A movie special effects man is hired to fake a real-life mob killing for a witness protection plan, but finds his own life in danger.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ellen Keith
...
Martin Lipton
...
Col. Mason
...
Nicholas DeFranco
...
Mickey
...
Andy
...
Capt. Jake Wallenger
...
Lt. Murdoch
...
Varrick
Paul D'Amato ...
Gallagher
Jossie DeGuzman ...
Marisa Velez (as Jossie deGuzman)
Jean De Baer ...
Whitemore
M'el Dowd ...
Joyce Lehman (Miss Lehman) (as M'eL Dowd)
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Storyline

A movies special effects man is hired by a government agency to help stage the assassination of a well known gangster. When the agency double crosses him, he uses his special effects to trap the gangster and the corrupt agents. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Murder! Special effects? This time it's for real! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 February 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

F/X - Murder by Illusion  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$20,603,715 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end-credit song "Illusion" performed by Imagination, was sampled on P.M. Dawn's 1998 single, "Gotta Be...Movin' On Up," which was featured on the movie Senseless (1998). See more »

Goofs

In the scene when Roland is beating the assassin's back with the machine gun you can see the butt of the gun wobble, as it is made of rubber. See more »

Quotes

Andy: [after Rollie has driven off without her] They'll kill you! And if they don't, I will!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just at the start of the end credits, the camera flashes briefly through out-take type shots of the eight principal players (Bryan Brown, Brian Dennehy, Diane Venora, Cliff De Young, Mason Adams, Jerry Orbach, Martha Gehman, and Joe Grifasi). Each actor smiles out-of-character at the camera as though in appreciation to the audience of their performances. See more »


Soundtracks

THE HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL
Performed by Huey Lewis & The News (as Huey Lewis and The News)
Written by Johnny Colla (as J. Colla) and Huey Lewis
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A child of its time
30 June 2009 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This is very much an 80's action flick. It's got the tough cop who doesn't play by the rules. The unexpected hero. Car chasing, shoot-outs, and a theme song concocted to perfectly match with the movie it's for running over the end credits. Not every last one of those are good, though they tend to be entertaining. Fortunately, this one is both. And quite original and creative, too. Brown stars as Rollie Tyler, a special effects genius who is hired to help fake the death of a mobster, Orbach, who's going into a witness protection program. However, something goes wrong, and our lead now believes that he accidentally did kill him. The plot holds several surprises and twists, and it's carefully written enough to keep you guessing, without being pretentious or overly difficult to follow, and the pieces of the puzzle fit together nicely after you've seen them all. This has great pacing, it never slows down or is in a hurry. The suspense is quite excellent, and you may find yourself on the edge of your seat numerous times. This is 100 minutes of pure fun, and it never fails to deliver. The humor almost invariably works. Acting ranges. This has incredibly memorable moments, and dialog you can quote. The DVD only holds a theatrical trailer. I recommend this to any fan of this type of film, and/or anyone involved in making it. 7/10


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