Small Town Crime (2017)

US / 92 minutes / color with some bw / 6 Foot, Avva, John J. Kelly Entertainment, Saban Dir & Scr: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms Pr: Parisa Caviani, Brad Johnson, John J. Kelly Cine: Johnny Derango Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins Jr., Jeremy Ratchford, James Lafferty, Michael Vartan, Daniel Sunjata, Don Harvey, Stefanie Scott, Caity Lotz, Dale Dickey, Michelle Lang, Michael Flynn, Katie Cockrell, Stefania Barr.

Somewhere in Utah, Mike Kendall (Hawkes), kicked out of the PD because of his drunkenness, survives on unemployment checks and the charity of his adoptive sister Kelly Banks (Spencer) and her husband Teddy (Anderson). Driving one day on a remote road, he discovers the dumped body of a dying woman, Kristy (Barr). When later she dies in hospital he decides to don the mantle of a PI to find her killer.

John Hawkes as Mike Kendall.

The trail leads him to the club/hooker ring run by Randy (Don Harvey) and thence to Mood (Collins), the pimp whose hookers Kristy, Rose (Cockrell) and Ivy (Scott) partook in a “birthday party” for three rich dudes. Now a couple of killers—Orthopedic (Ratchford) and Tony Lama (Lafferty)—are in town to Continue reading

Banker, The (1989)

US / 92 minutes / color / Westwind Dir & Pr: William Webb Scr: Dana Augustine Story: William Webb, Richard Brandes, Dana Augustine Cine: John Huneck Cast: Robert Forster, Duncan Regehr, Shanna Reed, Jeff Conaway, Leif Garrett, Richard Roundtree, Juan García, Michael Fairman, Deborah Richter, Teri Weigel, Dan Leegant, E.J. Peaker, Leigh Wood, Richard Harding Gardner.

The Banker - 1 Osbourne () in killing mode

Osbourne (Duncan Regehr) displays his own variety of après sex.

Powerful, near-infinitely rich international financier Spaulding Osbourne (Regehr), his head filled with craziness about blood gods after having immersed himself in South American culture and indeed for some years in the South American jungle, has a new hobby: hiring expensive callgirls, having sex with them, shooting them with his laser-guided crossbow, and then slicing them up. He’s fed the girls by the pimp Fowler (Garrett), abetted by the pimp and deviant Continue reading

Hotel Noir (2012)

US / 97 minutes / bw / Shangri-La, FotoKem, Gato Negro Dir & Scr: Sebastian Gutierrez Pr: Steve Bing, Sebastian Gutierrez, Zach Schwartz Cine: Cale Finot Cast: Malin Akerman, Kevin Connolly, Rosario Dawson, Danny DeVito, Robert Forster, Carla Gugino, Mandy Moore, Rufus Sewell, Aaron Behr, John Colella, Andrew Fiscella, Michael B. Jordan, Cameron Richardson, Maureen Chapman, Derek Schreck.

A beautifully modulated nest of stories which prove, in the usual neonoirish fashion, all to be in fact interconnected—all but one, which is the opening scene. Yet, while this movie can be seen as sitting right at the heart of the neonoir canon, at the same time it’s quite atypical of that canon: there’s very little violence and not much chasing around—very little straightforward, easy suspense, in other words—with much of the enjoyment coming instead from a screenplay that’s full of dialogue and that revels in language and its own use of it. At one point two of the characters seem to display awareness of this:

Felix: I’ve never met anyone with said proclivity before.
Hanna: I’ve never met a detective who said “proclivity” before.

We’re introduced to the movie by Eugene Portland (DeVito), whose trade is installing new shower doors. He explains that, while it might seem the kind of job that would have him being propositioned by dozens of bored housewives, in fact it’s happened on just two occasions, one of which he prefers not to talk about. The other was with neglected housewife Evangeline Lundy (Moore), and we see his flashback of his own principled behavior as, clad in her scanties, she alternately threw herself at him and wept on his shoulder. It’s an entertaining sequence but seems to have little to do with the movie proper.

Hotel Noir 1 - Eugene does his best to be principled

Eugene (Danny DeVito) remains staunchly high-principled despite the obvious inclinations of housewife Evangeline (Mandy Moore).

Eugene is now in a room in a nameless and seemingly scarcely occupied hotel. The trigger to the nest of stories is when, as Eugene stumblingly types in his hotel room, a caller arrives dressed in the costume of a masked superhero; dyslexic, she’s come to the wrong room. Before leaving she introduces herself as Sevilla (Dawson), who, as we shortly discover, is Continue reading