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Positive I.D. (1986)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  28 November 1986 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 216 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 4 critic

A plain suburban housewife, the past victim of a brutal assault, is still having trouble coping with the incident a year later. After seeing a story on the evening news, however, she ... See full summary »

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Title: Positive I.D. (1986)

Positive I.D. (1986) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephanie Rascoe ...
Julie Kenner / Bobbie King
...
Don Kenner
Steven Fromholz ...
Roy Mercer (as Steve Fromholz)
Lauren Lane ...
Dana (as Laura Lane)
...
Melissa
Matthew Sacks ...
Mr. Tony
Audeen Casey ...
Dr. Sterling
Steven Jay Hoey ...
Johnny
Erin White ...
Katie Kenner
Terry Leeser ...
Vinnie DeStephano
Steve Garrett ...
Clerk at Vital Statistics
Dottie Mandel ...
Woman at Maildrop
James Buchanan ...
Pawnbroker
William Spurlock ...
Mr. Bernard
Tim Hatcher ...
Bill Duncan
Edit

Storyline

A plain suburban housewife, the past victim of a brutal assault, is still having trouble coping with the incident a year later. After seeing a story on the evening news, however, she mysteriously begins to assemble an alternate identity, unknown to her family or friends. Written by Steve Cain <stevec@crss.esy.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doppia personalità  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$371,313 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

B+ pseudo noir that grows on you
12 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Everything we know about "B movies" - lesser-known cast, low-budget, a made-on-the-cheap look and feel - is present, but we'll call this one a "B+" movie because it all works so well here. House wife Julie Kenner cannot function on any level; her cooking is a disaster, she can't face a party without panicking, she has a tenuous relationship with her 2 children and an even more tenuous one with her husband, with whom she hasn't had sex in a year. We have no idea what's wrong with her and wonder why her husband hasn't left her. Sure, she's beautiful and we are left to surmise this family was close once and could be again if the husband can just help Julie recover from whatever she's suffering from. She seems oblivious to everything except TV news broadcasts about identity theft, about the rape she suffered the previous year and about how the rapist is getting off with almost no jail time. Now that we know what's been bothering her we're wondering why she's forged a new identity, gotten herself a gun, rented an abysmal little apartment near a seedy little bar, taken up wearing a disguise and become a regular in said seedy little bar. Julie, who's been ice cold since this movie started, boffs the bartender one night then back at the bar pulls her piece out and shoots a young man dead - the man who raped her. She briefly returns to her family sans disguise then dons another one as she heads out alone on a bus as the closing credits roll.

The way this tale unfolds, only giving us a little part of Julie at a time, is unique and tension builds so gradually we hardly realize it until we've been sucked in. Our dysfunctional heroine starts out uptight and introverted like a folded-up accordion, then starts to come alive as she turns into a walking mystery then a stalker and finally an avenger, as she murders the rapist who ruined her life and who society has refused to punish.

This unusual story piques our interest, though the plot feels contrived and there are serious logical gaps, like how did Julie, once she took up her gun, disguise, apartment and new life as barfly, know the rapist would come to this bar? Another problem is the "bartender," who is actually an undercover police lieutenant. Why a police Lt. would be working full-time in this bar (don't sergeants and other lower-level officers do this undercover grunt work?) is never explained. Furthermore, Julie seems clairvoyant, as she used the cop/bartender, apparently knowing he'd let her commit murder right in front of him without even arresting her. Then there is that puzzling last scene, with Julie donning yet another disguise and taking off for God-knows-where on a bus all alone.

All I can say is her poor husband! I've never seen a guy take so much crap from a wife, all the time supporting her to the hilt and all for nothing, as she seems to abandon her family at the end. Why did she leave like this, presumably without a word? Was she afraid that the police would eventually piece it all together and come looking for her? The logical gaps aside, this is an arresting (no pun intended) and riveting little flick. I found it in the bargain bin of a local video store almost 20 years ago and will no doubt watch it again some time.


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