CINEMA: HELL IS FOR ZEROS

THINK YOU HAD IT BAD IN JUNIOR HIGH? MAYBE NOT AFTER SEEING THIS

Of the many cruel cusps atop which life obliges us to teeter, none is more razor-sharp than the one separating childhood and adolescence. Just ask Dawn Wiener (Heather Matarazzo), better known to her fellow students at Benjamin Franklin Junior High as "Wiener Dog." Built like a badly packed shipping carton, afflicted with thick, round glasses and tightly skinned-back hair, she was born to be shunned and taunted in approximately equal measure.

The girls call her Lesbo, and Brandon (Brendan Sexton Jr.), the juvenile delinquent who is the only boy with an interest in her, demonstrates it by threatening rape. When she...

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