7.1/10
482
21 user 12 critic

Crime Wave (1985)

A young director intent on making "the greatest color crime movie ever" can't seem to finish his script--he has a beginning and an end, but he can't quite figure out the middle. The ... See full summary »

Director:

John Paizs

Writer:

John Paizs
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crimewave (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A pair of whacked-out cartoon-like exterminator/hitmen kill the owner of a burglar-alarm company, and stalk the partner who hired them, his wife, and a nerd framed for the murder, who tells the story in flashback from the electric chair.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Louise Lasser, Brion James, Paul L. Smith
Crime Wave (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In this non-linear amalgamation, submarine crewmen and a woodsman wend their way through a voyage of odd experiences.

Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
Stars: Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin
Images (1972)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »

Director: Ross McElwee
Stars: Ross McElwee, Dede McElwee, Ross McElwee Jr.
Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An introverted loner living in the bowels of the Astrodome plots to develop - with the aid of a mysterious guardian angel - a pair of wings that will help him fly.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Bud Cort, Shelley Duvall, Sally Kellerman
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Eva Kovacs Eva Kovacs ... Kim
John Paizs John Paizs ... Steven Penny
Darrell Baran Darrell Baran ... Ronnie Boyles
Jeffrey Owen Madden Jeffrey Owen Madden ... Skip Holliday
Tea Andrea Tanner Tea Andrea Tanner ... Dawn Holliday
Mark Yuill Mark Yuill ... Stanley Falco (as Mark Hunter)
Neil Lawrie Neil Lawrie ... Dr. C. Jolly (as Neal Lawrie)
Bob Cloutier Bob Cloutier ... Mr. Brown
Donna Fullingham Donna Fullingham ... Mrs. Brown (as Donna Fillingham)
Mitch Funk Mitch Funk ... Young Dad
Angela Heck Angela Heck ... Young Mom
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Aaron Anderson Aaron Anderson
Alan Baker Alan Baker
Sandra Birch Sandra Birch
Wavne Birch Wavne Birch
Edit

Storyline

A young director intent on making "the greatest color crime movie ever" can't seem to finish his script--he has a beginning and an end, but he can't quite figure out the middle. The daughter of his landlord, excited to have a real "movie person" living nearby, tries to help by putting him in touch with a man who wants to collaborate on a script--the strange "Dr. Jolly". Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a quiet man...

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1985 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Crime Wave See more »

Filming Locations:

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Company Credits

Production Co:

Favorite Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released on video under the title "The Big Crimewave" to avoid confusion with the Sam Raimi film Crimewave (1985). See more »

Quotes

Kim: Next, Steven showed me a tape-recording of a speeding car that lost control and smashed a camera he borrowed from the National Film Board of Canada. He lost $2000, and when his movie came out almost nobody liked it.
See more »

Connections

References Teen-Age Crime Wave (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I think I've seen this movie about 30 times, all the way through.
19 October 2005 | by dhictonSee all my reviews

If you haven't seen Paizs's film work before, you may or may not know that he later directed remote segments for The Kids in the Hall ("It's a Fact!" and "30 Helens Agree", etc). I saw Crime Wave shortly after it came out, and then I taped it off CBC, at which point I've shown it to everyone who's come to my place. 30 viewers agree, it's one of the funniest, darkest, quirkiest movies ever to come out of the Canadian prairies, Canada in general, or anywhere.

The plot points have already been covered in the other reviews, but there are a few other things I could mention. For instance, I figured that the colour and lighting were an homage to all those National Film Board shorts we watched in high school. I asked Paizs about this, and he confirmed it.

The dialogue is sharp, the satire is pointed, and the acting has an edge.

Some fun moments:

Steven and Dr Jolly's dead-of-night meeting in the cornfield outside Sayles, Kansas;

The masquerade party where Steven shows up shirtless, painted up with green camouflage markings, festooned with dynamite and holding a detonator -- his costume was of a guy who blew himself up in a bank;

Inside the traffic-counting booth, where Steven's friend has three buttons to push: left turn, right turn, and straight ahead. When he sees a car sitting at an intersection, Steven's friend has his finger poised and hovering over the buttons, waiting, waiting, waiting to see which button he should push, beads of perspiration forming on his upper lip. Then the car turns left and with relief he pushes the "left" button. Who knew counting cars was so stressful? Go figure;

Eva Kovacs's line delivery throughout the movie, but especially where she shows Steven a letter and says "Steven, Steven, read this! Don't ask why, don't ask how, just read it!";

Steven explaining the concept of "persistence of vision": Keep looking at the dot through two verses of "When the Saints Go Marching In" on the harmonica;

All the assorted movie beginnings and endings that he can't join together, all satires of various genres, and all of which contain the phrase "But from the NORTH!"

This movie is a cult classic and not to be missed!


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed