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Crimewave (1985)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Horror  -  25 April 1986 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 3,679 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 53 user | 32 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

A pair of whacked-out cartoon-like exterminator/hitmen kill the owner of a burglar-alarm company, and stalk the partner who hired them, his wife, and a nerd framed for the murder, who tells the story in flashback from the electric chair.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Helene Trend
...
Faron Crush
...
Arthur Coddish
...
Nancy
...
Ernest Trend
...
Renaldo 'The Heel'
...
Vic Ajax
Richard Bright ...
Officer Brennan
...
Blind Man
Hamid Dana ...
Donald Odegard
John Hardy ...
Mr. Yarman
Emil Sitka ...
Colonel Rodgers
Hal Youngblood ...
Jack Elroy
Sean Farley ...
Jack Elroy Jr
Richard DeManincor ...
Officer Garvey
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Storyline

A pair of whacked-out cartoon-like exterminator/hitmen kill the owner of a burglar-alarm company, and stalk the partner who hired them, his wife, and a nerd framed for the murder, who tells the story in flashback from the electric chair.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Extermination is not just a business. It's a way of life.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Horror

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The XYZ Murders  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During the storm scene, a newspaper proclaiming "STORM! City in Chaos" is shown. A smaller headline reads "Military seals off Tennessee murder site. Time-space disturbance discovered." This is a reference to Sam Raimi's previous film The Evil Dead (1981) and its sequel Evil Dead II (1987), which Raimi was writing at the time. See more »

Goofs

When Vic is on the stairs reading his 'how to' book, his ladder is folded up and leaning on the wall behind him; before Renaldo shows up, it is open and standing away from the wall, and then it is gone after Renaldo leaves. See more »

Quotes

Officer Garvey: Where'd ya get the Negro, Butch?
Jack Elroy Jr: Elevator.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, we see the box (with Mrs. Trend inside) in Uruguay. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Quest for _____ (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Rialto
Written by Joseph LoDuca (as Joe LoDuca)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A in-your-face comedy that truly slipped under the radar
10 March 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

A nerdy security system installer gets himself in a mess of trouble, when he falls for a beautiful woman and encounters two bumbling- but malicious exterminators that one of his boss's Ernest Trend has hired them to eliminate his co-partner Mr. Odegard of an security business and Renaldo 'The Heel' who Mr. Odegard is secretly selling it to… but it goes horribly wrong.

The story starts out that Vic Ajax (Reed Birney) the bumbling security system installer is facing death row for the murders of the security owners and the stunning Nancy (Sheree J Wilson). This is when he recounts what did actually happen that night.

This was a better than expected broad comedy from director Sam Raimi, though he has disowned it because the studio took control of it especially since Raimi wanted Campbell as the lead man. The delightfully fun and noisy story is by Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing).

This is simply a real hammy and bizarre b-grade comedy that deserves cult status. It's filled with a lot of slapstick comedy, in-your-face humour, funny one-liners and over-the-top performances from Reed Birney, Louise Lasser, Paul L. Smith, Brion James, Sheree J. Wilson, Edward R. Pressman and the great and always hilarious Bruce Campbell as the sleazy Renaldo 'The Heel'.

The exterminators are played by Paul L. Smith, as the lumbering brute Faron Crush and Brion James as the squeaky voiced Arthur Coddish are truly out-there in a slapstick kind of way, though they might be funny- but on the other hand they are compulsively insane killers. The device that they made for electrocuting rodents- though they have to turn up the notch to men for this job, it's definitely eye catching when in use.

The direction is good, there is a lot of amusing situations with most of the outlandish action happening through the night, especially on Detroit's freeway and in the lively- but gloomy apartment building. Raimi superbly paces it, while the look of the film has some sort surreal mood to it, as the city has an apocalyptic feel to it with it's deserted streets filled litter and mist. The cinematography is typical of a Raimi film very sharp, yet quite inventive. While the style and the look of some of the filming techniques is very much from the golden age of films.

The Coen's script is filled with a great deal of wit and very satirical moments, mostly in the dark humorousness kind… with Bruce Campbell mostly having the best lines and funniest moments and the little boy in lift gave me a laugh. While the characters they created are extravagantly colourful and very cartoon-like, which makes it fun viewing.

My only complaints are the music score was too distracting and somewhat annoying at times, while the weird sounds effects weren't really needed.

Stick around at the end of the credits, as the film isn't entirely finished.

Overall this is a comical and quite funny film… that's if you enjoy that sort of humour.

3.5/5


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