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The Guatemalan Handshake

The Guatemalan Handshake (2006)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 1



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 443

My Rating

Movie Info

A demolition derby driver (Will Oldham) has vanished into the darkness following a massive power outage, setting into motion a bizarre series of events that will profoundly effect everyone from his pregnant girlfriend to a troupe of roving boy scouts and a ten year old girl named Turkeylegs. Later, as Turkeylegs sets out to track down her missing friend, cars kick-up dirt while driving in circles, a woman attends her own funeral, and an orange vehicle repeatedly changes owners. The one night, at


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Apr 29, 2008

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Latest News on The Guatemalan Handshake

February 3, 2006:
Better Late Than Never: The Slamdance '06 Awards!
What with all the busy, crazy, and hectic rigamarole that follows any high-end film festival, I...


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All Critics (8) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

On the index of quirk, this winsome indie scores quite high.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although Rohal's goal seems to be a rich character study, the movie works best as a celebration of small-town Americana that persists well into the 21st century.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A frustrating example of convention-defying filmmaking that tries too hard to be different.

January 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This sweet nothing has invention and personality to spare, not to mention marvelous mysteries, quirky connections and cockeyed running gags.

February 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Deliberately quirky almost to the point of distraction, this offbeat comedy is an enjoyably puzzling film.

January 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

An entertaining and visually exciting film. It has an oddly meandering pace that is riddled with quirky characters in weird situations.

November 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

An understated, surrealist comedy that is more successful at being weird than funny.

April 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for The Guatemalan Handshake

After her boyfriend goes missing a pregnant woman with dozens of sisters all from different mothers enters a demolition derby against her Guatemalan father... and that's just one of many plotlines running concurrently in this bizarre rural community. How to describe this unique movie: maybe it's like what would happen if Wes Anderson rewrote GUMMO as a quirky comedy?
August 28, 2011
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Although it tries hard to be strange, it certainly is. Reminded me of Gummo, but slightly less white trash, and the with the cast of Vernon, Florida. Fun characters and pace.
December 10, 2008
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

In "The Guatemalan Handshake," Donald(Will Oldham) disappears during a power outage. Two weeks later, his girlfriend Sadie(Sheila Scullin) asks to stay with his father(Ken Byrnes) when she shows up with a broken arm and pregnant after her father(Ivan Dimitrov) kicks her out of the house.(She is not lying when she says she has dozens of sisters as the family car is a school bus.) Wanting to move on, Sadie is introduced to Stool(Rich Schreiber) at the local roller rink where she accidentally breaks his nose.

"The Guatemalan Handshake" is an odd comedy with a sense of humor that is occasionally unkind towards its peculiarly named characters. Otherwise, it does tend to celebrate these outsiders' uniqueness. In the end, the movie is salvaged by its offbeat charm.
May 14, 2010
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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