FRESH KILL (director/writer: Joseph Merhi; cinematographer: Richard Pepin; editor: Richard Pepin; music: John Gonzalez; cast: Pamela Dixon (Lisa), Jody Jaress (Jane), Flint Keller (Allen Chester), Patricia Parks (Leona Alexander), Robert Dzar (Manny), Del Zamora (Bruno), Ron Preston (Carter), Dave Schroder (Mel), Steve Welles (Mike); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Joseph Merhi/Richard Pepin; City Lights; 1988)
“A senseless violent offbeat crime drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A senseless violent offbeat crime drama by writer/director Joseph Merhi(“Game of Life”/”Oranges”/”Last Man Standing”). It’s a terrible movie with poor production values (like the sound was almost inaudible), but that’s not to say it isn’t entertaining for those (not me) who have the stomach for its raunchiness.
The likable aspiring actor Allen Chester (Flint Krller) moves from his hometown of Chicago to Hollywood to pursue his acting dream. He works during the day as a butcher in a meat market. The screwy Carter (Ron Preston) is a co-worker, who gets his jollies by spitting into the customer’s meat purchases. While working at night on the meat deliveries, Allen is approached by a frightened blonde named Leona Alexander (Patricia Parks). She asks for his help, as she’s trying to escape from her former boyfriend, a powerful crime boss named Manny (Robert Dzar), and is being followed by his goons. Allen inadvertently kills one of Manny’s goons by plunging a butcher’s knife in him and Leona knocks the other one off with a meat cleaver, and they go on the run together. They find shelter in Leona’s pipe-smoking mother’s house (like who would think of looking for them there!). We learn that Manny is pissed because he believes Leona has stolen two million dollars worth of his money and cocaine. Later Allen gets used to living in the crime-ridden streets of LA, and envisions himself playing a gangster. When Allen learns Manny’s henchmen executed his parents in their Chicago home, he seeks revenge. Allen talks Carter into joining his gang to raid Manny’s headquarters, while Leona recruits Mike (Steve Welles), her weirdo helicopter pilot, film buff and philosophical scam artist friend.The shoot-out at the climax, at Manny’s digs, deliciously ends with unexpected results. But it seems a long time in coming, as the slight story has stretches where it becomes tiresome and seems to drag on forever.This rarely seen revenge filmcan be recommended for its gleeful presentation of colorful characters and its over-the-top violence. But be warned, it’s not a film suited for all tastes.Though the film gave me a few laughs, that was not enough to like it.
REVIEWED ON 3/8/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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