(director: Bob Clark; screenwriters: Stanley Mann/Roger Swaybill/story by Roger Swaybill; cinematographer: Marc Champion; editor: Stan Cole ; music: David McLey ; cast: Robert Culp (Frank), Bo Svenson (Michael), John Colicos (Vincent), Belinda Montgomery (Diana), Linda Sorensen (Helen), Stephen Young (Peter), Jeffrey Lynas (Andy),Richard Davidson(Hirch); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Bob Clark/Claude Héroux; Fox; 1976-Canada/USA)
“The breaking point is the low bar this exploitation film crosses over.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Canada’s most expensive film back in the day turned out to be a bomb. Bob Clark (“Black Christmas”/”Tribute”/”Murder by Decree”) directs in comic strip style. in this Death Wish-like crime drama It lifts the plot from Hide in Plain Sight. Writers Stanley Mann and Roger Swaybill use gratuitous violence as a means of entertainment.
Bo Svenson is an innocent witness to a mob hit on his neighbor and physically stops it. In court he testifies as a witness against the mob suspects. As a result, the mild-mannered muscular teacher must go into the witness protection program when there’s an attempt to take him out with a Molotov Cocktail. The world-weary lawman Robert Culp arranges a new identity for him. But the Mafia finds him and in order to survive he must get them first. He goes it alone as a vigilante, in the process flipping over a house. The cops are depicted as useless in protecting him.
The direction is weak and the absurd film leaves one with the impression that it’s every man for himself in this country, as the cops are viewed as inept and society is lawless. The breaking point is the low bar this exploitation film crosses over.
REVIEWED ON 8/14/2015 GRADE: C