Susan wants her reprehensible ex-husband dead and, in several bungled attempts by henchmen, tries to accomplish the deed. First her boyfriend hires two dim-witted hitmen. Then she hires a ... See full summary »
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Harry Dean Stanton,
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Benny, a hapless grifter, is thrown off a train after cheating at cards, and into the life of Tanya, a lovely bartender. Tanya has been supporting her husband, a former ballplayer, since ... See full summary »
Lara Flynn Boyle,
Susan wants her reprehensible ex-husband dead and, in several bungled attempts by henchmen, tries to accomplish the deed. First her boyfriend hires two dim-witted hitmen. Then she hires a former biker boyfriend to smother him in the hospital where he is recuperating from the first attempt. Then Zane's former wife figures out what is going on and wants a part of the action. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
People had been dumping on this film a lot so I made sure to check all the other Landis movies I could before trying this one out. Susan's Plan is a low budget "a bunch of people talking to each other" movie with a very simple plot - the title character comes up with a plan to whack her ex husband with the help of her friends and split the insurance money, but the plan goes wrong and hilarity ensues.
Susan's Plan, even if obviously smaller, is still classic Landis. The low budget is compensated by a strong narrative and a myriad of colorful characters who're rather at home in the Dream On universe, than in bigger Landis movies. Almost everybody in this movie is famous for one thing or the other, even the small parts, just check out the cast. The most unexpected performance comes from Michael Biehn, I'm not sure if he ever played something so funny and against type, because it's a role one would expect Jim Carey to play. Thomas Haden Church seems to be playing Peter Weller. Lisa Edelstein is all Cuddy again. And Dan Aykroyd's character is just really sick!
Susan's Plan feels constructed around cheap and accessible locations and well known, but inexpensive actors, and it's very well done at that. At just 85 minutes it appears to have some padding scenes of various importance, like characters' dream sequences, Susan's day job as a teacher, or Stuart Gordon as a doctor telling a dirty joke, but it's done to make a full creative use of a location. One thing that I found amazing was how Landis and his actors manage to switch between something really funny, or plain silly to something suspenseful and genuinely scary almost all in a single scene. Overall it's a small crime comedy for midnight TV that looks bigger than it actually is. I really liked it and I recommend it.
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