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Kalifornia (1993)

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A journalist duo go on a tour of serial killer murder sites with two companions, unaware that one of them is a serial killer himself.


Dominic Sena


Stephen Levy (story), Tim Metcalfe (story) | 1 more credit »
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Early Grayce
Kathy Larson Kathy Larson ... Teenage Girl (as Catherine Larson)
David Milford David Milford ... Driver
David Duchovny ... Brian Kessler
John Zarchen ... Peter
David Rose David Rose ... Eric
Michelle Forbes ... Carrie Laughlin
Tommy Chappelle Tommy Chappelle ... Old Man
Juliette Lewis ... Adele Corners
Judson Vaughn ... Parole Officer
James Michael McDougal James Michael McDougal ... John Diebold (as J. Michael McDougal)
Patricia Sill Patricia Sill ... Carol
Brett Rice ... Police Officer
Marisa Raper Marisa Raper ... Little Girl
Bill Crabb Bill Crabb ... Middle Aged Farmer (as Bill Crabbe)


Brian Kessler, a journalist researching serial killers, and his photographer girlfriend Carrie set out on a cross-country tour of the sites of the killings. Sharing the ride and their expenses are Early Grayce, a paroled white trash criminal, and his girlfriend Adele. As the trip progresses, Early begins to appear more and more unstable, and Brian and Carrie begin to fear that they may have a real-life killer in the back seat of their car. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A state of fear and terror See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

3 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Калифорния See more »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sean Penn was considered for the role of Early Grayce. See more »


When Brian and Carrie visit the murder scene, Carrie's Nikon clearly has a motor drive, and we hear the sound of it advancing the film, but we also see her manually advancing the film. See more »


Early Grayce: I was reading in your deal there how they never caught that Black Dolly killer.
Brian Kessler: Black Dahlia.
Early Grayce: Yeah.
Brian Kessler: They didn't.
Early Grayce: I was wondering how come. See what I'm getting at? It's like 'Hmm?'.
Brian Kessler: Well, some people think he just stopped killing and disappeared back into society.
Early Grayce: That's fine and dandy, but I wanna know what a smart fella like yourself thinks.
Brian Kessler: I always thought it was the work of a serial killer. You know, anybody who took such time and care bisecting another human being.
Early Grayce: Bisecting?
Brian Kessler: You know, he...
See more »

Alternate Versions

European release and US video/laserdisc unrated versions feature about one minute of additional violent footage not present in US theatrical R-rated version. Unrated version of sex scene between Brian and Carrie is slightly longer and more explicit than the R rated version. See more »


Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »


Written by Tony Mortimer (as Anthony Michael Mortimer)
Performed by East 17
Courtesy of London Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fascinated With Amorality
17 October 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In 1990 Brad Pitt and Juiliette Lewis did a TV Too Young To Die where both played the almost the same kind of parts that they do in Kalifornia. I have no doubt that is what led to their casting in this big screen film.

Kalifornia finds aspiring writer David Duchovny and his girl friend, art photographer Michelle Forbes on a rocky relationship of sorts due to Duchovny's obsession with writing a book and getting in the minds and souls of serial killers. In fact he's got a most unusual odyssey planned, he wants to go cross country and visit the sites of several famous serial killers. But he and Forbes are flat broke.

Fate intervenes in more ways than financial with the arrival of Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis a pair of strange southern types who agree to split the cost of gas on this cross country trip. It turns out Pitt is a serial killer himself and he decides to do a little research on his own, delving into the mind of someone who is fascinated with amorality.

Kalifornia is not the type of film I usually go for, but in fact the acting ability and charisma of Brad Pitt make it work to a large degree. Pitt is the walking definition of an inbred Gothic refugee from Deliverance. But better than he is is Juliette Lewis who once again is playing these low self esteem types which she seems to do well. Watch her scene with Forbes as she does her hair and Lewis describes her sad and pathetic life. Lewis's dialog and Forbes's reactions ought to be shown in acting classes around the country.

For those who like their slasher flicks, they don't come better than Kalifornia.

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