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Don Malek (Stephen Geoffreys) isn't the usual tenant found in the skid row hotels of downtown L.A. Grief-stricken since the murder of his fiancee Katherin, the successful screenwriter-turned murderous vigilante is bent on revenge against studio head Stanley Glissberg, the man cleared of murder charges in Katherin's death. Don can't forget - and Glissberg's going to pay. Enter Don's tenacious literary agent, Ava Collins (Tiffany Shepis), who tracks him down and wants to sell his manuscript - if there is one - or cut him loose. He assures her he's holed-up in the cheap room to write, and his story's a work-in-progress. Adding to his slippery slope, Don calls in a favor from a neighbor, and in doing so, uncovers despicable abuses down the hall. Spitz (Ezra Buzzington) is a hard-drinking former Marine and paraplegic, with a penchant for hookers and a violent streak. When he demands a return of the favor, Don must choose between turning a blind eye, or quickening his own destructive spiral... Written by
Don Maleck (Stephen Geoffreys) is a revered Hollywood screenwriter who hasn't hacked out a script in quite some time. When agent Ava Collins (Tiffany Shepis) approaches Don in his skid row apartment to demand his latest pages, she discovers he's been getting into the mindset of serial killers for his latest script by becoming one. Rather than ratting him out, Ava decides to use Don's new hobby to her advantage.
The reviews here on IMDb are a bit befuddling - it's certainly not the utter crapfest that most have made it out to be. The film is talky with a plodding pace (it sorta has the feel of a stage play), but if you're looking for brutality and gore, it occasionally delivers the goods. And as for the talk, there's a lot of fun, pithy dialogue. Tony Award nominee Geoffreys (in his first lead role since 1988's "976-EVIL") gives a great performance and infuses the character with his patented brand of pathos; and Shepis matches him beat-for-beat, making her sleazy character downright lovable. Across the board, the rest of the acting is decent as well -- the weakest link is an obviously strung-out Corey Haim in a minor role (sporting a hokey Australian accent)... and even he isn't too bad.
I saw "Do Not Disturb" since the original version, "New Terminal Hotel," was yanked from circulation when RLJ Entertainment issued it on DVD. I'd like to see the original because it feels like there's something major missing in the truncated version (according to amazon's defunct listing, "Terminal" ran an extra 12 minutes). It's not much of a spoiler to say that Don is initially motivated to kill to avenge his girlfriend's death (this is made clear in the first scene) but that plot point seems to suffer in the edited version.
No, it's not particularly groundbreaking, but the film is a solid entry in the low-budget indie revenge-horror genre - and if you like Geoffreys (who spent too many years on the outer fringes of Hollywood), I'd certainly recommend it.
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