5.8/10
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56 user 34 critic

Crimewave (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 25 April 1986 (USA)
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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Helene Trend
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Officer Brennan
...
Blind Man
Hamid Dana ...
Donald Odegard
John Hardy ...
Mr. Yarman
...
Hal Youngblood ...
Jack Elroy
Sean Farley ...
Richard DeManincor ...
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Extermination is not just a business. It's a way of life.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Horror

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broken hearts and broken noses  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,571, 27 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,101, 31 December 1986
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Raimi: [The Three Stooges] many, including the bowling balls rolling off the shelf onto the man's head, and a cameo by Stooges regular Emil Sitka. See more »

Goofs

During the car chase, the body in Nancy's car is an obvious dummy. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Coddish: [Is about to electrocute Vic] How do you like it, medium or well-done?
[Evil maniacal laughter]
Nancy: Victor!
Vic Ajax: Nancy!
[She throws him a baseball bat, and he smashes Arthur's machine with it]
Arthur Coddish: You broke my shocker!
Vic Ajax: Mister, you've done some bad things and I'm gonna deal out some swift justice!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, we see the box (with Mrs. Trend inside) in Uruguay. See more »

Connections

References For Pete's Sake! (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Cherish
Written by Terry Kirkman
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User Reviews

 
Let's See the REAL Cut of This!
2 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

The first of two cinematic collaborations between Sam Raimi and the Coen brothers ("The Hudsucker Proxy," on which Raimi was Second Unit Director, is the other), this hilarious movie could have, SHOULD have, been a lot funnier. The story behind why it ISN'T is just as wacky as the flick itself:

After the unexpected success of "Evil Dead" in 1982-'83, Embassy Pictures, which had released "Escape From New York," among others, contacted the young Sam Raimi about possibly directing a comedy written by two up-and-comers named Joel and Ethan Coen. Raimi read the riotous script and was eager to put it on film, keeping in close contact with the Coens so he could capture the zany spirit of the script intact. Operating on an extremely tight budget, and with constant interference from the studio, "The XYZ Murders" (the film's original title) was finished sometime in 1984 -- and promptly shelved. Never liking or understanding the humor of the movie, the executives at Embassy (being pressured to find a hit because the studio was floundering) told Raimi, "No, this is another one of your CULT movies, we don't WANT that." (These are not, by the way, my words; this is all from an interview in "Fangoria" Sam Raimi did in 1985 or '86.) So, the studio, trying to keep afloat, re-edited the final cut of the movie, releasing it as "Crimewave." It did not, of course, work, as Embassy Pictures went bankrupt that same year, but not because of this film -- Embassy was finished long before they released this, actually.

If there was some way Raimi and the Coens could, I wish they would go back to this movie and either remake it or re-release it in its intended form. "Crimewave" was good, but you could tell it had been butchered (which gave it its uneven tone). In the "Fangoria" interview, Raimi confessed he regretted the way "The XYZ Murders" turned out -- so why not re-do it now that he can probably do anything he wants (thanks to the "Spider-Man" series)?

What a shame that a struggling movie studio took a great, unique, funny movie and turned it into a curiosity. I'm sure, as we all know, THAT never happens anymore.


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