Widowed John Brady is the Chief of Police in small town Galesburg, Illinois, where he has lived most of his life. His only offspring, Pete Brady, is a bright high school senior. John has been in turmoil since the suspicious death of his wife Catherine years earlier, which he always believed had something to do with her boss, Dr. Le Sange, who himself died shortly after Catherine's passing. Only recently has John and Pete's home life gotten back on track with John dating Barbara Moorehead, a waitress at the local hangout, she who has known John for some time. John's life takes a turn for the worse when he has to investigate the brutal slashing murders of four townsfolk in four separate incidents. A brief eyewitness statement to one of the murders before the eyewitness herself is murdered is the only substantive evidence. However, the three other victims were the sons of long time friends of his. Those three friends have a special connection to John's past. As such, he believes if the ... Written by
Don't let the unpleasant title put you off, this is an excellent little movie that I actually found quite scary. The acting is top class especially from Dan Shor and Michael Murphy who star. Louise Fletcher is also on top form and all three bring a realistic almost 'cinema veritie' feel to the proceedings. The film works because of Michael laughlins direction that develops the film on many levels. On the one hand there is lots of atmosphere and a suspenseful intensity that builds up to the films climax yet Laughlin also concentrates on character development and relationships giving us insights in to Chief Bradys (Michael Murphy) mysterious past and the close father/son relationship him and Pete (Dan Shor) have. The film also pays close attention to small town life. In this small Louisiana town everyone knows everyone there are lots of nice little touches by Laughlin to point this out. Laughlins direction also has a humorous edge to it and the good acting adds to this. There is one incredibly surreal scene in the movie at a party where all the 'party-goers' start dancing in unison! They are all in 50's style fancy dress and dance in a hyperbolic 50's fashion! Although it is hard to decipher Laughlins motives here this scene seems incredibly inspired to me personally. Although some scenes in this film are quite shocking I cannot comment on the amount of gore in this film because I have only seen the UK 18 cert release which has been cut considerably and panned and scanned. If only there was a widescreen version available I for one would instantly snap it up!
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