pearl’s house, but Sonny Boy escapes. A friendly doctor successfully operates on his tongue, restoring his ability to speak (earlier, Slew had cut his tongue to prevent speech).
At film’s end, Sonny Boy says, “I have words now, but the pain doesn’t stop.” Nor does our pain stop after viewing this despicable film.
The words of Jesus come to mind: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Among other offenses, SONNY BOY’S mockery of God, vile treatment of women and children (abusive behavior), and dreadful parental examples, make it fit to be thrown to the wolves. Avoid SONNY BOY.
Numerous blasphemies, profanities, obscenities, vulgarities; murder, gory violence and cannibalism; nudity and open, immoral sex; theft and mockery of God.