Double Identity (1990 TVM)

vt Frontière du Crime

Canada, France / 92 minutes / color / 3 Themes, Hamster, Venture, Niagara, Antenne 2, Television Suisse Romande Dir: Yves Boisset Pr: Daniele J. Suissa, Nicolas Traube Scr: Robert Geoffrion Story: Alain Scoff, Yves Boisset Cine: Louis de Ernsted Cast: Nick Mancuso, Leah Pinsent, Patrick Bauchau, Anne Létourneau, Jacques Godin, Aidan Devine, Norris Domingue, Lorne Brass, Michael Rudder, Ken Roberts.

Originally made for the Canadian–French TV series Haute Tension (1988–94), this later saw home-video release as a standalone movie.

In the remote small town of New Hope, the car of Paul Flemming (Mancuso) breaks down in the snow. (A peculiarity of New Hope is that the deep snowdrifts that engulf most of the time every now and then seem to disappear overnight before, just as suddenly, they return again.) Good Samaritan vegetable farmer Wayne (Godin) helps him out, towing him to the nearby garage—where Jim the Mechanic (Brass) undertakes to repair the car—then taking him home to dinner and introducing him to daughter Amy (Pinsent) and her beau Jeff Swinton (Devine). Paul, who’s clearly attracted to Amy, tells them he’s an English professor at the university in the Big City.

Double Identity - Mancuso tries to be both thug and university don

Nick Mancuso attempts to convince as both thug and university don; cynics will of course ask, What’s the difference?

Once he’s back in the Big City, though, we discover he’s really the chief enforcer for hoodlum Raymond Ravennes (Bauchau), who operates out of the Black Club (which is so swanky that the strippers just sort of wobble boredly and don’t actually take their clothes off). Paul chuckles about having Continue reading

Dolan’s Cadillac (2010 DTV)

Canada, UK / 105 minutes (European release; US release is cut to 89 minutes) / color / Film Bridge, Minds Eye, Footprint, Prescience Dir: Jeff Beesley Pr: Alain Gagnon, Stephen Onda, Rhonda Baker Scr: Richard Dooling Story: “Dolan’s Cadillac” (1985, Castle Rock) by Stephen King Cine: Gerald Packer Cast: Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Wes Bentley, Greg Bryk, Aidan Devine, Al Sapienza, Karen LeBlanc, Eugene Clark, Robert Benz.

While horse-riding in the desert near Las Vegas, pretty young schoolteacher Elizabeth Robinson (Vaugier) comes across prostitution slave trafficker Jimmy Dolan (Slater) and his principal sidekick Chief (Bryk) committing multiple murder; a truck has arrived in which, because of a ventilation failure, most of the women have suffocated. Elizabeth escapes but drops her cellphone.

Elizabeth and her somewhat wimpish husband Tom (Bentley), also a teacher, report the incident to the local sheriff (Benz), but he makes it plain he doesn’t intend to do anything—as far as he’s concerned, the dead are just “pepper-bellies” and, the fewer of them that there are, the better. On getting home the Robinsons discover a dead woman in their bedroom, her lips sewn shut in a clear message; clearly Dolan’s people have traced Elizabeth by means of the dropped cellphone.

The case is taken seriously by Federal Agent Fletcher (Sapienza), who has been after Dolan for years. Elizabeth is eager to testify, so Fletcher puts the Robinsons into a witness-protection plan . . . which fails when Elizabeth, discovering she’s at last pregnant, disobeys instructions, leaves the hotel where they’ve been secreted and climbs into the family car, which promptly explodes.

Dolan's Cadillac

Victims of Dolan’s cruelty are disinterred from their desert burial place.

Tom starts drinking a lot. The fact that Elizabeth’s “ghost” appears to him at frequent intervals to offer advice doesn’t help. Eventually Continue reading