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Buddha has the power to change the nature of a person into their opposite. He uses this power only when the world is in danger. When a villain obtains plans that could be used for peace or war, Buddha turns him into a good guy. Now what?
19 years after President Timothy Keegan was assassinated, his brother Nick discovers a dying man claiming to have been the gunman. While trying to avoid his wealthy and domineering father's attempts to control his actions, Nick follows the clues that have been handed to him. As he progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult to discern the real trails from the dead ends, and increasing dangerous as unknown parties try to stop Nick from uncovering the truth. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
have you heard of this movie? you too? me neither...
Until recently that was. If you're a Jeff Bridges fan and look over his previous body of work on IMDb or netflix, you're soon to come across what looks like a small paranoid assassination/conspiracy thriller from the late 1970s- penned by Manchurian Candidate himself Richard Condon- Winter Kills. And then you'll realize until now you've never heard of the movie, unless you were around for the two weekends it was in release in 1979 or heard the minor blurbs how the picture went through ridiculous difficulty getting made. While one shouldn't group the making of the movie too closely with the final product itself, it's almost as crazy a story as in the film itself (one involving the mob, pornographers, marijuana money, and a re-shoot budgeted by *another* movie shot by the same director in-between in Germany).
So, as a humble 'who-is-this-guy' movie-buff on this site, I humbly recommend this movie incredibly so. It's a mighty sleeper, a comedy with the intent so black that it's hard to see where the drama stops and the laughs begin. At times it's also weirdly over-the-top (an orgasm at one point is the loudest one has ever seen in a non-porn, and for no real reason except to have it in there, or as part of an "act" perhaps), and with a cast that is irreproachable. Jeff Bridges, John Huston, Anthony Perkins, Sterling Hayden, Eli Wallach, Toshiro Mifune, Elizabeth Taylor - and most of these actors are barely in one scene! Yet everybody leaves there mark so indelibly that one grins from ear to ear suddenly recognizing them (Hayden in particular is a hoot as he practically is like Jack D. Ripper as an old man with a huge beard and a private fleet of tanks)(Huston, too, chews up the scenes he's in without even trying).
The plot... geez, I can't really say for certain. Let's just call a spade a spade and say it's a spoof on the Kennedy conspiracy (if there was one), and the power and influence of family and politics and the mob. It's a murder mystery, but it almost becomes moot who was the real killer as by the time its uncovered it's simply more fun seeing how one gets from point A to point B. Though Condon might have had a stronger plot for 'Candidate', and first time director Bill Reichert stumbles in a couple of spots in getting the comedy and suspense mixing just right, it's still amazing entertainment more often than not, and it's one of those nifty, strange treasures to be dug out from the video store or queued on a whim on netflix.
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