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The Minus Man (1999)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  8 October 1999 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 5,153 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 109 user | 71 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

A cold-blooded serial killer floats around the country and chooses his victims from people who complain about their lives and indicate a willingness to be killed. His murders are introduced... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Vann
...
Casper
...
Blair
...
Graves
...
State Trooper
...
Jane
Chloe Black ...
Karen - Age 18
...
Doug
...
Gene
...
Paul
Lois Gerace ...
Lois
Erik Holland ...
Coach
Danny 'Big Black' Rey ...
Arthur (as Daniel 'Big Black' Rey)
...
Ferrin
Axel Ovregaard ...
Joe La Moine
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Storyline

A cold-blooded serial killer floats around the country and chooses his victims from people who complain about their lives and indicate a willingness to be killed. His murders are introduced with the killing of an asthmatic junkie. The killer settles into a seaside rooming house run by an unhappy married couple and waits for his next victims to unveil themselves. Dream cops plague his nights, while plotting his murders. Meanwhile, he also starts a relationship with a postal clerk. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't bring a dumb date. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az idegen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$40,292 (USA) (10 September 1999)

Gross:

$368,808 (USA) (22 October 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original teaser trailer featured Eddie Ifft and Marin Hinkle as a couple discussing the movie after a date, and did not feature any footage whatsoever from the movie. See more »

Goofs

Ferrin purchases a pint of Jack Daniels and has it when she and Vann ride off to the beach. Later she tosses it to him and it became a fifth of Jack Daniels. See more »

Quotes

Vann Siegert: A spider crawled in my ear once, but then he crawled out because nobody was home.
See more »

Connections

Features Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pouch Song
Written and Performed by Bryony Atkinson and Inara George
Courtesy of Shooting Gallery Records and Shooting Gallery Music / Sony / ATV Tunes (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
If Norman Bates Had A Brother...
19 February 2001 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

An unassuming, charismatic personality and a bottle of poison prove to be a lethal combination in `The Minus Man,' directed by Hampton Fancher and starring Owen Wilson. When a personable young man drifts in from the Pacific Northwest and settles in a small coastal town, a number of people's lives are soon changed forever, and not for the better. Vann Siegert (Wilson) is a likable fellow with a winning smile and always a credible story regarding who he is, where he's been and where he's going; he's also a psychotic killer who chooses his victims seemingly at random, yet is so ingratiating that he never falls under suspicion. And such is the case when he rents a room from an unsuspecting couple, Jane and Doug Durwin (Mercedes Ruehl and Brian Cox). Without realizing, of course, that he's enabling a murderer, Doug helps Vann find gainful employment, allowing him to establish himself within the community, and the rest-- as they say-- is history. In one of the more telling scenes in the film, Vann reflects to himself, `If it weren't for me, these people would all be doing something else today...' What they are doing, in fact, is searching for one of their own who has gone missing, courtesy of Vann. What is so distressing about this movie is the lack of menace outwardly presented by someone so intrinsically evil; like Norman Bates in `Psycho,' Vann is simply too unprepossessing and benign to be considered a threat to anyone. The contrast between his countenance and his crimes is chilling; and the fact that he perpetrates his deeds in such a matter-of-fact, unemotional manner gives new meaning to the phrase `cold blooded killer.' One of the interesting aspects of the film is that Vann acts as narrator as well, which effectively puts the audience inside the mind behind the madness, even more so than in `Silence of the Lambs,' because in this case, the viewer is privy to the actual thought process that precipitates the crimes. And it becomes a bit unnerving after some reflection upon what is actually transpiring under the guise of `normalcy.' Owen Wilson is well cast and gives a stunningly credible performance as Vann; he conveys such a low-keyed, eye-in-the-center-of-the-storm manner that he is instantly recognizable as the boy next door you'd be more than happy for your daughter to date. And after watching him in action it becomes truly disconcerting to consider that in the real world there are those who look and act like Vann and are capable of such heinous acts of violence and deceit. As the couple who takes Vann in-- and are subsequently taken in by him-- Ruehl and Cox capture the essence of the `everyman/woman' that can be found in any neighborhood in any town, and the fact that they are people with whom it is so easy to identify makes it even more upsetting when you realize that the vulnerability to which we are all prone can be exploited with such facility. In a supporting role, Janeane Garofalo is a welcome presence as Ferrin, a co-worker of Vann's who is drawn in by his winsome facade; and rounding out the supporting cast are Sheryl Crowe (Caspar/Laurie), Dwight Yoakam (Blair), Dennis Haysbert (Graves) and Alex Warren (State Trooper). Ultimately, `The Minus Man' is a cautionary tale that may spark a touch of paranoia in the viewer, and with good reason; and after spending some time with Vann, it just may alter your perception of some of your more casual acquaintances and even some old friends, especially those who seem so `ordinary.' It's a film that kind of sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise; and it may leave you pondering the darker side of human nature. I rate this one 7/10.


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