A film that didn't deserve the "Bum Rap" it got...
I saw "Bum Rap" at a film festival in Las Vegas back in 1988. I thought sure the film would gather up a pretty good audience when it was officially released. But alas, it's official release never happened, and "Bum Rap" must merely be gathering up dust in some studio exec's basement.
"Bum Rap" should have been a break for several people, namely star Craig Wasson and director Daniel Iron. Wasson is a familiar character actor whose face often pops up in movies and TV shows. "Bum Rap" was a starring role for him, and he carries the movie quite well. And as director Iron's first feature, the movie at the very least promised many more good things to come from him. However that promise was never fulfilled. His first feature was his last.
The story may sound familiar: Wasson plays a young man who finds he has a disease which will kill him in 48 hours. He will feel fine until the end, then that end will come quickly. But this 48 hours gives him a chance to make peace with the world.
To be sure, there are cliches here. Wasson chooses to hire a hooker to spend those last hours with him. Of course, it's "The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold." Still, Irons gets by with these cliches by making us genuinely care for Wasson and his plight.
And Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis is fun as a cranky old man.
The real story of "Bum Rap," though is one of those great Hollywood imponderables: How does a well made, well received (it was quite well received at the festival I attended) film like this simply never get released?
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