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A detective becomes obsessed with bringing a man to justice, whom he is sure is a serial killer and the murderer of a woman with which both men were involved. However, the supposed killer may be as much a victim as the murdered people. Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
Francesco Quinn attempts to emote as detective hunting for serial killer
"Murder Blues" (1991) is listed as a neo-noir by critic John Grant, which is why I watched it. This is a poor movie, really a bomb in my estimation. The IMDb rating of 5.1 to some extent reflects that, because that score is distinctly below the IMDb average.
Serial killer stories always have an obstacle to overcome, which is how to keep the story interesting as the killer again and again outwits the police after him. There has to be some attraction to the protagonist or some accumulation of clues or some detective work going on or else some focus on the criminal's activities. This story has almost nothing of this going on. Quinn spends most of his time not on the job, and when he is on the job he's looking at photographs. Mounting, or shuffling or gazing at photos is a modern and overused plot device. Quinn's acting is ludicrous. Mostly he's frustrated and attempts to express this in a host of unconvincing ways.
The killer keeps on killing. Quinn keeps yelling at Brad Dourif who has some sort of knowledge that he refuses to give up. Dourif keeps laughing at Quinn and calling him a loser. Dourif channels Michael J. Pollard and then some. Quinn drinks, takes some drugs, goes through a separation and divorce from the wife he says he never loved, and takes his boy to see pole dancers. He occasionally has sex. Nothing really happens except that the bodies pile up, the killer scrawls bloody messages to Quinn or calls him, and he gets mad.
It hardly qualifies as noir, but the story is dark and so is much of the cinematography. The director (Anders Palm) uses a grainy TV imaging and also uses TV sets quite often during the story as a device to jazz the movie up. The script failed him on that score, and he wrote it himself.
Note: This was the last of 3 movies that Palm directed, and that was 25 years ago. Also it was the last of 2 he wrote. He turned to producing in 2003.
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