56 user 34 critic

Crimewave (1985)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Horror | 25 April 1986 (USA)
2:24 | Trailer

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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 overview, first billed only:
... Helene Trend
... Faron Crush
... Arthur Coddish
... Nancy
... Ernest Trend
... Renaldo 'The Heel'
... Vic Ajax
... Officer Brennan
... Blind Man
Hamid Dana ... Donald Odegard
John Hardy ... Mr. Yarman
... Colonel Rodgers
Hal Youngblood ... Jack Elroy
Sean Farley ... Jack Elroy Jr
Richard DeManincor ... Officer Garvey


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


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


Comedy | Crime | Horror


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Broken hearts and broken noses  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$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


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The difficulty during production left a negative impression on Bruce Campbell, who insisted that he wanted to never work with big-budget producers again, insisting that the conduct was "soulless" and "just a business." See more »


While the majority of the exterior shots were filmed in Detroit, towards the beginning of the film, the night time distant shot of the city (in red glow) right before the storm hits, is clearly Chicago, as the Sears Tower is quite prominent in the shot. See more »


Renaldo the Heel: Hey baby, why don't ya come on over to my pad. We'll have a scotch and sofa.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


References The Godfather (1972) See more »


We Go Together
Music and Lyrics by Arlon Ober
Sung by Jonathan Beres & Katie Yanai
See more »

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User Reviews

Weird little cult flick...no Evil Dead, but entertaining in it's own silly way
17 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Finally seeing Crimewave now means that I have seen (and enjoyed, mostly) all of Sam Raimi's feature films. I'd been searching for this flick for a while, and was therefore delighted when it happened to come on TV! I'm glad it did, too, because if it hadn't, I'd have bought it (probably quite expensively), and I wouldn't say that this film is one that I'd be happy with purchasing. I see Crimewave as an enjoyable experimental film for the talented Evil Dead director and star. Sam Raimi implements several of his clever camera angles into the proceedings, and this bodes well with the over the top comic style of the rest of the film. Similarly, Bruce Campbell does what he does best; in a role that is an interesting prelude to his way over the top turn in The Evil Dead's sequel. The plot is all over the place, and starts off with a man on death row, protesting his innocence. His story is then told through flashbacks, and we find out that he really is in the innocent party in a story that features a couple of maniac rat catchers, a beautiful woman, a suave 'heel' and seemingly no end of madcap events.

The screenplay was written by two of modern cult cinema's biggest icons; Ethan and Joel Coen. Hot off their success with Blood Simple (which, incidentally, I didn't like much); this was the second film to feature the brothers' as writers. Despite them having the writing credit, this really doesn't feel like a Coen Brothers film; and that is testament to Sam Raimi's direction. Raimi perhaps goes a little bit too over the top at times, and the film does almost feel like a series of slapstick sketches threaded together by a thin plot. We get treated to some of his early directorial skill, with several really well implemented scenes; my favourite being the one where we see one of the rat catchers kicking a door in from both the inside view and on a TV screen showing the security camera. The unknown cast is decent enough, but it's only really Bruce Campbell that stands out, and that's more because of his later performances than because of prowess here. Still, it's always fun to see Bruce in a movie, and that remains true here. On the whole, this is a good film; but I'd only really recommend it to Raimi/Campbell fans, and people that will appreciate that it's more of a prelude to greater things to come than a great cult flick.

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