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Apartment Zero (1988)

Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane ... See full summary »


Martin Donovan


Martin Donovan (story), Martin Donovan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Hart Bochner ... Jack Carney
Colin Firth ... Adrian LeDuc
Dora Bryan ... Margaret McKinney
Liz Smith ... Mary Louise McKinney
Fabrizio Bentivoglio ... Carlos Sanchez-Verne
James Telfer James Telfer ... Vanessa
Mirella D'Angelo ... Laura Werpachowsky
Juan Vitali Juan Vitali ... Alberto Werpachowsky
Cipe Lincovsky ... Mrs. Treniev
Francesca d'Aloja Francesca d'Aloja ... Claudia
Miguel Ligero Miguel Ligero ... Mr. Palma
Elvia Andreoli Elvia Andreoli ... Adrian's Mother
Marikena Monti Marikena Monti ... Tango Singer
Luis Romero Luis Romero ... Projectionist
Oca Spirito Oca Spirito ... Woman in Cinema 1


Set in modern day Buenos Aires, the film centers around a relationship between two emotionally crippled roommates. Adrian LeDuc is a lonely sociopath who is forced to rent his insane mother's room due to poor ticket sales at his revival movie theater. Jack Carney, the new roommate, appears normal enough at first but it soon becomes apparent that he is hiding something. As their friendship develops, Adrian suppresses his suspicions that Jack may be the government mercenary turned serial killer who has been terrorizing the city. The other eccentric residents of the building begin to worry as Adrian shows increasing signs that his mother's insanity may be hereditary. The shocking climax of this twisted tale of deceit, perversion and murder reveals the darker side of the human psyche. Written by Kevin Jundt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Finnish censorship visa (video): I-05032 See more »


Jack Carney: [after breaking a dead woman's back] I should have been a chiropractor.
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Alternate Versions

Video release was shortened by eight minutes by the director himself. See more »


References The Ten Commandments (1956) See more »


By Enrique Santos Discepolo
Arranged by Luis Maria Serra
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User Reviews

They don't make movies like this anymore
22 September 2019 | by t_d_w2002See all my reviews

I recently went through a sudden bout of Colin Firth obsession and was digging through his filmography when I came across this hidden gem. Apartment Zero is a gripping, intense, offbeat and immensely original psychological thriller filmed three decades ago. Some of the preferred techniques (like the frequent use of super close-ups and the style of background music) employed here might be reminiscent of vintage films from a bygone era. Much like in fashion, pop music and pop literature, certain cinematic styles, themes and techniques went in and out of fashion throughout time, sometimes induced by influential works of the time, changes in social and ideological landscape, or technological advances. This gives works from a certain era a decided "look" and "feel", which may seem dated when revisited decades later, though I do not think "dated" is necessarily a bad look. Retro can be cool and inspired. Since this film is older than me and I'm not much of a cinephile, I have no idea if this film was viewed as original and unusual when it first came out as it is now, or if films of that period all had that similar style or theme. But I can't help but be hopelessly pulled into the story and immersed in the protagonist's strange and oddly specific world, even though there was no flashy CGI or overly picturesque scenery and set pieces to grab one's attention at every turn. Like many reviewers has said before, the acting by the main characters and the supporting cast was superb. And there was nothing else to distract viewers from the characters and their story. Colin Firth gave an indelible performance that made his typecasting later in his career seem much more lamentable. Nothing was wasted, and the entire thing was a consistent, coherent, and unexpectedly convincing piece of story-telling. Since I watched this film during a Colin Firth binge, I can't help but notice the evident changes in the style of his films throughout the years, which I think more or less mirror the stylistic evolution of filmography as a whole in the past three decades. I'm not saying these changes are bad, but I do regret that films like this are less likely to be made or enjoy box office success nowadays.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

15 September 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Apartment Zero See more »

Filming Locations:

Argentina See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,823, 17 September 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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