This film is a classic example of how few people recognize something great, until some studio finally takes a chance on it. Although the story was written before Drugstore Cowboy (popular follow up to Mala Noche) no one wanted to make a film about gay hustlers and street kids. That is of course until River Phoenix decided to jump on board. This film is so incredibly unique. Just the right amount of drama and comic relief and a striking visual technique by Van Sant. An essential part of the “New Queer Cinema” of the 90s.