(director/writer: Roberto Faenza; screenwriters: Ennio de Concini/Hugh Fleetwood/based on the novel ”The Order of Death” by Hugh Fleetwood; cinematographer: Giuseppe Pinori; editor: Nino Baragli; music: Ennio Morricone; cast: Harvey Keitel (Lt. Fred O’Connor), John Lydon (Leo Smith), Sylvia Sydney (Margaret Smith), Leonard Mann (Bob Carvo), Nicole Garcia (Lenore Carvo); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Elda Ferri; New Line Cinema; 1983)

An angry offbeat psychological crime film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An angry offbeat psychological crime film directed by Roberto Faenza (“Anita B”/”Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You“/”The Soul Keeper”). It’s based on the novel ”The Order of Death” by Hugh Fleetwood, and is co-written by Faenza, Fleetwood and Ennio de Concini.

Lt. Fred O’Connor (Harvey Keitel) is a corrupt NYPD officer, who, because of his deals with drug dealers, can afford to keep an expensive co-op pad uptown. Fred shares ownership of the apartment with an equally crooked partner (Leonard Mann). Both men do not live there, but visit. Fred keeps as a prisoner the sickly young man Leo Smith (John Lydon, also known as the Sex Pistol’s lead singer Johnny Rotten), whom he has boarded up in his bathroom and relentlessly beats him. He’s a cop killer who will confess only to Fred. But instead of the prisoner breaking down and being contrite for his actions, Fred eventually does.

There’s a strange tension between the two confrontational characters that gives this pic a fascinatingly weird flavor.

The popular old-time actress Sylvia Sydney plays Lydon’s mom. Nicole Garcia plays the wife of Leonard Mann.