This is an excellent movie that never really recieved much publicity when it came out. What this movie basically tries to depict what it would be like if a group of liberals decided to go to extreme measures to rid the world of outspoken right-wingers who's death (to coin a phrase) would make the world a better place in their eyes. It does not sound like something worth observing but a few years ago I just happened to catch it playing on a cable movie channel and I just couldn't stop watching it!
The movie starts with you introduction to the primary characters consisting of a group of liberal graduate students at Iowa State University. This group is played by Ron Eldard, Annabeth Gish, Jonathan Penner, a still relatively unknown Cameron Diaz, and the great character actor Courtney B. Vance. The story starts out on a stormy night while all but one of the students is watching T.V. and discussing the nonsense gloating of well known conservative Norman Arbuthnot (Ron Perlman). Then there is a knock on the door and upon answering it they find out that their other roommate's car had broken down and he had been brought home by a truckdriver named Zack (Bill Paxton). They decide to be polite and invite Zack in for dinner. Through the course of events they find out that Zack is an extreme right-winger and desert storm veteran (and argument waiting to happen). To make a long story short they get into a scuff wherein Zack breaks Pete's (Ron Eldard) arm and Marc (Jonathan Penner) in the heat of the moment stabs Zack in the back with a kitchen knife.
In the aftermath of this incident, they (as calmly as they could) decide that it is best to not mention this to anyone as the courts would probably side with Zack. So they bury Zack in the backyard and dump his pickup in the river. Well in the days after the incident, after much deep conversation about what happened (which we liberals tend to do), they start to think about whether what happened was actually a bad thing or not. (What if someone with enought motivation were to get rid of some of these dangerous right wing a** ho*es and in the process make the world a "better place")
So they basically form a plan to invite a different person for dinner and discussion every weekend that has extreme conservative views and try to change their minds about things through debate. And if the person cannot be persuaded, they kill them by giving them wine poisoned with arsenic. Thereby getting rid of a potentially dangerous person (A potential Hitler they call it) and making the world a better place.
So this is how the story gets started and how the suspense is wound up through the course of their plan. The people that they invite over are played by many well-known actors including Charles Durning, Mark Harmon, Jason Alexander(Seinfeld), and finally Ron Perlman's character himself. The story is suspensefull and gripping and also includes a lot of insitefull symbolizm. A definite must see for anyone liberal or conservative. It holds a special significance for me because I am an Iowa State grad student myself (note: I am not really sure that it was actually filmed in Ames, Iowa I really don't recognize any of the scenery shown in the movie). Let it be known that the extremedy of the political and social viewpoints presented by the characters in this film are not my viewpoints or beliefs. It is just a wonderful movie for all adults. See it, absorb it, love it!