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SUNSET GRILL (director: Kevin Connor; screenwriters: Faruque Ahmed/Marcus Wright/story by Chip Walter; cinematographer: Douglas Milsome; editor: Barry Peters; music: Ken Thorne; cast: Peter Weller (Ryder Hart), Stacy Keach (Harrison Shelgrave), Lori Singer (Loren), Alexandra Paul (Anita), John Rhys-Davies (Stockton), Michael Anderson (Lt. Jeff Carruthers), Peter Koch (Christian), Michael Medeiros (Mule), Benito Martinez (Guillermo); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Faruque Ahmed; New Line Cinema; 1993)
“Suspenseful but formulaic modern day film noir.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Veteran horror film filmmaker Kevin Connor(“Motel Hell”/”At The Earth’s Core”/”The Land That Time Forgot”) directs this suspenseful but formulaic modern day film noir, that’s a direct-to-video release. It’s based on the story by Chip Walter and is written by Faruque Ahmed and Marcus Wright.

Ryder Hart (Peter Weller) is a world-weary, alcoholic, burnt-out ex-cop, now working as a struggling private detective in LA. Anita (Alexandra Paul) is his estranged wife, who runs the East LA bar and grill called the Sunset Grill. She is romantically involved with Lt. Jeff Carruthers (Michael Anderson), Hart’s former colleague. In the street, Hart learns that an illegal trafficker was killed. Hart gets involved when he finds there’s a connection with brutal killing of Anita. During his investigation, Hart comes across the suspicious wealthy businessman Harrison Shelgrove (Stacy Keach), a collector of Mayan art and the owner of a gun club, and his seductress sexy assistant Loren (Lori Singer).

In a tawdry plot that becomes increasingly more complicated, Hart, who has teamed up with Jeff, becomes wary of his encounter with a crooked INS agent, Stockton (John Rhys-Davies), who seems to know more about the case than he’s letting on. What began as a search for the murderer of his ex-wife, leads the investigator into a conspiracy mystery involving illegal immigrants in Los Angeles, as it’s learnedthat illegal Mexicans employed at the Sunset Grill are being killed and sold for their body parts for medical experiments.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”