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Bud S. Smith
Anthony Michael Hall,
Robert Downey Jr.,
"Murder Rap is a love story. It is a story filled with mystery and suspense. It is a story about deception and murder. It is Christopher and Anna's story." So goes the description on the back of the box. It also goes on to compare the lead actor John Hawkes as 'the James Dean of the 80s'. Sure, the kid wears blue jeans with and a black leather jacket, but they do not make him look 'cool'. The lead has a very geeky sort of sense, and to top it off, our hero's ride is not a Harley, it's a Vespa.
So scootering from action point to dull point, he chances on an audio hot tip which turns out to sound like a brutal murder. Rather than go to the police, he is convinced that he needs to figure out more about what happened. He plays it cool and gets played himself. This would be the deception that the back of the box mentions.
The back of the box interestingly also mentions 'provocative sex scenes'. Trust me, I think this was put on the wrong box, I didn't see anything that fits that description, more over, the lead actor is not someone most would like to see in action with anyone.
The film seems to be a promotional tool for the three musical bands listed on the cover. Sometimes the story stops to show a few minutes of one of these bands playing on stage. There are some neat geeky things for those who know what these things are, such as Vespas, one of those two octave Yamaha sampling keyboards, possibly a Synclavier II sampling keyboard (a real classic!), and making music from odd sounds.
The back of the box promises us a lot and delivers very little. It's claim of 'brilliant direction by newcomer Kliff Kuehl' is a far reach, in fact, Kliff never made it much farther than this movie.
Murder Rap is very 80s. It is a story filled with cheese and a few good bullet holes. It is a story that makes some sense in the end, but the reasoning of it always follows the route of silly. It is a bit long in some scenes, but in whole, the film is just plain ridiculous.
The worst part is I identify with the character of Christopher. I took the same path in life he did, a college drop-out turned struggling musician. I hope I don't turn out like he did.
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